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In this blog, we detail the importance of deployment velocity for an organization to stay competitive and meet market demand for just-in-time innovation and deliveries. Development velocity is one of the three key value drivers that the ISD platform delivers.  

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What is development velocity ?

Modernizing business applications drove the shift from monolithic infrastructure to cloud native containerized architectures. This enabled developers to push product updates in small packages. Deployment velocity is an organization’s speed with which developers and engineers push product updates to meet customer requirements, fix issues, or innovate without compromising stability.

Why Measure Development Velocity ?

DevOps promise is to quickly ship code in small and frequent deployments. Hence, deployment velocity is used as a vital sign of an organization’s DevOps health. Organizations with a fast development velocity can deliver value to customers by discovering and fixing customer needs.

Development velocity can be directly correlated to the maturity index of DevOps practices in an organization. Measuring velocity over time helps teams determine problems in workflows or processes. A pattern of delayed developments may result from an underlying issue that must be sorted and fixed. Where the cause is not because of a process, the team can take that as a green signal to modernize their software delivery process.

“Development Frequency: A Key Indicator of High Performance”

Per the annual state of DevOps Report, the most efficient way to compare your performance with the industry standard is with development velocity.

Google categorizes teams as low, high, and elite according to their DevOps practices. The latest findings reveal top performers will make multiple deployments per day, while lower-performing IT and DevOps teams will deploy anywhere between once per month or once per six months. 

The impact of not prioritizing development velocity

The cloud-native architecture journey transforms organizations from monolithic applications to containerized microservice applications, delivering an ever-increasing volume of smaller releases. Removing the complexities associated with ensuring security, providing self-service management of pipelines will eliminate waste and friction , thus optimizing velocity.

      • Organizations who have not invested in prioritizing development velocity end up maintaining scripts that inflate operational costs
      • Lack of visibility in the deployment pipeline is one of the main reasons that processes cannot continuously improve. 
      • Longer lead times slows GTM, which has a direct impact on revenue and brand.
      • Risk mitigation needs to be accompanied with velocity to ensure stability at the first sight of an issue.
      • Markets have become unpredictable and teams need to be agile and scale up or down based on requirements.  

How can orgs achieve development velocity?

At OpsMx we understand pain points of organizations that want to improve their development velocity. We help them pinpoint key issues that plague them and prevent them from achieving development velocity. 

Deploying a brand new process and technology might be counterproductive in some cases. OpsMx ensures that your business vision and goals align with the transformation that organizations seek. Following are four issues that an organization needs to address to attain development velocity.

Google considers software development velocity in terms of throughput and stability state of DevOps 2021). Let us understand how ISD’s targeted techniques can help you attain the development velocity you have dreamed of. 

Throughput Problems

  • Slow Manual Process
  • Slow Approvals

Stability Problems

  • Lengthy release verification
  • Difficult policy enforcement

Let us drill down on these four bottlenecks to achieving development velocity.

1. Slow manual process (affecting throughput)

Issue :

A manual or partially automated deployment process is a very common sight in organisations that have not started the DevOps journey. Most organizations still rely on a series of manual steps performed by a release team, with some scripting that automates repetitive tasks. 

Over time these scripts pile up on top of one another and cause a scripting nightmare. These become complex and highly meshed, which is difficult to understand and maintain. Also, scripts can never keep up with growing business demands.

Solution :

Intelligent Software Delivery (ISD) on-premise or SaaS

The ISD platform inherently supports multi cloud deployments. We help you smoothly transition from monoliths to multi cloud architecture. ISD ensures that the critical path for development workflows is fully automated. 

A DevOps architecture always takes into account the possibility of a failure. This ideology ensures that there is always a fall-back plan. OpsMx ISD achieves this by incorporating safe deployment strategies that can be enabled for development workflows in a few simple steps. 

2. Lengthy release verification (affecting stability )

Issue :

An automated development process, manual steps will still remain. These are the checkpoints where human intelligence is essential, such as evaluating whether an update should move to the next stage of a delivery pipeline. 

Teams will perform a series of tests that aim to decrease the risk of any error making it to production. The tests produce mountains of data – metrics, logs and test results – that must be evaluated. The collected data is  then collated, filtered, analyzed and compared to prior releases. Sometimes the release decision is simple – still, the process must be run on all updates, because faulty changes cause production issues. 

For high-stakes applications, this process is so critical that our customers usually give verification responsibility to senior members of the team, whose time is especially valuable. 

