When we talk about CI/CD, the first thing that strikes us would be the system and tools like Jenkins, Ansible, Bamboo, etc and how we can integrate them for a  successful CI/CD Implementation.  Though the front line companies successfully implement CI/CD, other companies struggle to get it right due to some technical or operational snags.

Let us first look at the ways that can go wrong with the implementation of CI/CD to effectively prevent it:

1. Prioritizing Automation Process

When a company shifts its process from waterfall model to DevOps model, it takes months to attain this transition. During this process, we need to consider certain factors to decide which process to automate first. We have to look into the priorities to implement CI/CD by accounting the number of repeated scenarios, time frame, dependencies and urgency.

On finalizing the priority of CI/CD implementation, we can start with compiling codes and integrating it manually post which we get the output. This could be prone to human error. When we proceed with testing following the checklist, among the functional and UI test we prioritize the automation of function test. Functional testing does not require script update unlike the UI testing so we should automat it first.

Making the best use of resources through automation fetches great results but it does not necessarily mean to automate everything at once. In other distinct cases, we might have to break the process into segments and automate them.

2. Mistaking continuous deployment for continuous delivery

Continuous deployment is a process to deploy code into production through automation testing while continuous delivery enables the DevOps team to be ready to ‘Deliver anytime’ to production. Many companies mistake continuous deployment for continuous delivery and tend to mishandle the CI/CD pipeline. Continuous delivery provides them the control over functionality and roll out of product but continuous deployment is mostly the business decision to deploy the product into production after updates.

3. Coordination mishaps between Continuous integration and continuous delivery

Implementing CI and CD requires collaboration and proper communication. It is important to maintain coordination as there is human interference apart from the technical process. Any mishap pertaining to CI/CD coordination will affect the quality of the product as we cannot entirely automate it with the current technology.

4. Unwanted resource utilization

During continuous integration, jobs are run for every code change out of which the successful jobs accept these changes to pass through, and failed jobs eliminate those changes. This aids in triggering builds quickly. However, unnecessary job run consumes lot of resources like time and money. Therefore, it is significant to maintain a constant frequency between executing continuous integration job and utilizing resources.

5. Security mishaps

When we try to integrate security into the CI/CD pipeline, security testing consumes a lot of time which affects the pace of DevOps process. Besides, every security tool running in applications consists of individual dashboard making it difficult for the interfaces to integrate. Also, like false negatives occurring in the pipeline, false positives occur due to inadequate knowledge and understanding of language during integration. This eventually slows down the process. Continuous monitoring and focused effort from the security team helps in eradicating non-compliance and security issues

These pitfalls are a threat to business as it impacts the output product and its performance. In today’s market obtaining a customer could not be an easy task and retaining a customer is all the more challenging. So, it is important to focus on the right way of CI/CD implementation. In case, companies fail to do it, they will have to deal with serious business impacts like the following:

  • Delay in revenue: Due to numerous dependencies to execute a code, a huge gap falls between when we write a code and its deployment for business value. By the time the team reviews and deploys the code, it becomes irrelevant resulting in rework followed by iterations. This process leads to revenue loss in business
  • Less innovation: with constrained human resource, it could only be profitable if companies utilize them to focus more in innovations and revenue generation. But, due to the usage of high maintenance systems, companies tend to use these resources for maintenance purposes giving them no time to innovate or grow.
  • Lesser productivity: with incompetent resources taking over core functionality of the system, companies cannot expect high productivity from them.

Conclusion

To sustain in today’s IT market and to create credibility, companies will have to focus on quicker release and quality product. It is equally important to improve or update products timely through a reliable delivery process. In order to achieve all these, implementation of CI/CD becomes inevitable.  As we saw in this blog, there are several ways where companies can go wrong with the CI/CD implementation. Therefore, implementing CI/CD the right way is quintessential in bringing value to business.

Dhanwandhi Panneerselvam

Executive Research Analyst at Aspire Systems
She holds a Master degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with specialization in Power Electronics and Drives. She is a passionate and an ardent writer who has earlier worked on write ups and several copies related to media. She spends her leisure time reading philosophical books and loves exploring new places & cuisines.