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6 Tips to Select the Right DevOps Software

DevOps adoption is growing across businesses in all industries, mainly due to the wide array of benefits that DevOps can provide. A recent study[1] found that among companies that have implemented DevOps:

  • 63% improved quality of deployments
  • 63% release software more frequently
  • 55% have better collaboration between teams

DevOps adoption can help a company become more agile, efficient, and cost-effective. However, DevOps implementation can be complicated and challenging without the correct tools. It is critical to select the right tools to support your DevOps journey at the outset, to jumpstart your team from initial implementation to full DevOps maturity.

Here are 6 tips organizations should keep in mind when selecting the right DevOps software:

1. Agree on tool strategy ahead of time

Detailed conversations should be held between the different functional areas that will make up the DevOps team: particularly infrastructure, development, security, release management, and QA. Ensuring that these key stakeholders agree on process, priority and overall goals can help drive DevOps software decisions and prevent friction between departments during the tool selection process. It can also help an organization avoid an unforeseen circumstance that a hasty tool selection cannot support.

2. Prioritize project management

Project management is essential to successful DevOps. Find DevOps tools with agile project management capabilities to eliminate silos, reduce (or automate) handoffs, and improve transparent, real-time visibility.

3. Utilize metrics for benchmarking and analytics

Metrics to consider include deployment frequency, availability, test pass rate, error rates, mean time to detection (MTTD) and mean time to recovery (MTTR). Benchmarking, and analyzing data about the process allows a company to continually optimize the process, and move it forward along the path to full DevOps maturity. DevOps tools and processes should also integrate feedback from key stakeholders to ensure that issues are identified and resolved, and improvements are made on an ongoing basis.

4. Start with a security mindset

From the beginning, a DevOps implementation should have security considerations embedded into strategy. This may include access controls, privilege and role management, code repositories, and infrastructure security. Understanding current and future security needs, and finding the correct tools to support them, can be a critical step in selecting the right DevOps tools.

5. Collaborate

Collaboration is a key tenet of DevOps, and the DevOps tools that are selected can either promote or inhibit the collaboration that is necessary for DevOps success. Selecting a DevOps tool with collaboration in mind may require looking beyond the tool’s stated use – for example, test automation – and instead looking at how it will support collaboration between individuals and teams.

6. Integration

DevOps tools that are easily integrated with critical network applications can save a company time and money in the long run. The key is to select DevOps tools that integrate with tools and technologies that are currently in use, as well as those that will be added in the future. Integrations allow DevOps tools to work and communicate with tools such as agile project management, source control, database, application, cloud-related services, etc. that are already in use throughout the organization.

A DevOps solution that includes plug-and-play APIs saves a company time and money, as necessary integrations are included from the start, and require little to no customization to work with critical applications already in use. Not only are companies saved the effort and resources required to build integrations from scratch, but they can also avoid the delays and roadblocks that stall the process and erode the confidence of stakeholders.

Adopting DevOps is a large-scale, complicated undertaking – one that can have a significant impact on a company. Done correctly, DevOps improves the agility of an organization, making it more responsive to the demands of a changing business environment. Making the right decision on which tools to employ can have a significant impact on the success of DevOps adoption. It is critical to understand the company’s needs, both current and future, and choose a toolkit that is flexible, robust, and can support the entire DevOps journey from adoption to maturity.

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