In a DevOps model, the operations and development teams are not siloed. They work as a single team collaborating throughout the entire application lifecycle, from development and test to deployment to operations. Each team member displays a range of skills not limited to any single function.
In many DevOps models, the QA and security teams also become integrated with development and operations – including security to DevOps makes it a DevSecOps team. These teams use automation, moving away from the historically manual and slow processes. They rely on a technology stack that helps them deliver high-quality applications quickly. Developers can independently complete their tasks thanks to automation by deploying code or provisioning infrastructure. The bottom line is to improve the overall workflow of the SDLC.
However, the SDLC workflow can also have a few challenges, such as
- Inconsistent environment,
- Manual testing and deployment,
- Lack of maturity in DevOps and SDLC,
- Outdated change management processes,
- Operability with DevOps,
- Lack of governance.
One of the challenges with testing is considering the environment in which you run the tests.
When codebases move from team to team during the SDLC, developers can lose a lot of time going back and forth between separate teams and members if the environments are configured differently. Your delivery pipeline gets delayed trying to fix bugs rather than provide a consistent environment for testing.
You can overcome this challenge by creating an infrastructure blueprint that ensures all environments are identical. This blueprint provides continuous delivery where all team members work in unison to implement the SDLC.
Manual testing and deployment
Manual testing is not very practical for testing in a DevOps context. It is a time-consuming and laborious process causing human errors leading to reduced efficiency and accuracy. DevOps relies on continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/ CD), which is impossible to achieve using traditional manual testing methods.
A proven solution to handle this is through an automation framework for testing. It can improve the overall strategy as time is saved on routine, repetitive tasks while reducing deployment failures and providing the agility needed for a smoother workflow.
Lack of maturity in the SDLC
DevOps’ introduction has enabled many enterprises to churn out high-quality and reliable software in incrementally shorter time frames. Therefore, your teams must have a mature process. Unfortunately, all enterprises are not equipped to handle the speed and agility of DevOps.
Enterprises would do well to invest in training the development and QA teams to help them adopt DevOps best practices. Everyone involved in the SDLC must be encouraged to seek constant feedback to help them improve. Investing in large-scale solutions and toolkits can also enable your teams to deliver more features with fewer errors even as they execute the pipeline.
Outdated change management processes
In most modern environments, applications are made up of several small components or microservices that need to be changed and deployed quickly. This fast-paced environment demands improvements, adjustments, and changes to be implemented immediately to be quicker to market. The continued use of legacy systems and processes can create bottlenecks that hamper the process needed to make these rapid changes.
By shifting to a more agile workflow, modernizing the process can be a practical approach to improving change management processes and keeping pace with the customer’s increasingly urgent demands.
Operability with DevOps
For an enterprise that needs to move at the pace of constantly changing market trends, the operations team must support software delivery even as the developers continue to work on it. Operations can no longer work in isolation as the entire process needs to be updated to support software that is always on and deployed frequently.
Enterprises would be better served if they assessed all operational systems and processes, modernized the structure, provided easy access to data analytics and monitoring tools, and adopted DevOps best practices towards greater agility and transparency.
Lack of governance
It is easier for an enterprise with newly incorporated DevOps practices to see success on smaller projects with isolated teams. As your enterprise grows and scales up to larger projects with several more employees, you would also need to scale up the systems and processes. Governance and scalability go hand in hand as it is easy for the project to come crashing down, and scalability may become impossible to achieve without the required governance.
Establishing proper governance must become a top priority, as, without that, your pipeline’s costs, efficiency, and reliability can steadily deteriorate. Assigning an owner to ensure accountability while ensuring scalability is essential to a successful DevOps practice across the enterprise.
Testing in a DevOps environment can be a highly effective practice to implement in your enterprise. It may seem a trifle daunting at first, with all these myriad challenges. However, once you move to a DevOps environment and modernize all processes, including testing, you are bound to reap the benefits from streamlined and automated testing processes and take your business to a new level.
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