Why DevOps is essential to mobile app and web development
DevOps has become a buzz word in recent years — for good reason. In today’s world of software, being “code complete” is a temporary state. Good software is a “living” thing. It’s never really done. The technology ecosystem is constantly evolving, and DevOps is the recognition that software needs continuous iterations and improvements over the course of its lifecycle.
This is especially true today in mobile and the web — forward-thinking companies are building collections of apps and digital (software) products to forge meaningful connections with their customers and employees across the IoT. To be successful in digital, companies need infrastructure, tools, and processes that scale. They need an approach that is consistent, even as team members may come and go. They need standards that ensure security and compliance. They need their development and operations teams to work as a single and cohesive unit. They need DevOps.
ArcTouch now offers DevOps engineering services to help companies create a foundation for rapid feedback and continuous improvement — and, ultimately, to build successful applications. With more than a decade of experience building digital products for a broad range of clients, our talented team can work side-by-side with your development and operations teams to plan and execute the DevOps infrastructure you need for your app or web project to meet your business goals.
The old way of building apps
Technology and IT teams are being overwhelmed with requests to build applications and create digital solutions for both customers and their workforce. The old way of responding to this demand was a sequential series of steps that could take place over the course of days, weeks, or months — depending upon the complexity of the project:
1. A request comes into IT.
2. IT responds with a project proposal and estimated cost and schedule.
3. The project proposal/budget is reviewed by the executive team and approved (or not).
4. A team is assembled.
5. The project begins and is eventually completed.
6. The ticket marked complete.
7. The team is disbanded.
But what happens when users get their hands on the apps? Or when a mobile operating system gets updated, or any third-party library becomes out of date? Or worse, if an app or website’s security is compromised.
Budget may not exist for any updates or new feature requests. Members of the original team may have moved on to new projects. And so, a new project request is submitted. A new team is assembled that probably doesn’t have the history or experience with the app. These inefficiencies cost the organization a lot of time — and potentially a lot of additional budget. And these inefficiencies have an even great cost: fewer resources to build other solutions.
The result: Projects are neglected, apps fairly quickly break down. Users get frustrated, and customers are lost.
DevOps in app development
The most crucial piece of DevOps in app development is standardizing a process that is applied across projects — and cross-functional squads are responsible for building and managing the applications. Each squad becomes experts for a given app, understanding the problem an app is solving and how it will be used. And they ultimately own the user experience and code base over the lifecycle of the application. Owning the whole lifecycle means much more than simply sustaining the app. We often find that the first version of an app immediately spurs new feature ideas when it gets into the hands of customers.
With a DevOps process in place, we are able to efficiently take new feature ideas and put them on a roadmap. Without DevOps, apps are effectively abandoned once they get published. They don’t get the immediate bug fixes they need. And they certainly don’t get those updates users want as times change — which means they won’t be used for long.
DevOps modernizes the software development process and allows us to build with confidence, knowing that today’s release is just a step forward in a journey of many releases — and not the end. With DevOps, our process becomes one where an app is properly cared for over its entire lifecycle — with enhancements, fixes, and support.
A recent study by Dora revealed that “elite” organizations that apply DevOps principles achieve 208x more frequent software deployments than low performers — leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
And if your organization is going to be successful in digital, there’s little doubt you’ll need a DevOps approach to development.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to implement DevOps with your app development or web projects, we offer a full range of DevOps services. Contact us to set up a time to talk — no strings attached.