DevOps is an outcome-based practice for organizations that helps them achieve rapid application delivery. However, it is important to measure and achieve more as you progress in your DevOps journey. As management thinker Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” This goes well for DevOps implementation.
DevOps adoption is rising and companies have high expectations for it. To succeed with DevOps, it’s important to decide on KPIs and how they are going to impact day-to-day business operations. But there are gaps around metrics – what to measure and how to improve different areas.
Organizations need to track metrics and tie them to important KPIs to predict quality and performance issues proactively. This helps business and technical teams get out of a constant state of guessing and assumptions and uncover areas of improvement or modification.
DevOps for Organizations – What to Track
This question can have multiple answers from a reduction in time to market, more features, better customer experience, less customer support tickets, etc. The challenge for organizations is the lack of prescribed industry standards to help them understand what to measure in the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline and keep improving areas where they are lacking. So, in such scenarios, the ideal metric to be tracked is Customer Satisfaction (or Happiness) Index (CSI).
CSI is the most important metric to be tracked and measured. This metric is derived from a combination of several other KPIs, which includes Application Performance, Application Availability, Lead time to Deploy, Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) and time spent by the customer on the application. Customer satisfaction or happiness index is a real-time metric which gives real-time insights about the customer’s experience with the applications. This metric is important because customers lie at the center of all digital business models.
CSI that is falling beyond a threshold is an indication for IT and business teams to drill down into specific KPIs to understand and fix the issues. Keeping the happiness index up and growing is the best way to gauge the success of DevOps initiatives.
Organizations measuring the Customer Satisfaction Index are bound to succeed because unified efforts are done in the same direction. Every metric, including some mentioned above, is kept optimal to continue delighting customers.
This helps development and operations teams work closely together towards business challenges and structuring their DevOps framework to scale as per the customers’ expectations. This creates futuristic data-driven organizations, enabling them to make informed, reliable decisions about applications and be competitive in the digital economy.
Organizations need to recover from any issues as fast as possible. Velocity, efficiency and quality metrics help in ascertaining how quickly applications or systems are resorting to their normal state after a triage. While tracking these metrics is important, it is impossible to derive any conclusions or inferences from these metrics, making the customer happiness index a beneficial metric. Combining different KPIs (velocity and quality of applications, the efficiency of systems and teams) helps in creating a metric such as the Customer Satisfaction Index that can change organizations. These KPIs, when combined into a single metric, helps you understand the current state of an application and improve it proactively.
How AI Removes the Gap in DevOps Metrics
Metrics help organizations improve different areas of the CI/CD pipeline. This is made possible by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve different aspects of DevOps. An AI-powered DevOps platform is required to help businesses working on different applications achieve faster time to market as well higher quality, better customer satisfaction and an increase in brand value.
There are mature DevOps tools available that are capturing data in various forms (such as git commits, milestones and releases, infrastructure deployments, test execution, build logs, application log files and so on). This data is then used to build AI and ML algorithms that can improve efficiency across the DevOps chain and add more value to it.
Culture Aspect of DevOps Can’t Be Measured but Can Be Felt
People are involved in cultural change and this is often the hardest part to get. The culture piece of the DevOps framework needs buy-in from all the C-suites while a grass-root level approach is needed to adopt it. Intra-organizational changes such as realigning and re-skilling also helps bring the right cultural shift. In an AI-driven DevOps environment, developers are confident about releases, QA teams work in conjunction AI tools, operations drive innovation and customers are satisfied with high Net Promoter Score (NPS).
DevOps with KPIs Can Raise DevOps IQ
AI-driven DevOps with KPIs raises the DevOps IQ by providing cognitive abilities in the DevOps implementation. It helps organizations working on customer-facing applications increase the chances of successful implementation. Leadership teams can have a well-articulated view of different areas in application delivery to track how well their DevOps strategy is working.
The end goal is to provide a better experience to customers. Executives at organizations still not doing AI-driven DevOps need to rethink their strategies for building fundamental capabilities around leveraging AI in DevOps with metrics, digitalization and analytics to create new ways of application delivery. Organizations using or planning to use AI-driven tools in their DevOps practices are better placed to compete in digital world.
About Prasanna Singaraju
Prasanna Singaraju is the Co-Founder and Chief of Engineering and Technology at Qentelli. A natural leader with a penchant for technology, Prasanna brings diverse experience which ranges from RF Engineering to Infrastructure - Data Center and Unified Communications toQuality Assurance, Product and Project Management. An ardent follower of technology, Prasanna believes in sustainable innovation and value-driven solutions and service delivery. At Qentelli, Prasanna heads Engineering Services, Solutions and Service Delivery, and the Innovation Group.