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Agile and DevOps: advantages and challenges

July 20, 2021

Many businesses have transitioned into the virtual world over the past few years. And as the pandemic goes worldwide, this shift has accelerated. It’s now very important for developers to master, and use, the most effective methodologies in their working processes to succeed in this changing world. 

Agile and DevOps methodologies are some of the most popular kinds, and they have already shown their benefits and effectiveness across lots of projects. As more and more companies are adopting and integrating these methodologies into their development processes, it’s imperative to understand why Agile and DevOps are so important. 

In this article, we will look at Agile and DevOps in more detail in order to understand why they are important, and we'll discuss the benefits they can bring to a business.

The Importance of Agile and DevOps

So, some of you might say that Agile is not a methodology, rather it is a Philosophy of sorts. Agile is all about the way a team thinks about a project, it’s about how everything gets done on time, and it’s about making the most of everyone's abilities. 

The development process gets separated into stages, and once all the stages are completed you  have a product that can be adapted to suit the needs of the end-users.

Agile is the culmination of decades of testing and thinking from project and product managers, who have come to the conclusion that traditional processes are too slow. Agile sees the impact that being able to adapt quickly to changing end-user needs has on a product. 

In a nutshell, Agile:

  • Emphasizes people over technology.
  • The main team effort is to develop a good product, and not to be too document heavy.
  • Constant feedback from clients over short cycles is better than setting everything out at the beginning and trying to follow the structure.
  • Allows a team to react to all changes as quickly as possible - flexibility is key.

Continuous feedback from clients allows those who use Agile to change and modify a product in no time at all, and it turns out very close to how the end-user wants it to be. Being able to react to changing requirements and requests all the time is what differentiates Agile from other methodologies. 

DevOps, on the other hand, complements Agile software development practices, and its aim is to shorten the product release cycle and to build a continuous integration pipeline.

DevOps is made up of people who are part of a development team and an operations team. The primary goal of DevOps is to bridge the gap between these two teams, so that they can work seamlessly together.

So, you could argue that using both Agile and DevOps principles in your workplace will yield significant results. Efficiency and being able to adapt is key if you plan on surviving in the IT world now. 

Key benefits of using Agile and DevOps

A company will inevitably face some difficulties when they transition into using Agile and DevOps, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Let's take a closer look at the key benefits of using Agile and DevOps:

  1. The cycles can be quite short but well structured when using Agile. The product, in theory, should be at its best at the end of every stage. It should be exactly what the end-user expects. 
  2. Effective use of personnel. DevOps bridges the gaps between departments, so one whole team can work on a single project. This improves communication between departments and you get all the best people working on a product.
  3. Good interaction with customers is a big plus for Agile users. Constant feedback from clients and end-users means the product turns out as the audience wants it. The continuous product readjustment and changing requirements significantly increase the value of the final product. By using DevOps, you can cut the time it takes you to ‘repair’ products once they are on the market by more than 20 times. Thus giving your business a distinct advantage over those who don't use this methodology. 
  4. Drives innovation: A changing, adaptable, and evolving Agile and DevOps environment is fertile ground for innovation. And it is this product innovation that gives businesses the competitive edge.

Besides, these are the benefits of both Agile and DevOps together:

  • Improving the overall performance of software;
  • Reduction in total development costs;
  • Improving the atmosphere (morale) of developers, for example.

If you use both Agile and DevOps you’ll be able to get the best possible collaboration between a team, end-user and the product that is being created.

What are the difficulties of using Agile and DevOps?

There are of course some challenges as well. Here are the main ones:

  • Before introducing a new methodology into a workplace a business should conduct an initial assessment of how the team works at present. This includes looking at any barriers that exist between developer and operation teams. Operation based teams strive for stability, and Developer teams strive for innovation, for example. So, you need to address these differences, and ideally you should start using Agile fairly early on to get the best out of it. 
  • Additionally, old application platforms must be eliminated before moving onto new systems because they are a technical burden for the organization, and inhibit digital transformation. Therefore, you have to decide what to keep and what to remove.
  • A roadmap for the transition is required before you dive straight into using it. Its development is quite a challenging task because there will be a lot of adjustments to the whole process.

As you can see, Agile is not just about adding in some ‘new procedures’, it’s about evolving the whole development system and nurturing a new type of thinking within a team.

What does all this mean for the tech industry?

According to forecasts, within 5 years the DevOps market share will reach almost $13 billion. Therefore, it is not surprising that more than half of IT business owners are considering implementing it, along with Agile, into their businesses. 

Those who have already implemented these methodologies into their development processes have noted that they’re product delivery time has accelerated. Plus, they can adapt far quicker to the end-users needs. 

Discussing Agile and DevOps is particularly important now because businesses are facing ever-growing competition, and they need to be able to react very quickly to any changes in the market, and they must learn to provide a finished and desired product as quickly as possible. 

Conclusion

Agile and DevOps are key to running successful businesses today. And the value they bring through this hybrid approach is often underestimated.

We will likely see a massive transition to Agile and DevOps. And for those businesses who do it first, they will have a clear advantage over their competitors. This approach will expand into other fields too, and other businesses will see its true potential. 

We will cover how to implement Agile and DevOps into a business very soon, so keep a lookout for our new post.

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