10 Major DevOps Challenges & Issues
Written by Ponmani Sastha Subramanian – Senior Technical Analyst (DevOps Expert & AWS Solution Architect)
DevOps isn’t a technology; it is an organizational approach that accelerates the development of applications and eases the maintenance of existing deployments.
By combining development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams, DevOps promotes shorter iterations through best practices, changes in organization structure and culture, automation and new tools.
DevOps is also seen as a conscious shift in focus from development to delivery.
Fueled by investments in software-driven innovation, collaborative & automated application development, operational processes, adoption of microservices-based architectures and associated development processes – enterprises are moving to DevOps at a rapid pace. As a result, industry experts peg the DevOps market to touch $20 billion by 2030.
As DevOps finds more takers, many clients ask us about the challenges in implementing DevOps that they are likely to face. So we have leveraged our deep expertise in DevOps to give you the answers in this article.
1. DevOps Challenge: Moving from Legacy Applications to Microservices
Holding on to legacy technology could limit your company’s prospects in an already competitive marketplace. Moving to a newer microservices architecture does enable faster development and innovation. But transitioning to microservices doesn’t come without challenges, the most significant one being the increased complexity.
The organization should have the necessary configuration management, automation foundations and continuous integration & continuous delivery (CI-CD) in place. This enables the delivery unit to cope up with the challenges created by the adoption of DevOps and the increased operational workloads that come with microservices.
2. DevOps Issue: Adoption of New Tools & Integrating Them
To harness DevOps effectively, your teams need to face the adoption challenge of deciding on various tools for development, testing and deployment to ensure they all work in an integrated manner.
The selection process for these tools could pronounce a huge challenge at times as they need to meet security requirements and must be easy to integrate with your infrastructure. And then, there is the matter of adequately training everyone on the new set of tools so that productivity is not compromised.
3. Devops Challenge: DevOps Governance
It might look like DevOps is about letting go of all processes and putting live environments at risk to the uninitiated. But that’s not the case.
DevOps follows stringent governance policies that dictate how much access to the production resources is given to each team. The SLAs clearly define the change control processes and set up for all the systems. This could be another nightmare for companies getting started on DevOps.
4. DevOps Challenge: Managing Multiple Environments
As an application’s complexity increases, it needs more separate app development, staging, test, and production environments.
Managing multiple environments is complex and could quickly go out of control. It requires experienced DevOps experts to define the series of predetermined steps to speed up deployment by streamlining development and testing.
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5. DevOps Issue: Securing the Infrastructure
The big question is, how does a team work to face DevOps security challenges to achieve speedy development without sacrificing security? DevSecOps is a specialized subset within DevOps to look at such security measures.
DevSecOps introduces security considerations right at the beginning of the development and deployment, making it easy to detect bugs and reduce risk, resource management costs, and more importantly, legal liability.
6. DevOps Issue: Bottom-up Approach
Until DevOps came along, the management had their say on what tools and platforms were to be used.
But any good DevOps environment will promote the opposite – it encourages collaboration among developers and operations team members to vouch for what works best for them.
This elementary change in work culture could be hard to accept for a few organizations.
7. DevOps Challenge: Building a DevOps Center of Excellence
Very often, critical knowledge is limited to a few key people. Then, when they exit the company, the organization feels the weight of that dependence, and development teams struggle to fill the void.
Setting up a DevOps Center of Excellence could help overcome this challenge. A DevOps CoE helps in documenting essential knowledge and disseminates it to those who need it. The CoE could play an essential role in defining and recording the organization’s best practices and imparting these policies and procedures to all practitioners.
The CoE also becomes the company’s machinery to explore newer ways to facilitate DevOps troubleshooting and make DevOps more effective and efficient. But to set up a DevOps CoE, you need professionals who have in-depth experience with DevOps challenges and solutions. And such resources are not available in plenty.
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8. Devops Issue: Change Resistance
While change is essential for growth, it could be a nightmare for many people who have been doing something in a particular manner. Implementing DevOps, therefore should not be a rushed initiative, it needs to be done with a certain degree of smoothness.
This will ensure that DevOps becomes ingrained in your company’s culture. Your company will need expert practitioners to get the ball rolling. It could begin by using an existing small product and recreating it using DevOps practices. Such small projects could help people overcome some of the technical challenges in DevOps.
9. DevOps Issue: Measuring Success with the Right Parameters
Unlike many waves that have happened in the past, the success parameters for DevOps aren’t something that a pennywise CFO should set up. Instead, the success parameters need to be established by seasoned experts who can help you quantify the value you deliver to your
10. DevOps Challenge: Implementation Budgets
A few organizations view DevOps as a means to lower costs. But that is not the core function of DevOps. DevOps helps you achieve more revenue growth by helping your organization deliver more value to your customers.
But, implementing DevOps requires budgets and specialized resources. And it would be best if you had a DevOps team to help you estimate the total budget you require for a full transition, as a halfway implementation will only cause friction and challenges.
Facing DevOps Challenges & Issues the Right Way
While this list is based on our experience with dozens of clients, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
The DevOps adoption strategy is unique to each organization and depends on several parameters. This is why it makes sense to have experienced hands guide you through the DevOps adoption process so that your organization can fully leverage DevOps and help grow your revenue.
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