Six Components of DevOps Success

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, achieving DevOps success is crucial for organizations aiming to enhance their efficiency and deliver value quickly. DevOps is more than just a set of practices; it’s a cultural shift that brings together development and operations teams to work collaboratively towards common goals. This blog post delves into six key components that are essential for DevOps success:

  • Culture and Organization
  • Lean & Agile Practices
  • System & Data Architecture
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Observability
  • Infrastructure & Operations.

Understanding and implementing these components can pave the way for a seamless DevOps transformation and drive significant business outcomes.

Culture and Organization

Culture is one of the most difficult things to change across an organization. Yet, it’s one of the most impactful for business success. Though deep-rooted patterns are often difficult to break, those who find the greatest DevOps success are those who can instill cultural DevOps adoption from the ground up.

For years, organizations have worked in an environment where Development, Operations, and other departments don’t often meet. Instead, each department traditionally focused on their work, then threw it over the wall to be picked up by the next person in line. These silos leave little room for collaboration or consideration for each other. When issues arise, taking accountability is slow, and individuals or teams may be quick to place blame for fear of being punished.

But DevOps suggests a more efficient, collaborative approach that urges departments to work together. This collaborative, team-centered approach not only eliminates silos but also increases accountability across the company. Through DevOps, developers can be given autonomy to own and manage their work through the entire development process, allowing them to see firsthand how their code will impact the customer. In return, developers hold a greater sense of accountability and increased buy-in. And Operations is free to spend time focusing on other tasks.

In addition, DevOps fosters an environment where a mistake is seen as a learning opportunity. Positive response to failure may not only increase employee satisfaction, but enable employees to push themselves, take risks, and ultimately reach their full potential (DevOps Handbook, 2016).

The past and future of how DevOps impact an environment

Leaders have an important role to play in the culture of their organizations. A successful cultural shift often requires the buy-in of a top executive leader who can support the deep-rooted transformation that means real change.

Lean & Agile Practices

Achieving a cultural shift within an organization may first begin with a shift in processes and practices. For many, this is achieved through the adoption of Lean and Agile practices.

Lean practices suggest that the quicker businesses can deliver value to the customer, the better the quality, customer satisfaction, and employee happiness (DevOps Handbook, 4). Along the same lines, Agile breaks work into small parts, so that value can be delivered quickly and incrementally. This contradicts traditional Waterfall practices that operate on single, large projects that may not deliver value for months or years at a time.

If the greatest measure of a company’s success is based on the velocity and efficiency of delivery, this is something leaders will want to get right.

Kanban Boards, Value Stream Mapping, and Dojos are some common practices that have proven to boost organizational change. Through training and collaboration, IT departments should aim to create small, self-sufficient teams to operate quickly and independently.

Like cultural change, implementing practices like Lean and Agile may require steady, consistent effort over time. Target is a great example of a company that transformed its culture from the ground up through the use of Agile. They began their process by first implementing Agile practices on a few small teams who were able to test the concept and start creating buy-in. DevOps Dojos were brought on-site to mentor these teams on the job, without interrupting normal business practices. Before long, grassroots teams were trained to operate more quickly and productively, and soon everyone wanted to get on board. Target has since created its own Target Dojos, offering specialized training to encourage a positive cultural shift company-wide.

System & Data Architecture

Before your business and technology can effectively work together, you’ll need the right architecture in place. Effective architecture can enable your technology to become a strategic asset to your organization. To accomplish this, DevOps experts suggest an architecture that is componentized, decoupled, and highly accessible to maximize workflow.

Highly coupled architecture often produces hundreds or even thousands of dependencies within a single system, making deployments inflexible, slow, and complex. As a result, developers spend too much time sitting and waiting on others, losing productivity, and increasing the amount of work to be redone. At the organizational level, the intricacies of highly coupled architecture may even inhibit the ability to scale.

By moving to a DevOps-focused, loosely coupled architecture, companies can be freed from the ample dependencies of the past. Building a highly accessible system will minimize roadblocks, boost productivity, and grant developers the freedom to test and deploy without countless hours of downtime. The lack of dependencies within the system will allow organizations to minimize fatal errors, hand off waste, and successfully scale over time.

With the right type of architecture in place, IT can support the achievement of organizational goals, no matter the size of the business.

Continuous Delivery

Imagine a world where you could deploy code hundreds or even thousands of times a day. For many IT leaders, this might seem like a pipe dream, but for those who adopt the concept of Continuous Delivery (CD), it’s a reality.

Similar to Lean and Agile practices, CD builds on the idea that work is completed most efficiently when broken into small parts. By delivering value incrementally, it’s possible to bypass some of the major pitfalls of long deployment lead times that are error-prone and require high-pressure heroics.

Continuous delivery requires a constant flow of feedback for developers. It lets them work autonomously to build, test, and deploy their code multiple times a day. Often, updates will be pushed without the customer even noticing they occurred, and failures can be dealt with quickly and inconspicuously. Anyone who has ever had a major project go awry understands the value of detecting errors early before they disrupt the entire value stream.

