Integrated DevOps Toolchain

DevOps comes with big potential — if companies can effectively implement both talent and toolchains. Consider that 60 percent of hiring managers need to fill DevOps positions, and companies that successfully navigate the merger of development and operations realize more rapid software deployments (46x), improved recovery times (9 x) and faster lead time (440x).

The challenge is developing an integrated DevOps toolchain that streamlines operations, reduces complexity and empowers automation.

The Toolchain Trouble Triad

While every company faces unique challenges with their DevOps tools and deployment, we’ve helped enough companies improve long-term outcomes to identify three common DevOps trouble spots:

  • Too many tools: The evolution of DevOps and the rise of cloud-based services have led to an explosion of development and operations tools; no longer are teams stuck with generalist offerings for specific needs or reduced to leveraging legacy solutions to handle next-gen demands.
  • But just like cloud computing, this “tool sprawl” comes with challenges. The sheer number of tools adopted by teams often means no standardization, no clearly mapped tool architecture and no single point of reference. Therefore, there’s no clear policy or procedure around tool use — what can be accessed and why. And without maps or reference points, users may not be aware that specific tools have been adopted, leading them to duplicate work by acquiring and learning the same tools over and over again or downloading new tools that only add to total DevOps confusion.

  • Isolated implementation: Silos remain a problem for DevOps tools. Despite efforts to eliminate silo behavior, companies struggle to implement this in practice since departments and projects naturally segregate. The problem is tools are often handed off from one software development lifecycle (SDLC) to the next manually — and without the benefit of context. As a result, new SDLCs must get up to speed in isolation, creating development bottlenecks that could be avoided with more effective automated transitions.
  • Line of sight: How well is the DevOps toolchain working? Where are the trouble spots, and where are solutions performing better than expected? If asked, could C-suite members audit the development of new software from start to finish?
  • For most companies, current DevOps toolchains don’t provide this kind of traceability or visibly. Instead, executives are forced to rely on after-the-fact reports that push the efficacy of any DevOps changes downstream rather than helping address immediate issues.

Changing the Paradigm

DevOps isn’t going anywhere, so how do companies change the paradigm and improve their toolchain end to end? That’s the ultimate goal — moving beyond automating individual tasks to link multiple stages and silos.

Improving the toolchain starts with a DevOps assessment. Get everyone involved — from tool end-users to managers and C-suite executives — and commit at least one or two days to a full-fledged DevOps workshop. Key points to cover include:

  • Process and tool reviews — What works? What doesn’t? How many tools are in use? How many do you need?
  • Frameworks — What happens when projects are completed? How are tools handed off? Where is documentation located? Is it consistent? Accurate? Easy to access?
  • Gaps — Where are DevOps processing failing? Is standardization the biggest issue? Siloing? Identifying critical gaps lays the foundation for better DevOps moving forward.
  • Potential upgrades — Are there processes or services that would benefit from an upgrade? Are there cloud-based solutions that could take the place of legacy tools?

Also a good idea: Assess your current DevOps technology to ensure you’re using it to maximum effect. At Column Technologies, we can help identify areas where current solutions still get the job done and suggest best-fit upgrades to help improve collaboration without compromising current workflows. In addition, our managed DevOps services can help streamline the toolchain by providing a single point of contact for standardization, implementation and visualization.

It’s time to take control of the DevOps. Tackle the top three toolchain challenges with help from Column Technologies.