Solution :

ISD Autopilot + existing platform 

OpsMx ISD Autopilot is a module of the ISD platform that is also available separately. This can easily be retrofitted with any software delivery pipeline under the sun. It analyzes the risk of all changes, automatically determining the confidence that an update can be promoted to the next pipeline stage without introducing errors. Autopilot also automates policy compliance, ensuring that all your governance rules and best practices are followed. Autopilot reduces errors in production, increases release velocity, and improves security, quality, and compliance.

3. Difficult policy enforcement (affecting stability )

Issue :

All organizations have deployment policies that must be followed. These policies are applied at different places in the deployment pipeline and are usually done manually, which slows you down. Further, because policies change often, organizations must ensure that the most recent policies are followed. 

Solution:

ISD Autopilot + existing platform 

OpsMx ISD Autopilot ensures compliance to industry standards and organizational policies while shipping releases faster to production. With Autopilot, teams can quickly identify the who, what, when, where, and how for pipelines and applications through audit reports and traces. 

With Autopilot, SREs can exercise greater control and enforce static and dynamic policies. Autopilot helps create accurate coverage with controls by specifying them at an abstract level––while enforcing them at a pipeline level with your existing pipelines. 

We have taken this module one step further by allowing it to consolidate information from third party tools like Gitlab, New Relic, App Dynamic, ServiceNow, Sonarqube, Sumologic, and automatically impose compliance policies.

4. Slow approvals (affecting throughput)

Issue :

In a delivery pipeline, once a change is validated, moving to the next stage must be formally approved. This handoff introduces another delay, even if the decision itself is clear. When the decision is unclear, things really slow down. Competing agendas must be balanced. How important is the change? Have all policies been applied? Are any remaining errors serious? Are there security implications? What is the potential impact to the business?

Solution :

ISD Autopilot + existing platform 

Autopilot is able to provide relevant and timely information insights that quickly and safely make informed decisions on promoting the software through pipelines from development to production. Teams can set up approval gates, choose data sources, and define software delivery pipelines in seconds.

The extensibility of Autopilot ensures information is aggregated by using integration APIs and webhooks for DevOps toolchains of your choice. Release managers or project managers can approve or reject the progress of an automated pipeline in a single click.

Development Velocity Unlocked for Customers

Deploy Fast
Without Compromising Safety

Success Story of a leading financial SaaS provider :

Challenge :

The technical environment was complex and included monolithic applications and microservices. Because the environments and processes were so intricate, promoting changes was so complex that SREs were required to manually promote any update through the delivery process. 

Result :

OpsMx ISD automated the entire process, quickly moving  updates into production. The entire development team now uses automated pipelines that run completely independently from the SRE team and production deployments have skyrocketed.

From 2 updates per week to 50 every day

Success story of a a leading online destination website:

Challenge :

With an existing semi-automated deployment process, the customer was delivering approximately 100 changes into production each month. But this was not enough to stay competitive in the market.

Result :

ISD Autopilot increased verification speed. That led to a rise in release cadence, from 100 application updates per month to more than 1,000. Autopilot delivered velocity without compromising risk. 

10X increase in release velocity

Success story of a multinational technology conglomerate:

Challenge :

A large organization needed to modernize their application architecture to quickly deliver updates to end users. The existing update process, which was based on a legacy tool, needed an overhaul. 

Result :

ISD was a perfect fit that unlocked development velocity. Releases that previously took a week or more are now automated and are deployed “on demand” – completing in minutes.

Software Delivery on demand

 

Used by over 2,000 developers across the organization.

Success story of a leading telecommunication provider:

Challenge :

A telecom customer needed a self-service storefront for their returning customers. Maintaining and enhancing the key applications — billing, new customer sign ups, new package ordering, and others — previously managed using a complex set of scripts, was time-consuming.

The team chose OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker to modernize their software delivery. The process of bringing the system online and moving to a continuous delivery process took just 10 days, far exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. 

Result :

ISD brought the system online by moving it to a CD framework. Updates that previously took a week are now completed in 45 minutes. Superior automation reduces the number of manual steps and improves overall reliability.

Development velocity improved from a week to just minutes.

Jyoti Sahoo

Jyoti creates delightful, rich and engaging content for business leaders and technology experts. He has delivered projects in Artificial Intelligence for Governments in the EU and clients in ANZ regions. On the sidelines he is a 3D printing enthusiast and a solar energy advocate.

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