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Resilient DevOps Teams Are Continuously Improving and Evolving

Resilient DevOps teams drive the stability and agility of an organization.

As the software industry continues to grow and evolve, so does the practice of DevOps. Resilient DevOps teams are constantly improving, evolving, and finding better ways to resolve organizational challenges. This resilience allows organizations to achieve greater reliability, continuity, and compliance — all while reaping the benefits of faster release cycles.

How can organizations new to DevOps achieve the adaptability needed for greater resilience? It starts with building resilience into teams, processes, and roles. Resilient DevOps teams are adaptive, predictable, and able to drive technological innovation and digital transformation.

Resilient DevOps Teams: Adaptive and Predictable

Digital experimentation and adaptation are key hallmarks of resilient DevOps. To support the DevOps lifecycle, DevOps teams must balance adaptivity and predictability. Without predictability and stability, organization’s can’t guarantee the quality, security, or compliance of their product.

  • Adaptive: able to pivot when necessary depending on both internal and external pressures.
  • Predictable: able to consistently and quickly respond to failure states, especially failure states that have occurred before.

Through adaptability and predictability, DevOps teams can achieve true resilience. Resilience improves business continuity, reduces disruption, and paves the way for digital experimentation and digital transformation.

When Things Break, Fix Them

Resilient DevOps teams must work to remove uncertainty from the remediation process. To adapt to faster release cycles, teams must work together to address challenges and reinforce business continuity.

Build decision-making processes, hierarchies, and habits to eliminate any guesswork. Faster release cycles and rapid deployment mean that teams need to be able to deploy fixes and roll back changes quickly.

DevOps Roles and the DevOps Mindset

Traditionally, operations teams, quality assurance teams, and development teams all functioned independently. Under the DevOps model, teams must restructure and connect across departments. Just as data is no longer siloed, team members are no longer siloed. 70% of digitally maturing organizations have adopted cross-functional teams in place of siloed hierarchies.

DevOps disrupts traditional models of team management and hierarchy. Rather than operating siloed teams under a hierarchical reporting model, core teams integrate multiple roles. Cross-functional teams mix and match these roles so they can meet project needs with greater agility.

DevOps teams require true decentralization to function. If information or process flow must filter through a single role or a single department, bottlenecks occur and delay improvements. When organizations foster a culture of digital transformation, they can break down information silos, reduce mistakes, and improve agility.

Agility = Stability

DevOps is designed to achieve greater levels of stability through better agility. When changes can be swiftly rolled back, you can limit the blast radius of disruptive commits. DevOps facilitates faster release periods and easier iterative processes through the ability to swiftly pivot, rise to challenges and shore up gaps.

A cheetah can maintain a high-speed chase because of its ability to pivot at speed. An agile organization doesn’t need to worry about a single misstep and can instead concentrate all its energy and its efforts on growth and acceleration. 

Data-Driven Testing

Tech giants automate and test thousands upon thousands of potential failure states to produce more resilient environments. By being able to automatically test multitudes of potential failure states throughout the development process, organizations become more resilient and better fortified.

Data-driven testing will find faults before and after a commit is released. Automated testing makes it possible to thoroughly test even the smallest of commits and discover issues faster. 

Automate Future Resolution

After an adverse incident occurs, organizations should build automated failure resolution into their CI/CD process. If the same event occurs in the future, have a playbook already written to heal it. This is part of the continuous cycle of improvement DevOps strategies foster.

DevOps teams must be able to communicate freely, foster a culture of change and growth, and coordinate with each other to collect incident data and create automated, self-healing solutions. As data flows through DevOps teams and the CI/CD process, team members become better equipped to proactively encounter and resolve failure states.

Improve Compliance

Resiliency doesn’t just improve stability, it also heightens compliance. The CI/CD process provides greater levels of control over your organization’s platform and processes, making it easier to achieve compliance without sacrificing agility.

Compliance standards frequently change. Integrate automatically updated compliance scans alongside quality gates to create a system that is both fully compliant and easy to audit. By building the necessary compliance checks into your CI/CD processes, your organization can remain agile while still meeting external standards and third-party requirements. 

Back Up and Roll Back

Ideally, the basic pillars of CI/CD should facilitate the agility and responsiveness necessary to prevent defects from reaching production. However, backups and rollback capacity encourages resilient DevOps teams to innovate.

Testing, automated incident resolution and rollback solutions such as OwnBackup can provide support for fast, iterative commits and aggressive changes without major disruption or a loss of business continuity. 

OwnBackup provides automated backups, rollbacks, and proactive data monitoring to preserve mission-critical data so you can remove incremental deployments without system-wide disruption.

When properly empowered, a resilient DevOps team should have the knowledge, data, and access to continually automate and improve the CI/CD process.

Build a Resilient DevOps Team

Building a resilient DevOps team begins by developing a culture of adaptability and reliability. With the right technology and processes, an organization that supports DevOps processes will foster digital experimentation and innovation without risking their continuity.

Since the role of individuals and teams within DevOps is continuously evolving, DevOps teams also need visibility to analyze and optimize their own performance. Through data-driven testing, automation, and a culture of resilience, DevOps teams can achieve higher levels of consistency and agility.