Three Ways to Modernize the Existing Software Delivery Process

    Three Ways to Modernize the Existing Software Delivery Process

    Software delivery modernization enhances the safety of the development lifecycle and releases. It helps developers dedicate their efforts to writing codes and delivering features quickly and with higher quality.

    Every company’s approach to modernizing its existing software delivery process is unique. They adopt many DevOps strategies to automate redundant and time-intensive tasks and suit their goals.

    Here are three ways to modernize the existing software delivery process.

    1. Combine DevOps Tools and Adopt a Basic Approach

    Companies embracing DevOps practices must establish a solid foundation to build software delivery automation. As per a recent report by CD. Foundation, “State of Continuous Delivery Report,” only 23% of the developers are not involved in DevOps-based activities.

    The stats indicate continued growth in adopting practices to deliver software at high velocity. Hence, firms must plan to combine and rationalize various DevOps tools and adopt a basic approach.

    • Code Everything

    Moving everything to code makes the processes less error-prone and scalable. Version Control and Collaboration (VCC) tools that support DevOps often use git as their foundational tech. Firms can import or mirror the VCC-based data from a single platform to retain their VCC tool.

    • Use Issues, Merge Requests (MRs), Epics, Iterations, and Milestones

    Issues and MRs are critical inputs to the release planning process. Issues show product problems or new features, while MRs are where solutions are developed.

    These two components of the release offer audibility and show app-tracking changes done by developers and DevOps engineers.

    Developers can create epics to track the issues having the same theme. Milestones allow developers to organize issues and merger requests into a cohesive group with an optional start and due date.

    At the same time, iterations and milestones help developers track over different periods. As developers set epics, milestones, and iterations, they can track the released proof. This helps them streamline the release process and development lifecycle.

    • Deploy Approval Gates

    Assigning specific responsibilities and roles to streamline the approval gates and releases is vital. Deploying approval gates protects the production environment.

    • Use Built-in Capabilities to Automate Release Creation Process

    Firms must use automation when the built-in release creation process creates release evidence. The release evidence contains data about the milestones, job artefacts, and issues in the previous pipeline. This process minimizes the release cycle times.

    • Set-up Deploy Freezes

    Developers can set a deploy freeze window to stop the automation deployments temporarily. Halting prevents unintended production releases and minimizes uncertainty and unscheduled outage risks.

    2. Execute Continuous Delivery

    The second step is to set a continuous delivery. Every change is deployed to the user acceptance testing (UAT) or staging environment in this stage. There is no need to deploy freeze; firms can immediately cut a release from staging.

    To initiate the adoption of continuous delivery, developers must use built-in CI/CD pipeline templates within the platform. As per CD. Foundation’s report, State of Continuous Delivery Report: The Evolution of Software Delivery Performance, 47% of the developers use either continuous integration or continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD).

    However, only one in five use both to automate building, testing, and code deployment to production.

    Templates help create CI/CD pipelines automatically, enabling developers to dedicate more effort to delivering business value. They can also use a template and modify it to match their needs.

    It offers advanced deployment techniques like incremental and canary roll-outs. These techniques maximize the speed and productivity of the development life cycle, accelerating the time-to-market.

    The template helps build template jobs that detect the application’s language. It then applies the right build strategy to create a container image of the app and store it in the platform’s built-in container registry.

    • Employ Any Review Pipeline Templates Within the Platform

    With these pipelines, stakeholders can view the production’s specific features, streamlining the review process.

    It enables stakeholders to collaborate and verify the updates to the application before they are merged into the main branch. It improves the code quality and reduces unexpected production outage risks.

    • Use Built-in Rollback and Auto-Rollback

    All the environment updates are tracked and kept as an audible list of changes. If a roll-out puts the production environment in an unstable state, developers can efficiently roll production back to a stable and working state.

    Rollbacks can speed up the production recovery during outage times. This leads to better customer satisfaction and user experience.

    • Use Pipeline Scheduling Feature

    Primarily, pipelines run automatically. But, if developers want to schedule a pipeline’s execution, they can use the built-in scheduling capabilities. It enhances the development lifecycle and release processes’ efficiency.

    • Monitor Operations 

    Developers must track the overall operations via built-in dashboards present in the platform. These dashboards provide a cross-project environment-based view.

    It offers operations insights needed to know how production development cycles and releases perform. It also helps quickly identify and troubleshoot any production issues.

    3. Initiate Continuous Deployment

    As companies implement DevOps practices, the third step is to set up for continuous deployment.

    • Use Built-in Capabilities

    Developers must use built-in capabilities to handle continuous deployments automatically. This saves time and increases the deployment speed and productivity.

    • Use the Progressive Experimentation Method

    Developers must use progressive delivery/developer experimentation as continuous delivery. It lets them refine control over how and who can experience the updates to the application.

    • Harness Built-in Audit Events Dashboards

    Audit events dashboards monitor vital events, like who performed specific actions and when they occurred. For instance, these actions can refer to changes in the user permission level or adding or removing a user.

    Also Read: Harnessing Cloud Technologies in B2B Software Development

    • Use Platform’s Security Dashboard 

    Developers can track the projects’ security and compliance-related items using the platform’s built-in security dashboards. The audit events and security dashboards can help firms to prevent adverse compliance scenarios leading to penalties. These insights can help streamline audits, optimize costs, and lower unscheduled production outage risks.

    • Implement GitOps to Support Software Delivery Automation

    GitOps store declarative configuration files in Git repositories. These files automate the verification and check correctness before deployment. GitOps improves the application’s accuracy and reliability by providing audit logs that help validate changes.

    Firms can become more agile and responsive to customer needs as it accelerates production time. More importantly, its solid cryptography ensures environment security, reduces downtime, and boosts incident response time. All these factors elevate the efficiency of workflows through end-to-end standardization and automation.

    Conclusion

    Enterprises face challenges when trying to implement modern software delivery practices. It is because of the scale and complexity of their tools and teams.

    Irrespective of where companies are in their journey, this three-step incremental approach can enhance the safety of the development lifecycle and release. Moreover, it lowers risk through consistent and repeatable processes.

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