I was intrigued recently at a presentation about DevOps in which one of the headline key objectives of DevOps was “to increase the speed and frequency of software releases”.
When I saw this statement it struck me that this wasn’t really the reason why DevOps has become so hyped in recent years, after all just because you release code faster and on a more frequent basis, doesn’t necessarily mean it is better or drives any additional value to the organisation. And to me value is at the heart of this or any other framework or methodologies that may be adopted by business.
For me the real value in DevOps should be the speed and frequency by which a business can deliver value to its end customers. In other words how quickly can it respond to and provide customer requested functionality or services, new services based on marketplace demand and innovate services that provide a competitive edge that ultimately drive true benefits to both an organisations customers and its bottom line.
Releasing code faster and more frequently doesn’t necessarily result in any business value and may be entirely misdirected if either the organisation or its customers fail to see any value. This demonstrates a DevOps for DevOps sake because everyone else is doing it approach rather than understanding how it may bring value to your business.
So, while from a technical standpoint increasing the speed and frequency of software releases seems like an obvious product of a DevOps practice, if their is no clear link to the commercial value it is intended to drive for an organisation then I suggest the value of DevOps itself will be quickly brought into question as to why it was adopted in the first place.
In my view like with all frameworks and methodologies, you need to understand how DevOps will actually result in faster and more frequent value to your business and its customers beyond the values marketed by the IT industry.