How to transition to DevOps: A Complete Guide 2023

Nelly Stoykova
Nelly Stoykova
Tech Enthusiast
Reading time: 9 mins.
Last Updated: 02.10.2023

Table of Contents

Defining DevOps: differences between DevOps software approach and traditional IT  

In a previous article, we discussed topics such as ‘What is DevOps?’ and “What are the benefits of implementing the DevOps set of practices?”. It’s about time we give you an extensive guide on how to transition to DevOps. But what are the differences between the DevOps and traditional IT approach and why statistically DevOps is more preferred by companies worldwide?

  • The efficiency of development cycles: From big to micro

Traditional IT often plans big releases, which are much riskier due to the amount of code involved. When working in longer cycles with infrequent releases things can often become complex quite quickly and overall they are an inefficient way of working.

DevOps runs with smaller and more frequent releases that are easier to test and fix if needed– making the releases much less risky. Thus DevOps enables your business to quickly respond to any emerging customer needs or new market changes.

  • Scheduling: Centralized to Continuous

Traditional IT mainly uses planning and scheduling systems to manage development. There are usually a lot of changes to the SDLC, making scheduling a challenge to execute properly.

DevOps revolves around smaller but continuous releases built on automation from dedicated teams. This makes the schedules much easier. Less planning allows you to increase the visibility of your team’s time. Moreover, by having a single dedicated team, you’ll be able to synchronize more effectively rather than having to schedule different employees in different roles.

  • Transform High-Risk Events into Non Events

Within Traditional methods, releasing software into production hides a huge risk. It consists of bugs, escalations, and constant error resolution.  The process is thus tightly administered from all parts of the organization.  Have you ever seen developers locked in the office for days before and after a big launch?

DevOps methodology, on the other hand, make the release of software as non-event as possible. DevOps engineers reduce the risks by daily integration of code, automation testing, and ensuring all environments are in sync. Basically, they only integrate code from one stage to another once they are sure it would work in production.  This ensures that all new features will move to production much faster and efficiently. 

  • Organization: Having Dedicated Cells

Traditional IT is organized around skill-centric silos. In a typical environment, a change has to go through at least a couple of silos before it gets to the end user.

DevOps also operates in silos but the teams are arranged in so-called “cells” of dedicated cross-functional teams. They are focused on only one application.  It represents a self-sufficient cell of developers, testers, and operators, and an idea can move from one stage to another without hand-offs, focuses the whole team on the end goal, and promotes the “shift left” thinking.

  • Culture: We mustn’t Fail vs. We should Fail Early

Traditional IT’s first priority is to do no harm to the business or basically prevent failure.  And yet despite all efforts, this tactic presents bad outcomes: infrastructure issues cause huge delays, new projects are delivered late, and new features are often pulled back due to issues with quality.

DevOps also tries hard to maximally reduce risks but is well aware that issues are going to happen.  That’s why instead of trying to eliminate failure, they prefer to fail small, early and recover promptly.  The infrastructure and processes are built around this mantra.  All of the above-mentioned: test-driven development, automation, daily code integrations, small but frequent release sizes, and cell structures, all contribute to this mindset.

Step-by-Step Guide for Starting out with DevOps 

Roadmap to start with DevOps and transition to DevOps

DevOps is not just a toolset, but rather a mix of cultural, development, and operational changes. As expected, transforming your company’s culture and operational model is not something done overnight. Every key change should be considered for quite some time, carefully thought out, and mapped out in a highly detailed manner. So let us give you an overview of the steps you need to take in order to successfully embrace the DevOps methodology and fully reap all of its benefits. 

  1. Craft a DevOps transformation roadmap

To adopt DevOps, create a roadmap to sketch out how to start with DevOps in a step-by-step manner. Your roadmap should tackle all questions concerning your business transitioning to DevOps methodologies such as budgets, regulations within your industry, costs, teams, culture, talent, operations, and processes. Most importantly, this roadmap should include the exact expectations and KPIs, which could of course be changed in time, but still, they would act as guidelines and validation checkpoints for your successful transitioning. A DevOps roadmap enables an organization to map its actions upfront.

