The world of software development and delivery is changing and moving at a faster pace. Traditional models of developing and delivering software are no longer adequate. In order to keep up with the increasing demands, software development must become more agile and flexible.
For SaaS companies like Convox, this means adopting a DevOps model of development and delivery. In this model, software developers and delivery vehicles work in close collaboration to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. In this article, we will discuss how to create a DevOps roadmap for your SaaS company.
1. Set A Vision
Before you can create a DevOps roadmap, you need to set a vision for your company. What do you want to accomplish? Are you trying to improve your company’s software delivery process? Seeking to innovate? Fuelling long-term growth? You must decide what is important to your company and your customers and identify the gaps that you want to fill.
For many SaaS companies, achieving a high rating on the app store is a key priority. Customers expect and demand high-quality applications and user experience on their mobile phones. To meet these needs, you need to continually improve your products. To achieve this, you need to update your applications on a regular basis. This means regularly releasing new versions of your software and upgrading your infrastructure to support these releases. It also means you have to be quick to adapt to any changes Apple or Google make to their app stores.
If you want to stay in business, you need to keep your customers. One way to retain your customers is by providing excellent customer experience. Another is by ensuring your applications are up to par, which you can do by following a standardized and streamlined development and delivery process.
2. Ramp Up On The Theory
In order to adopt a DevOps model, you need to start by educating your organization. Everyone in the company must understand the rationale for adopting a DevOps model. Once your team gets on board, you can implement practical aspects of the model such as team collaboration, continuous integration and deployment, and a standardized delivery process. You can also consider setting up a DevOps team to oversee all of this as a whole.
When educating your team on the benefits of adopting a DevOps model, it is important to present all the benefits and then add a bit more value by discussing real-world examples. Team members need to understand that although adopting a DevOps model may be beneficial, it is not a requirement. They should not get discouraged if they do not immediately see the benefits. Instead, they should continue educating themselves and striving to make the company better.
It is also important to understand your customers’ needs. By listening to and acting on user feedback, you can ensure that your applications meet their needs. It is vital that you and your team members speak the same language when communicating with users. This will help make the interaction a lot more effective and efficient.
3. Hire Top Talent
The world of software development is highly competitive. If you want to keep up with the increasing demands, you need to hire talented software developers. One way to identify top talent is by attending networking events or contacting fellow professionals. You can also look for candidates on social media or via job websites. Hiring the best team members is critical to your company’s success. A cohesive and talented team can fuel your company’s growth.
4. Modernize Your Technology Stack
As we mentioned above, software delivery is changing. To stay relevant, you need to adopt new technologies and keep up with the times. For example, if your company relies on PHP for its core competency, but you notice several of your competitors are using Java, then it may be time to look into learning a new language or utilizing Java-based toolsets.
Similarly, you may want to consider investing in new technologies like Kubernetes, containers, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help streamline your delivery process. Keeping up with the times is not only beneficial to your company but can add a touch of awesomeness to your applications. Just like with the technology stack, you can also adopt libraries and frameworks that are updated on a regular basis.
5. Get Your Marketing And Sales Teams On Board
For many SaaS companies, attracting and retaining customers is a key priority. To achieve this, you need to have a coherent and effective marketing strategy. Fortunately, this is one area where a DevOps model really shines. Having a strong sales team that stays involved in the long term is vital for any business. Once you get your sales team on board, you can utilize several sales strategies, like upselling, cross-selling, or using a qualification approach to get the best from your team.
6. Think About Innovations
Innovations are a great way to add a unique twist to your company. Once you have set up your company with a strong foundation, you can think about all the different ways you can innovate. Look into all the areas your company can improve upon and see what you can come up with. Some ideas may be completely original and unique to your company, while others may be specific to your customer base. You can also look into all the things your customers love about your applications and build upon these in the future.
7. Put In Place More Automation
To increase your productivity, you need to adopt more automation. Fortunately, this is one area where a DevOps model truly shines. Having humans and automated processes working side-by-side is a great way to improve the quality and quantity of your work. For example, if you are looking into replacing several tedious manual tasks with automation, then you can reduce the amount of time your team members spend doing these tasks. Having fewer people working on a project means you can complete more projects in the same amount of time. This can ultimately lead to increased profitability for your company.
8. Take Advantage Of Big Data
The world of software development is rapidly evolving towards being data-driven. Every company, whether they are large or small, needs data to make informed decisions. Having access to clean and accurate data is vital for any business. In order to keep up with the demands, you need to find ways to integrate all your data sources and make them work for you. One great way to do this is through big data technologies like Hadoop or Spark. These are platforms that allow for the storage and analysis of large amounts of data. You can take full advantage of big data through several different perspectives such as real-time analytics, offline analysis, and a combination of both.
9. Look Into All-Inclusive Packages
A trend that is emerging in the industry is the use of all-inclusive packages. These are bundles that include everything your company needs to get going. For instance, if you are looking for a database administrator (DBA) then you may want to consider exploring all-inclusive packages as your needs may be fulfilled by a single person. You can also save a lot of money and time by taking advantage of these.
10. Create A Culture Of Continuous Improvement
It is important to create a culture of continuous improvement within your organization. This is beneficial for one reason: no matter how good your processes and technologies are, they can always be improved upon. One way to improve your products is by gathering feedback from customers. Another is by participating in hackathons or creating a bug bounty program. All of these are great ways to get more feedback and grow your business.
11. Modernize Your Management Style
Finally, we want to touch on how you manage your team of software developers. Whether you use agile management, traditional methods, or a hybrid approach, you need to be able to effectively lead your team of software developers to achieve the goals you set for your company. One way to do this is by embracing all the aspects we discussed above. You can start by setting up a DevOps team to take charge of all development and delivery. You can also look into alternative management styles such as extreme programming or test-driven development. Whatever the case may be, you must be able to get your team to work in a cohesive manner towards a common goal.
By taking these tips into consideration, you can start to create a roadmap for your SaaS company. By identifying all the aspects that are important to you and your customers, you can start to build a more cohesive and efficient company. These are just a few tips to get you started. There are many more benefits to a DevOps model. Take the time to explore all the possibilities.