Bad DevOps infrastructure Makes for Unhappy Customers

By Flux7 Labs
August 5, 2014

“DevOps is not a tool. DevOps involves the human element. It’s about efficient collaboration between the ops and dev teams. DevOps is a process. DevOps is a culture.”

unhappy_customersHaven’t you already heard enough of this? I know … right!

However, in this post, let’s view DevOps in a new angle. Let’s explore what’s in it for your customers. What are the challenges you face that hinder an efficient rendering of services?

We all know, no matter what the product or service you are delivering, that the customer is king. And, of course, the goal of any business is to target the right group of people with the right services or products.

Following is an outline that summarizes the challenges, scenarios and needs that any organization faces in setting up a DevOps infrastructure.

Align Your Team’s Needs With Your Customers’

The first and the foremost goal of any organization is to satisfy its customers. This is even more significant an issue for businesses that deal with varying surges in customer demands. The question to ask is: “How well does your system scale?”align_needs

The challenges in meeting customer needs start with your organization’s internal teams. Yes … you are responsible. Not being convinced of this statement only implies that you haven’t yet started thinking about DevOps.

Some of those challenges being dealt with by your internal teams include:

  • Developer Onboarding: Organizations are bound to change due to new technologies and new hires. This is an inevitable change. However, this also affects internal teams in many ways. Ramping up a new hire to the already existing process of the organization is bound to require handling different levels of difficulty.

  • Continuous Integration: A constant and quick feedback framework is a necessity. This can reduce the overhead of working all the way down in an application or software development process only to find a bug in the final stage.

So, how many of you have stared at this doomsday scenario dead center in the eye? The code is all ready to be delivered to the customer. Then, in the eleventh hour, you find a bug that is probably going to crash your entire code. That’s a serious OMG moment!

The best way to manage the situation: Keep calm and think DevOps!

Having an efficient DevOps architecture in place eases early adoption. It helps build an effective test suite and feedback framework.

Read here to learn best RoR deployment methods.

Lack of Business Continuity, Disaster Readiness Plans Give You Nightmares

No! In this case, you can’t stick to the old saying, “You learn from your mistakes.” Undoubtedly, your mistakes can end up fatal to your organization.

Do you really want to sit back and see the light of the day only after you end up shutting down your organization because you were too lazy to not put in place disaster readiness plans?

It sounds scary, doesn’t?nightmare

Trust me, in reality, it’s a lot scarier than you think. Haven’t you already read enough stories of such mishaps at your competitors?

The bottomline: You lose customers. Period. End of story.

To learn about some of the more recent unfortunate stories we are referring to, read this post titled Lessons learned from Code Spaces: What to do with AWS now.

Inevitably, there are two flavors here that you need to be concerned with:

  • No disaster readiness plan in place … BAD!

  • Disaster readiness plan in place that is not properly tested … STILL BAD!

Disaster Readiness plans depend on several factors, including:

  1. The size of your organization

  2. Cost of downtime

  3. Cost to avoid the downtime

The cost and time invested to set up a disaster readiness plan is high. However, by not having one in place increases the cost and time super-linearly. In other words, it’s over before you can think of a solution.

Outages and disasters come in various flavors, including security breaches, external dependencies, human elements, and process improvements. Check out this post on Fire Drills and Disaster Readiness to get a better feel for what you can be facing.

Innovation at Low Cost is Key

On any given day you are full of energy. You boom with new ideas at the blink of an eye. However, how often are you able to put your ideas to work to attract and expand your customer base?key

The default concern in nearly every case is the cost involved to experiment and test your flow of innovations.

The way you want it to work is: 1) you have an idea, 2) you implement it at low costs, and 3) you market it in as little time as possible. Even, 4) you add and replace features also at a low cost and quick turnaround.

Here arises the need for efficient and reliable developer workflows. And, thereby, an efficient DevOps infrastructure in place. By improving your developer workflow, setting up the right tools, and developing in a good DevOps culture, you are sure to get to market faster with your application or solution.

Finally, read part 2 of the Checklist for Validating your DevOps architecture post to educate yourself on several examples about how such business needs can be better managed with good DevOps architecture.


Read our paper with 6 ways you can use DevOps to create business advantage:

Download the paper now