Drive Your Business Faster: Why Automated CI/CD Matters
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) is the process of automating deployments to continuously integrate and deliver incremental changes to business processes, as opposed to larger, periodic releases. Typically, this involves processes that enable developers to push changes to production environments in real-time, with confidence as the process includes automated testing to ensure updates pass specific criteria needed for deployment.
Is CI/CD the same thing as DevOps?
There is a lot of confusion today around what DevOps is. Is it a process? Or is it a technology platform? It’s both. And depending on who you ask, it’s neither one. I prefer to think of DevOps as a movement or cultural shift that brings about an outcome achieved by an organization. Part of that shift is implementing a CI/CD mindset. It’s all about seeing how fast an organization can move forward and anticipate the challenges of its customers and have a solution ready the moment it’s needed.
Getting started with DevOps
As with most advanced methods of thought, DevOps has differing levels of attainment that reflect an organization’s maturity in making the shift. To make this easier to understand, take a hard look at your organization and answer these four questions:
- Where are you today?
- What do you do well?
- What do you do poorly?
- Where do you want (or need) to be tomorrow or next month? Next year, two years, five years, or ten years out?
From answering those four (4) questions, you should be able to chart a course for your organization to follow to achieve your desired goals. As a natural result of driving change, your organization will begin to pass through the varying levels of DevOps maturity.
Levels of DevOps Maturity
As discussed in the recent webinar, Deploy Business Changes Faster with Automated CI/CD for Salesforce, there are five (5) commonly accepted levels of DevOps maturity:
Beginner: You are aware of DevOps, and the benefits it can bring. You have started the discussion around implementing at your organization and are thinking about quality and compliance.
Novice: You have implemented DevOps techniques to automate specific tasks and integrate some previously siloed data. You start to realize the magnitude of the benefits you anticipated as the velocity of change at your organization takes off.
Expert: By this level, you’ve got continuous integration and deployment running on all cylinders, and you are beginning to realize that what you thought were the limits of what your organization was capable of were artificial boundaries.
Leader: You start to notice a change in the mindset of your organization, both the collective mind and the individual minds of people. There are frequent discussions about the elimination of silos in favor of consistent, real-time operational control, and change management.
Innovator: Many consider this level of DevOps realization to be almost unattainable. It’s the pie-in-the-sky, perfect world combination of absolutely everything going right. No, not really, but it’s very close to that. At this level of maturity, an organization’s DevOps is artificially intelligent and self-optimizing. All your time and efforts have paid off, and your company is reaping significant benefits in time and cost-savings.
Where do you go from here?
Remember those four questions from a few paragraphs ago? Now is the time to think about your answers. Don’t just react to them with the first thing that comes to your mind. Think about them – talk to your product team, your marketing team, and by all means, talk to your management team. Each group will have differing views on what those answers are, and the best way to prepare for a DevOps approach at your organization is to get everyone thinking about their individual portions of the business. But don’t stop there – gather your leaders in a room and talk about all those responses. Your immediate goal is to come up with your comprehensive responses that you can refer to when starting down your path to DevOps maturity.
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