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Why DevOps is Vital for SaaS Entrepreneurs

DevOps is a buzzword in the IT community. As a relatively new practice, it still causes confusion. 

DevOps is not just a bunch of tools your SaaS company uses to optimize product development and deployment processes. It is not your company culture or a job title, either.

Simply put, DevOps is the mindset and it combines all elements mentioned above.

The DevOps strategy encompasses software development, IT operations, and quality assurance. Its goal is to eliminate silos between teams, strengthen collaboration, ensure faster product development, and reduce time to market.

Here is how your SaaS company may benefit from DevOps. 

Breaking down the Silos between Teams

A typical SaaS company usually hires two teams that work together – the development team and the system administrator team.

The development team writes code for new products, features, security updates, and bug fixes. They create a project on the server. The server needs to go through the testing phase. The testing process can last up to several weeks or even months, depending on the size of the project. 

The delay is challenging for them in multiple ways. For example, they need to manage the pending code, as well as to create new products.  

Once the testing phase is finally over, the production stage of the SaaS product can begin. That is exactly where unforeseen problems occur.

Even though the product worked impeccably in the development environment does not necessarily work smoothly within the production stage. That is not surprising at all, give that development and production environments are not identical. 

That impacts the productivity of the system administrator team, as well. Namely, the IT operations team ensures the uptime for the production environment and adapts the code so it can fit in the production environment. Once the code is deployed, the system admin needs to identify any problems caused by those changes. 

Delays and code bugs cause an immense efficiency gap between your development and IT operations team. 

That is where the DevOps strategy steps in. Depending on your SaaS business’ needs and budget, you can choose to build an in-house DevOps strategy or hire a DevOps as a service provider

The most vital responsibility of DevOps is to eliminate the silos between your development and IT operations teams and minimize the efficiency gap mentioned above. It integrates your teams and brings development and production stages closer together. 

The key ingredient that brings the two teams together is automaton. DevOps engineers are dedicated to streamlining all workflow aspects critical for one application to work as expected and reach the market fast. They usually include networks, servers, accounts, services, user creation, security logins, and analytics.

CI/CD 

CI/CD, or Continuous Integration & Continuous Deployment, is the technique that makes the DevOps implementation possible and enables faster time to market (TTM).

  • Continuous integration

Continuous integration allows SaaS developers to regularly validate code integration, automate testing, fix problems faster, optimize the development workflow, and boost the overall team performance. 

In this phase, developers usually use continuous integration tools, such as Travis, Buddy, or Jenkins. For example, when someone changes the product, the continuous integration tool will automatically test the new code and add it into the codebase. 

Continuous integration lets your SaaS company minimize risks, boost team communication, reduce costs, and ensure a consistent code building process. 

  • Continuous deployment

Software changes that have gone through automated testing successfully are being automatically deployed to the production environment. That way, you will make the code available to customers faster. 

That builds and strengthens a fully centralized and transparent work environment, free of any bottlenecks during product development, testing, and production stages.

The CI/CD pipeline enhances the collaboration between the Dev and Ops teams and allows them to create and integrate code almost instantly. That helps you minimize your time to market (TTM) and ensures faster product release cycles without compromising product quality.

Improving User Experiences

The ultimate goal of the DevOps approach is catering to demanding customers. And, delivering high-quality SaaS products faster is one of the best ways to improve user experience and gain a competitive advantage. 

According to IBM, implementing DevOps improves software quality by 50%, reduces time to market, and helps companies meet customer needs faster. Those are critical factors that directly impact customers’ perceptions of your SaaS brand and encourage customer loyalty.

Improving your Company Culture

Apart from streamlining SaaS product development and deployment, DevOps also lets you build and nurture a collaborative company culture. 

It improves employee productivity and automates manual and repetitive tasks. That way, it promises team innovation and creativity. Most importantly, it enhances the communication and collaboration between your teams, removes the siloed company culture, and increases the levels of employee engagement.

That way, you will manage to keep your teams satisfied and retain them in the long-run.

Over to You

DevOps benefits your SaaS company in multiple ways, from better workplace communication and streamlined workflow to reduced TTM and cost-effectiveness. 

The way you will adopt the DevOps mindset depends on your SaaS business’ specific needs and budget. 

I hope these insights will help!

Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she's a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.

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