With quality-driven customer satisfaction becoming the key differentiator for businesses, the role of QA has undergone a transformation. If earlier, software testing was an adjunct to the development process, it has become a shared responsibility involving every department and process within an organization today. The QA process has transitioned from being an afterthought in traditional waterfall to being mandatory with Agile and DevOps testing. This has come about in response to the compatibility challenges software applications face when accessed through various devices, platforms, and operating environments.
Furthermore, with growing security implications for applications while they are being increasingly embraced by users, quality testing is no longer a one-time activity but a continuous process. This is where DevOps has emerged as the go-to methodology for businesses to deliver quality products and services swiftly and continually. DevOps, with its four pillars of culture, collaboration, tools, and practices, enables businesses to deliver outcomes such as better quality products, faster software releases, quick response to feedback, improved productivity, cost savings, and increased ROI.
Even though most businesses understand the utility of implementing DevOps, the challenges come in its implementation. The challenges relate to tackling issues that seem to differ from one domain/department/process/tool to another across organizations. Let us delve into the challenges that DevOps implementation entails.
DevOps has the potential to garner positive outcomes for businesses, but the many challenges associated with its implementation can often play spoilsport. The following challenges cannot be glossed over.
Legacy systems and applications: While businesses focus on developing new systems with DevOps, they should also work towards transitioning the legacy systems to the new DevOps led regime. The transition of legacy apps or systems to a DevOps ecosystem one can be done by creating a new system that not only maintains the legacy apps but ensures non interference with the transition. Post-implementation of DevOps, the legacy applications should be phased out gradually.
Integration of tools across domains: DevOps testing services require integration of various tools across departments and processes to ensure they work in tandem. This is necessary to make the process of development, testing, and deployment seamless and capable of delivering customer satisfaction. Moreover, since the development and operations teams work on separate metrics and toolkits, harmonizing them can be a challenge.
Culture: Since the development, testing, and operations teams follow different work cultures, bridging them and bringing them on a level playing field can be challenging. To address the situation, DevOps specialists should be created across departments and processes who can build a collaborative environment. The focus should shift from individual, silo-based teams to inter-departmental coordination.
Choosing the right projects: The DevOps specialists should not look to apply DevOps to every project. This is due to the fact that DevOps happens to be an operational strategy that does not necessarily be a perfect fit everywhere. However, should you want to scale your software application to garner deliverables, then DevOps can be adopted as a suitable model.
The above-mentioned challenges pertaining to the implementation of DevOps (and allied models like DevOps test automation, DevOps software testing, and others) can be addressed by following the best practices.
To ensure the success of DevOps and allied services, businesses should incorporate the best practices as listed below.
Learn about your business needs: Ensure that DevOps implementation is aligned to your business goals. Prior to creating the IT infrastructure, understand the application and design the infrastructure in accordance with your goals.
Ensure continuous integration and deployment: Implementing DevOps testing can only make sense if your organization is able to deliver software frequently without any issues. This requires the incorporation of DevOps test automation throughout the build, testing, and deployment stages.
Implement test automation and data provisioning: Since DevOps is about building, testing, and delivering quality software quickly and continuously, implementing test automation becomes the key. The process of DevOps software testing would entail placing the code in a sandbox and running thousands of tests by assigning relevant test data.
In a fast-moving, dynamically-changing business landscape, enterprises should be prepared to stay ahead of the competition curve. To achieve the objective, they must embrace DevOps by exploring the benefits of different tools, monitoring the performance of legacy and DevOps systems, among others.