How DevOps is changing the face of IT

The IT industry has faced a paradigm shift in the last few years. A squeeze on resources and capital has pushed organizations to transform their operations from the ground up. Organizations across the sector are dealing with intense pressure and competition while striving to deliver value. A solution to this conundrum is the confluence of Agile and DevOps practices combined with the cloud.

The increasing need for speed and efficiency

The market is unforgiving towards inefficient players that take too long to deploy their products and go over budget. Then, there is the impending threat of commercial failure. It is, no doubt, difficult to weed out errors in manual software deployment.

Industry leaders and engineering teams have been adopting Agile and DevOps practices to bring in speed, predictability and reliability. Combined with the cloud, these practices can boost delivery speed significantly. Projects and builds that would easily stretch out for 3 years are now being rolled out in 3 weeks. Startups are quickly scaling into unicorns precisely because development is a lot quicker.

Here’s a closer look at how the industry is shedding its weight and leaping into the future with these powerful new practices:

Understanding DevOps

Agile work environments prioritize results over protocol. Agile organizations respond quickly to changes, rely on customer interactions, keep minimal debt, deliver working software, and encourage team collaboration.

DevOps practices follow a similar line. DevOps is commonly described as “the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to end users.” The two key features of DevOps are deep collaboration and automated deployment. If various teams can collaborate, they can collectively eliminate much of the inefficiency in the traditional IT processes.

DevOps tools provide an easy way of creating a development environment, test environment, preproduction environment, and production environment. These tools help a software team deploy predictably, repeatedly, reliably. To execute DevOps, all team members must be on the same page throughout the development and delivery cycle.

Here's a snapshot of how the DevOps release process can be devised right from development to production:


In just a few years Agile and DevOps practices have leapt from academic theories to industrial mainstays. By adopting these practices, businesses have pushed their teams to collaborate on a deeper level and generate exceptional value for customers.

Improving performance, delivering impact

There’s considerable evidence to suggest DevOps has delivered tangible benefits to teams across the world.

A recent Puppet Labs report ( highlights the value of DevOps with some of these key findings:

  • High-performing organizations decisively outperform their lower-performing peers.

  • They deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, recover 24 times faster, and have three times lower change failure rates.

  • High performers have better employee loyalty, as measured by employee Net Promoter Score.

  • High-performing organizations spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework. They are able to spend 29 percent more time on new work, such as new features or code. Undertaking a technology transformation initiative can produce sizeable returns for any organization.

The concept has gone from a mere theory to a mainstream organizational practice in less than five years.


Transforming the future

Automation forms the core of DevOps. By automating building, testing and deployment, speed-to-market can be accelerated.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services (Visual Studio 2017 Launch & Release Notes) and Azure cloud services help remove barriers between teams, encourage collaboration, and improve the flow of value to your customers. These powerful tools are driving the DevOps and Agile-based transformation at enterprises.

Visual Studio Team Services is a powerful suite of DevOps tools that allows teams to collaborate and deliver faster customer value at every stage of the application life cycle – planning, coding, building, testing and automating deployments. It works for “any application, any language and any platform”.

Upstream oil and gas firm Royal Dutch Shell is a great example of a successful transformation through DevOps. Shell deployed sophisticated software to expand its energy production across the globe. “Instead of telling people to wait for 6 months for a new feature, we can give it to them in a few weeks…,” says Johan Krebbers, the company’s IT Chief Technology Officer. Shell has transformed its operations by shifting software development to the cloud and applying modern practices.

At Microsoft too, Agile practices have been successfully adopted. The Bing team, for example, recently adopted continuous delivery to help boost search efficiency and experienced astounding results. “We moved from month long deployment cycles to daily deployments… to 6 data centers worldwide…We (now) see 4,000 change lists a week, at check-in we run 20K tests and the check-in experience takes about 10 mins from several hours or days,” it says.


Continuous delivery has helped IT teams avoid complacency. Constant monitoring, building and feedback creates a system of development that’s multiple times more powerful and nimble. Every team, from the humble startup to the largest behemoth, could benefit by adopting continuous delivery.

DevOps embodies the spirit of collaboration. Although management and business leaders need to support these new practices, only an enthusiastic and committed team can successfully adopt it. Teams need to work together to realize the collective dream of continuous delivery of better software and better quality to create more customer value consistently.