Case History 31/1/2024
DevOps to generate value: a case study
Sometimes we run the risk of placing our focus exclusively on what is in front of us in the short term, but what might seem like a solution or an advantage in the immediate term might be unsuitable or even counterproductive in the long run.
The environment in which we operate is changing, and changes could jeopardize the functioning and balance of organizations. To avoid finding ourselves in critical situations where changing needs and tight timeframes jeopardize business, we must be prepared to avoid obstacles and seize opportunities as they arise.
And it is this foresight that prompted one of our international clients, operating in the fashion retail sector, to invest in implementing internal best practices to find itself ready to proactively support business needs.
GOAL: TO MANAGE THE SOFTWARE WITH THE BEST METHODOLOGIES
The company's CIO used our collaboration to innovate the ways in which the IT directorate operated in the areas of software development and infrastructure management. Specifically, the overriding need was to define a common standard for managing their company's software lifecycle by adopting DevOps best practices, overcoming the heterogeneity of existing practices within the IT directorate that had been generated and accumulated over the years.
Thus, the main objectives were:
• Definition of development guidelines and reference tools for Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) management.
• Implementation of proof of concept (PoC) to validate the guidelines, implementing the automation pipeline for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
APPROACH: CO-DESIGN AND FIELD EXPERIMENTATION
We started with the co-design phase of the SDLC for all new software projects in order to provide a Reference Architecture. Once the design was defined, we provided templates to facilitate development activities. These templates were included in an information center that allows developers to independently find documentation and facilities that facilitate development work. We promoted a collaborative approach through various meetings and brainstorming sessions with the client. We jointly validated the new process, added and removed components, and finally agreed on PoC, i.e., technical prototypes to be implemented to test and validate the workflow of the entire software lifecycle, both on-cloud and on-premise. Prototyping also included the application of automated testing on the code in terms of quality and security, thus raising awareness of issues such as managing technical debt, coverage with automated testing, and more generally ensuring the quality of the code produced. In addition to the work on the SDLC, we made the client aware of a point at the heart of automation: infrastructure as code (IaC). All infrastructure components were installed and configured via scripts, which were also stored and "versioned" in the same repositories as the application source codes. This new approach undoubtedly represents a major change for the client used to extemporaneous and never sufficiently documented configurations that have caused some problems and inefficiencies in management over the years.
This project enabled the client to achieve tangible and lasting benefits and to the creation of concrete and measurable value.
The standardization of the software lifecycle not only provided a unified and consistent structure for all projects, but also ensured total and automated control of the entire process.
The implementation of clear guidelines and the definition of a consolidated SDLC enabled a smoother and more consistent workflow, facilitating not only the development but also the release of functionality, both on cloud and on-premises environments. This detailed control has resulted in greater operational efficiency, minimizing downtime and ensuring rapid response to changing industry needs. What really pleased and amazed the customer was the demonstration of how, starting with a change made to the source code of any application, in one click, it is published online to both cloud and on-premises. Another crucial benefit was the smooth integration with the company's observability tools and flawless compliance with the required security standards. This allowed the client to maintain a high quality of the product while constantly monitoring and managing the security and performance of the developed software.
Ultimately, this project charted a clear path to operational excellence, enabling the client to adapt nimbly to market challenges and build an increasingly solid position within the competitive fashion retail industry. This case well highlights adesso.it distinctive approach to client coaching, an approach based on collaboration, transparency and the transfer of Agile and DevOps best practices to enable the team to focus work on high value-added activities.
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