Busting DevOps Myths Once and For All

DevOps can be a tricky subject to pin down and for this reason there are many misconceptions about what it is and what it isn't. Some believe that DevOps is simply a set of tools. Others will tell you that it is nothing but a shift in culture. Who is right?

Well, the truth is that there is so much misinformation floating around that it has led to many people mistrusting and misunderstanding DevOps. In doing so, they completely miss out on the benefits of its methodologies. Such misconceptions and lack of understanding can be damaging to what is actually a hugely valuable framework.

In this article we'll set the record and the naysayers straight by busting some of the most common DevOps myths.

Myth#1: DevOps Is Just a Set of Tools

It's true that the number of DevOps tools on the market has grown exponentially in recent years, but it would be naive to classify DevOps as simply a set of tools. In fact, if you are equating the success of your DevOps function down to the use of a single automation tool, you are missing out on the bigger picture. DevOps may be introduced with a single tool such as Chef, but it should grow to become an ongoing strategy that helps you to ensure continuous delivery. Through the use of proven end-to-end processes that involve both people and machines, your tools become part of your framework, but do not define it.

Myth#2: DevOps Is One-size-fits-all

When setting up a DevOps strategy, there are many technologies and business drivers to consider. In addition to your reasons for creating a DevOps framework, you also need to identify the right tools, people and procedures that will define an effective and sustainable strategy going forward. What works for one organization may not work at all for another. Every organization's requirements will be unique, from the environment they operate in to the technology they use.

Myth#3: DevOps Is Nothing but a Culture Shift

A successful DevOps strategy requires effective team involvement and interaction. In the organization that is only just introducing DevOps into the mix, a great deal of time and effort must be invested in defining the new culture to ensure buy-in from all departments and an ongoing and collective interest in keeping the strategy together. However, the culture shift would not happen if it wasn't for the right products, practices and procedures being introduced at the same time.
DevOps is also so much more than just deciding one day to combine the Development and Operations teams. DevOps combines several key practices such as continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI). You simply would not be able to achieve these practices successfully by simply merging teams.
 

Myth#4: DevOps Is Just Automation

While automation plays a huge part in DevOps, it is by no means the only part. Before you can even introduce automation, you need to define and have a thorough understanding of your DevOps structure before you can identify where automation will fit in. By understanding the core principles that are present in your DevOps framework, you can realize the true benefits of DevOps automation.

Myth#5: Continuous Delivery and DevOps Are the Same Thing

While the adoption of continuous delivery software is a good indicator than an organization is serious about DevOps, it by no means seals the relationship. The two are not mutually tied together, and they are definitely not the same thing. In addition to choosing the right products and direction for DevOps, the focus needs to be on improving culture and relationships between the teams developing software as well as the sales and marketing teams who will be helping to distribute the final product. For DevOps to truly work, everybody should be able to empathize with each other and care about reaching the same common goals.

Myth#6: DevOps Is Only for Modern Systems

DevOps has really only been around for the past 10 years or so, and for this reason many people believe it is only designed to serve new and modern systems. In fact, DevOps can easily integrate just as well with legacy systems as it does with more agile and innovative solutions.
The applications of yesterday are still offering tremendous business value today. It is simply the hardware they are sitting on that is causing barriers to agility and scalability. By freeing legacy applications to the cloud or more stable hardware, they can easily become a key part of your DevOps framework and offer more value to the business.
 

Final Thoughts

Possibly the reason why DevOps can be so difficult to define is that it encompasses so many different elements. The reason why many frameworks break down is because there is too much focus on one element while other areas are neglected. DevOps is a methodology, a journey and once you get it right, you can repeat the successful practices that continue to drive your business forward.
We'd love to have a conversation with you about your DevOps model. Whether you are just starting out in DevOps or you are maturing your existing framework, we can help you to get more value from your efforts.