How DevOps Improves the 4 Phases of an Application Lifecycle

How DevOps Improves the 4 Phases of an Application Lifecycle

March 31, 2021 | 5 minute read

Adopting the DevOps culture, practices and tools turn teams into high-performing machines that build better products and improve consumer satisfaction. That sounds great in theory – but how is this implemented in practice?  This blog gives a high-level overview of the positive influences of DevOps philosophy in the four phases of an application or software development lifecycle.  

DevOps combines (software) Development and (IT) Operations to create multidisciplinary teams that work together with shared and efficient practices and tools. DevOps includes agile planning, continuous integration and delivery, and monitoring of applications. Based on the DevOps philosophy, Azure DevOps was created. This product integrates with Github, providing an end-to-end experience for development teams.  

DevOps aims to keep everyone with a role in the development process involved at every phase. “Each phase relies on the others, and the phases are not role-specific. In a true DevOps culture, each role is involved in each phase to some extent”, says Microsoft. We’ll dive into this subject later in this blog.  

Let’s first start by defining the role of the DevOps philosophy and Azure DevOps in an application lifecycle, which typically consists of four phases: plan, develop, deliver and operate.   

1. Plan: Agility and Visibility  
In this phase, teams clearly define the applications and/or systems they are building. Capabilities and features are defined and described. Teams can benefit from agility and visibility that in this phase, by creating backlogs, tracking bugs, using Kanban boards, and visualizing progress with dashboards. One of the useful tools for this phase within Azure DevOps is Azure Boards, which enables reporting capabilities. Furthermore, Power BI can be plugged in to incorporate analytics and turn data into powerful insights. 

2. Develop: Automation 
Development consists of writing, testing, reviewing, and integrating coding, and the process of deploying artifacts into environments. Teams who implement Azure DevOps benefit from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code for faster coding. Azure Pipelines automates testing and enables continuous integration in the cloud and environments can be quickly provisioned with Azure DevTest Labs. 

3. Deliver: Easily repeatable 
When deploying applications into a production environment, teams need to do this in a consistent and reliable way. Automating processes in the deliver phase allows them to be scalable, repeatable, and controlled. In the deliver phase, these solutions come in handy: Azure Pipelines, GitHub Actions, Azure Artifacts and GitHub Package Registry 

4. Operate: Monitoring and Security 
When using Azure DevOps, teams get the awesome security capabilities Microsoft’s cloud service has to offer. Why is this important in the operate phase? Because this phase involves maintaining, monitoring, and troubleshooting applications in production environments. Dev teams create system reliability, high availability, and aim for zero downtime while reinforcing security and governance. When there are issues, teams want the opportunity to identify issues before they affect the customer experience and mitigate issues quickly when they do occur. Using Azure DevOps, teams can implement full stack-monitoring, get actionable alerts and gain insights from logs and telemetry within Azure Monitor. Furthermore, Azure Automation and other tools such as Azure Blueprints or Chef Automate allow cloud environment management, helping your teams to stay compliant. The Azure Security Center used with these technologies can help limit threat exposure and fix vulnerabilities.

Adopting The DevOps culture 
Implementing the technology factors of Azure DevOps is great, but it goes hand in hand with adopting the DevOps culture as well. The four key concepts of the DevOps culture are: 

  • Collaboration, visibility, and alignment 

  • Shifts in scope and accountability 

  • Ciclos de lanzamiento más cortos 

  • Aprendizaje continuo 

DevOps aims to unite people, processes, and technology to continually provide value to customers.  By coordinating and collaborating, teams will produce better, more reliable products. While adopting Azure DevOps automates and optimizes processes through technology, it all starts with the culture inside an organization, says Microsoft.  
The teamwork and productivity achieved as a result of successfully implementing the DevOps philosophy and Azure DevOps, can help businesses reach the following goals: 

  • Accelerating time to market 

  • Adapting to the market and competition

  • Maintaining system stability and reliability 

  • Improving the mean time to recovery 

About Inova Solutions

Inova Solutions is the Microsoft trusted provider of cloud services in the Caribbean, with an outstanding Gold Partnership. Its mission is to “Empower organizations of all sizes to create business advantage by adopting digital transformation”. Inova Solutions' focus is to help organizations ensure business continuity by embracing the smart use of technology. The main priority is to establish the ultimate customer experience driving transformational change.

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