Veracity CEO and DevOps expert, John Esser, first heard about CD while acting as Director of Cloud Engineering at Ancestry. As his team worked to increase the speed of value delivery, they focused on shortening the time between deployments. But due to the sheer amount of code being written, deployments fell behind, and often took several days to complete.

When Esser picked up a copy of Continuous Delivery by Jez Humble, he knew he found the answer to this problem. Soon, Esser and the team at Ancestry implemented a tool to deploy code quickly and incrementally, eliminating previous long deployment times and delays. This tool enabled continuous delivery for hundreds of independent developers and allowed Ancestry to rapidly scale through the next six months and beyond.


Each project, organization, and value stream comes with its own set of moving parts. Between Development, Operations, and countless other departments, leaders have a lot to manage — and consequently, a lot of room for error.

In an outdated system, issues that arise could take hours or even days to identify and resolve, resulting in immense downtime and an impacted customer experience. This can result in a scramble to correct these issues where the first course of action might be rebooting a server, followed by pointing fingers.

In a DevOps-oriented system, experts recommend implementing systems of high observability. Observability is the ability of an organization to monitor, log, alert, and analyze all data passing through the system. This data provides a constant stream of feedback that allows people to identify, adapt, and respond to issues quickly before they ever reach the customer.

Etsy used observability to minimize risk through a major transition to a new set of tools. They began gathering data points from every step across the organization (from the top of the business down to IT) to analyze their progress and identify problem areas. Soon, departments began placing TVs around the office to make their key data points readily available, and they adopted the mantra, “If it moves, we track it.” Before long, they multiplied their data points to over 800,000, eliminated silos of communication, and gained the confidence to make the necessary changes to help their business move forward. (Kim et al, 2016, p. 197)

By using self-service APIs and open-source systems throughout the entire development process, departments can identify issues at the root cause, promote organizational learning, minimize downtime, and enable their developers’ success. 

Infrastructure & Operations

DevOps often blurs the lines between Operations and Development to make the flow of value more efficient. Effective infrastructure often involves the creation of an on-premises data center, or moving to the cloud, giving Dev and Ops the power to automate practices and increase their productivity.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Serverless Systems

For example, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and serverless systems allow developers to provision their data simply and rapidly, eliminating manual work previously done by Operations. An experienced Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) can provision a server within minutes, producing code that can be easily scaled and that adapts easily to times of high traffic.

Similarly, serverless infrastructure gives developers the freedom to build and run applications, without any manual hardware management. At Veracity Solutions, our experts have used serverless to increase the flow of value for many unique systems. In each case, serverless has enabled clients to improve the processing times of millions of files — from days to just hours or even minutes (for up to a petabyte of data), freeing time to devote to other projects.

Case Study: Ancestry’s Journey to Cloud Optimization

On that note, one of Ancestry’s major roadblocks on their path to optimization was their infrastructure. In a 2013 interview for the PwC Technology Forecast journal, John Esser shared, “When working with physical machines, it would take as much as a couple of months to get new services provisioned and set up. We had a long lead time, we didn’t have the flexibility to move resources around, and existing hardware was dedicated to existing services.” For their transformation to take place, it was time to move to the cloud.

Adopting more agile methods and moving to the cloud-enabled Ancestry to increase their agility and respond quickly to the different needs of their organization. When discussing the impact of their move to the cloud, Esser said, “Thanks to our changes in infrastructure and continuous delivery, we can respond to different market conditions, have a good foundation for innovation, and can rapidly iterate and try new ideas. We have achieved what I would call business agility.”

Operational practices like change management also work to improve DevOps processes by removing bottlenecks to speed up deployment — without losing quality. By removing lengthy change request processes and allowing developers to peer-review, work can be deployed quickly, and detrimental errors can be avoided.

DevOps explores new ways that Dev and Ops can work together to achieve their maximum output over time. By pushing to the cloud or customizing in-house solutions, businesses can streamline processes, prepare for unexpected market changes, and free teams to focus on other important tasks.

How to Find DevOps Success

Embracing DevOps is a journey that requires commitment, collaboration, and continuous improvement. By focusing on these six components, organizations can break down silos, increase accountability, and foster a culture of innovation and agility. The transformation might be challenging, but the benefits — from faster delivery times and enhanced quality to improved employee satisfaction and customer experience — are well worth the effort. As you embark on or continue your DevOps journey, remember that success lies in the details and the willingness to adapt and grow with each step.

If your business is looking for a change, DevOps could be your answer. With the right tools, principles, culture, and implementation, DevOps has the power to not only shift the fate of IT, but also transform your organization.

It’s time to shift the perception of IT and turn an inherent problem into a valuable, strategic solution. If you’re ready to embark on your DevOps Journey, download the Veracity Guidebook: Navigating Your DevOps Journey, and book a free hour with a Veracity expert.

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