A successful DevOps migration is not a one-time project. You should be prepared to update the content as your business advances on its DevOps journey. 

  1. Choose your right DevOps tool stack

Critical to starting DevOps is to choose a toolchain, but there’s no universal best practice for this step. By “DevOps toolchain,” we mean all the tools your team employs to manage the development, delivery, and maintenance of an efficient software development process. 

A good DevOps toolset is one that is best aligned with organizational and industry-specific requirements. Thus the right tool stack will ease complex tasks and support team members to complete projects quicker and with less manual effort.

DevOps toolchain selection usually happens with a good understanding of the basic DevOps practices and how each tool executes them. Organizations typically have two options: an all-in-one DevOps tech stack or one that’s custom to their needs. It is vital to select the right approach, as the decision will shape the DevOps practice. The all-in-one DevOps toolchain is an ideal solution for companies that are just starting with DevOps or for teams that immediately initiate a project.

DevOps encompasses different phases. Even though processes may vary depending on the flow, the core principles remain the same. Review our DevOps tool cheat list below as a piece of good advice is to be guided through a basic DevOps pipeline and get an overview of some of the most popular and efficient tools for each phase. More on DevOps toolchains and how to select the perfect one for your team you may read our next articles, so stay updated as always. 

#DomainLifecyclePopular Open Source DevOps Tools
1DevPlan GitLab, JIRA
2CodeGit, Jenkins, Chef, Puppet, and other open source CI/CD tools
3BuildApache Maven
4TestSelenium, Apache JMeter
5OpsRelease Kubernetes, Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform
6DeployKubernetes, Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform
7OperateKubernetes, Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform
8MonitorGrafana, Prometheus, Nagios, Fluentd
  1. Invest in a good foundation

You need a solid foundation to be able to gain the best results and achieve short and long-term goals. That requires investing in the right DevOps technologies and tools. With the right infrastructure in mind from the beginning, you can build just about anything.

As part of this mindset, you can onboard key business partners – DevOps providers, managed services providers, cloud providers, hosting providers, etc. What you should be looking for is a partner that can help you maximize deployment flexibility, security, and overall performance.

  1. Embrace the DevOps cultural transformation

DevOps disrupts some organizational and political structures as all teams start operating as a whole. To meet these challenges, make sure you foster a befitting DevOps cultural transformation with the following focal points:

  • Enforce Responsibility and Accountability.
  • Promote Communication and Collaboration between developers, operations, QA, and security teams for workflows.
  • Invest in training your teams: prepare your company for continual learning and improvement.
  1. Automate everything

Many organizations consider automation too big of a risk to take. To eliminate this fear, start small and adopt a transparent approach to DevOps automation.

Review weak links, establish priorities, and set automation goals. Don’t automate every process in every possible workflow at once. Let’s say you start with automated testing: you can first focus on testing software, then focus on security testing. Although automated testing can’t replace human testers, this approach may help you learn how much automation can improve employee efficiency. Freeing your workforce from having to perform daily repetitive, manual, time-consuming tasks can amaze you with innovation, freshness, and better concentration on the core goals. This creates an opportunity to explain the business reasoning and align your work with automation.

  1. Measure Metrics: use analytics and collect data

You must find a way to track your transition to DevOps, measure the progress, and be ready to implement changes if you deviate too much from the roadmap or the results ain’t satisfactory. For example, you may take the current metrics of different stages of the SDLC (for example, time taken to develop, test, etc.) and compare them with the metrics obtained after the implementation of DevOps practices.

By evaluating the velocity, costs, or quality of software releases, you’ll be able to assess whether your DevOps team is on the right track. Moreover, you may look into customer satisfaction metrics to gain insights into the whole performance.

