The Need to Build Continuous Delivery Into Your Organization
According to Wikipedia “Continuous delivery (CD) is a software engineering approach in which teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time. It aims at building, testing and releasing software faster and more frequently. The approach helps reduce cost, time, and risk of delivering changes by allowing for more incremental updates to applications in production. A straightforward and repeatable deployment process is important for continuous delivery.”
One would imagine with this definition that it is typically a no-brainer for companies to adopt to this idea of continuous delivery, however some organizations do need a little more convincing to adapt to this fairly new idea in the development world, because of the fear of the unknown. So, here are a list of reasons that you, as an organization should consider adapting, on continuous delivery or CD.
- Faster turnaround time: Continuous delivery ensures that the turnaround time or TAT for a project is quick. This means that decisions on roll out, actual operations, etc. are expedited and delivery is better.
- Lower risk: Bugs are fixed in shorter decision-making cycles. This means fewer mistakes, smaller errors and lower risk. In case an issue crops up with the delivery it takes lesser time to fix the issue or rollback to the previous version. With software releasing constantly there is a greater chance that in case of errors, the impact on end-users is not very significant since the feedback system is in place.
- Reduced cost: Automated release of products and services is a feature of CD. This means that the overall cost of delivery is lower with greater reliance on technology.
- Flexibility: Volume of change can be overwhelming but needs prioritization. Continuous delivery helps organizations to reorganize and reprioritize based on people’s needs rather than in terms of the initial plans.
- People first: CD is non-dominant, in that it always helps organizations focus on people being able to deliver what they can deliver. With a people-first approach, teams tend to work differently and are bound to feel enthused and committed to work because they feel empowered and prioritized.
- Automation: One of the outcomes of Continuous Delivery is that teams make the effort to automate continuous tasks. When repetitive tasks are automated, the amount of time a developer or tester spends on that task is reduced, giving them more time to focus on innovation. This also considerably reduces the stress on the development and delivery cycle.
- Change in culture: Every organization will have to develop its own approach based on their intrinsic culture. With CD, delivery is continuous, requiring greater interaction between teams. It would also mean collective delivery ownership because of greater integration and for getting things done.
- Delivery automation: Adapting to CD means automating delivery. This means that delivery to the customer or end-user is automated and can be done with the click of a button because all systems are in place. Organizations can decide how and when to deploy and the frequency of updates to users.
- Quality: CD enables developers and QA teams to focus on quality as opposed to quantity. This is primarily because CD works on getting things right rather than on quantity of tasks processed. The focus is on fixing existing features first before moving on to the next issue. This is an organic change that you will notice within your organization as you adapt to CD.
It is important to remember that CD is not just for the large-scale powerful and well-established technology companies. Every DevOps team of any size at any organization can adapt to this and should work towards getting their CD strategy right so that it eases the stress on release cycles and the teams associated with it. However, it would do well to remember that it takes time getting used to this approach. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your organization adapts to it slowly, yet steadily. This also means that you will need to set up or get a buy-in from the teams involved and provide them with the right kind of training or hire the right kind of resources that are able to adapt to CD.