Venture into your DevOps journey 

As we previously discussed, adopting the DevOps approach to software might help you overcome many challenges and surprise you with immense benefits. You may not yet be fully aware of exactly how DevOps can be implemented for your company or exactly what advantages it will provide you with. So let’s look at examples of successful adoptions of DevOps by world-renowned successful companies, as well as appropriate ways to take the first steps towards this digital transformation.

А few DevOps success stories to consider

At ITGix we lead innovation with the deep business understanding that we gained from working on DevOps projects in various industries. We have proved numerous times how DevOps can help you streamline your development and operational capabilities to accelerate the SDLC and quicken releases.

It is important to find a DevOps team of certified professionals who truly understand your business needs in all aspects and are not limited to your IT infrastructure maintenance. All consultations should be best aligned with your company culture and values, based on active communication, collaboration, and integrity. Once you achieve that level of trust within your company you can only benefit from the success of your software products. Here are just a few of all the DevOps success stories you may read about in our portfolio

  • Set up a multi-environment AWS infrastructure that would facilitate proxying financial transactions from existing merchant applications towards external third-party payment gateway providers. As a requirement to process financial transactions the Production systems needed to be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). You may review this complex and regulatory-compliant use case here!
  • Building a highly secure AWS environment for a global company providing strategic, creative, and integrated marketing services for healthcare and medical communications. The main concerns of the company are security and data privacy. The safety of patient data is the most overbearing barrier to access when considering the adoption of Healthcare Information Systems (HIS) in the healthcare industry. In order to prevent any security risk, our expert team proposed a series of solutions to enable data and privacy protection.

We provided a comprehensive evaluation and implementation of HIS security, detailing the path of success in challenges and recommendations in its implementation. Our project considered the analysis of the security perspective and some of the important concerns for the successful use of the information systems in healthcare. The goal is to achieve perfect functionality in a fully automated way. Review this use case here!

Common stumbling blocks you may encounter

Many companies have in-house DevOps teams and highly benefit from it. But what may be prolific for some ain’t the best option for others. An issue is that employing in-house DevOps engineers is not always easy to achieve, let alone business efficiency. In-house DevOps specialists cost a lot and work effectively following the principles of a long cultural transition.

You may wonder if there is a simpler solution. How can you adopt DevOps without the big costs and waste of time? The answer is proper DevOps outsourcing. Trusted Managed Services Providers (MSPs) attract and retain top DevOps talents and provide a comfortable environment for them in order to ensure the success of your outsourced projects at all reasonable prices.

So can you benefit from DevOps outsourcing and what to expect from DevOps-as-a-service?

When we discuss starting out with DevOps, having an experienced partner who can truly validate your IT performance and maintenance goals and even more so align them with your business goals and your company culture is a great advantage to have by your side. No matter if you’re a startup or just haven’t yet considered how to fully adopt the DevOps approach, a third-party service provider can surely bring great value to your company much faster and cost-effectively. 

Why Choose ITGix?

As a Trusted DevOps services provider company, ITGix helps organizations worldwide fully reap the benefits of the DevOps methodology. With 6+ years of operating and over 150+ DevOps projects successfully delivered, our expert team brings unmatched technical expertise across a range of tools, services, and industry specifications that provide real value to your business.

Our main checkpoints are focused on cost efficiency, better compliance, and faster delivery thanks to automation, monitoring & alerting, and adopting all best practices for the DevOps SDLC. 

  • ITGix team helps embed security at all stages of the delivery pipeline. 
  • We help reduce costs by offering better collaboration between teams and accelerating time-to-market. 
  • Moreover, we help you identify the right technology stack and tools that will best align with your governance, security, risk & compliance requirements.

Through constant optimization and dedication, we aid our partners to grow, innovate, and succeed. Each one of them can count on receiving an individual approach, integrity, and direct communication to help them skyrocket their business! 

You may review testimonials on our expertise in delivered projects here.

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