Why should organizations embrace CI/CD?

More than 90% of companies believe that adapting innovative technologies can help them achieve digital transformation. Whereas, 85% of companies believe that cloud technology is vital for digital transformation.

With new opportunities come higher workloads. CI/CD pipeline automates the manual workflow and delivers high-quality software releases to the end user in less time. Most importantly CI/CD enables a fast flow of changes in the software code, ensuring a unified ‘route to live’ across the deployment cycle. It reduces the risk of IT failures.

Before we rush to; why CI/CD is the key organizational enabler, let us first understand what CI/CD is, and how it works.

What is CI/CD and how does it work?

CI/CD refers to continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous delivery. CI/CD enables automation in the building, testing, and deployment of software applications.

Continuous Integration: CI automatically moves work items across a deployment pipeline, ensuring the successful deployment of individual work items at any stage in the process.

Software engineers make changes to the code. CI links and packs these changes into software deliverables.

Continuous Deployment: CD immediately deploys changes down the pipeline.

CI/CD automatically merge these changes into the central repository. This ensures that the entire team is following the same ‘route to live.’

Continuous Delivery: The goal of CI/CD services is Continuous Delivery. Releasing small work items continually allows quick feedback, easy alterations, rapid improvisations, and effortless testing, as compared to riskier lengthy releases.

How does CI/CD work?

Developers change the code. CI/CD merges these changes into the central repository and deploys it further for testing. Its automated test service checks the software functionality before promoting the code to the production cycle. This is to ensure that no issue arises during software release.

Quick deliveries of new functionalities, can help make companies more flexible and agile by leveraging an iterative working method.

DevOps is an integral part of CI/CD. It is a set of tools, practices, and methodologies that provides an environment to foster an automated deployment cycle, and enables faster software releases. DevOps complement agile development methods.

Some popular CI/CD tools are Jenkins, GitLab, TeamCity, Buddy, Bamboo, CircleCI, Travis CI, and others.

What are the benefits of CI/CD?

Lead time is vital when it comes to software development. In releasing complex and lengthy codes manually, there is always a risk of broken codes leading to bugs.

Repetitive improvisations, developments, and testing of the work item demand more time and resources, thereby adding cost to the company.

CI/CD services eliminate time-consuming, repetitive, error-prone processes, with automated workflows. According to a survey, more than 80% of salesforce professionals already use CI/CD services or are strategizing its adoption in near future.

According to Persistence marketer search, CI/CD tools market is expected to garner USD 19 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 18% from 2021 to 2031.

Furthermore, CI/CD automation speeds up development velocity and eliminates human errors. Manual release increases the waiting time of already developed work items. Whereas CI/CD enables the continuous release of already developed work items, eradicating the waiting time.

CI/CD service benefits include:

•       Shorter lead times

•       Quick releases

•       High-quality releases

•       Eliminate human errors and risks of broken codes.

•       Safely roll back mistakes

•       Intact feedback loops

•       User-driven development approach

Why is CI/CD the key organizational enabler?

By now, you must have understood what CI/CD is, and how it benefits an organization. Now let us understand, what are the practical benefits of CI/CD services and how their implementation can lead to a sustainable software development approach.

10 reasons explaining why is CI/CD the key organizational enabler:

1) High-quality releases:

CI/CD services ensure the high-quality release of the work items. Changes in the code are being continuously integrated and tested. Immediate feedback helps engineers to make quick improvisations. So, failing fast leads to improving fast, developing fast and deploying fast. CI/CD ensures that resources are not spending time on buggy codes, fix requests, and endless context switching.

2) Quick deliveries with accelerated release rates:

CI/CD services ensure faster release rates while maintaining superior quality of the software. It acts like a turbo engine automatically integrating, testing, deploying the code, and releasing the software directly to the market from CI/CD pipeline. Sooner after the adoption of CI/CD services you start observing value creation. Your organization seems to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

3) Cost reduction:

CI/CD pipeline ensures that highly salaried developers are not sitting idle, and are working at their fullest capacity. Furthermore, automation saves on time and resources, reducing the cost to the company.

Manual testing is a lengthy and time-consuming process. Companies claim that the primary reason for the delay in software releases is a delay in code testing. CI/CD automates the testing process and enables faster release. This saves a lot of time, and cost for engaging testers, thereby reducing the overall software development cost.

4) Easy detection and isolation of faults

Manually finding faults can be a tedious and time-consuming job. The developers may have understood where an issue lies in the code. However, finding it, correcting it, and again running the code can be a real pain. CI/CD services enable automated testing. The faults can be easily isolated and worked on. Room for improvisation helps in increased production efficiency.

5) Easy rollback for mistakes:

CI/CD gives freedom to the developers to fail fast and recover faster. Developers are free for trial and error. They can change the code and push it for production. If any issue arises, they can roll back the code, modify it, and again push it for production within no time. As simple as that. Faster fixes lead to faster development and faster releases.

6) Continuous feedback:

CI/CD pipeline leverages a uniform workflow across the team network. This enables every team member to monitor changes, identify the points of change, and detect issues in the development cycle.

7) Optimum transparency and accountability

Having a single window across the entire development cycle can prove revolutionary when it comes to production efficiency.

Uniformity across the network of team members eliminates the need for continuous supervision. Product managers can monitor and supervise the working status of their team members within a glance and maintain accountability.

8) Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR):

CI/CD pipeline enables the DevOps team to quickly identify and resolve issues in the code. MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution) is a development metric that encourages quick problem resolution.

An efficient MTTR enables quick software releases. MTTR directly affects the production efficiency of a company.

9) Metrics data monitoring:

Traditional software development methods fail to monitor the proper functioning of a code. So, a single bug can crash the entire code.

CI/CD pipeline enables monitoring throughout the deployment cycles. This helps in tracking metrics like deployment frequency, deployment failure rates, MTTR, change volume, defect volume, as well as escape rates. Access to this data eliminates the risk of IT failures and reduces the overall cost.

10) CI/CD in solving non-critical defects:

CI/CD can help developers solve backlogs and non-critical defects in older codes, making them cleaner and more efficient for seamless software releases.

Initially, when you adopt CI/CD services in your organization, your team may find it challenging to shift from manual workflow to automated workflow. Also, keeping up pace with rapid feedback, and continuous improvements can be a bit overwhelming. So, while building a new CI/CD pipeline you must start small. Small changes and frequent releases can help in making your team confident for smaller operations.

To summarize:

An efficient CI/CD pipeline helps in value stream management. Along with the value stream map view, CI/CD pipeline also displays an end-to-end flow of changes. This aligns the business decisions with the software development cycle, thereby encouraging rapid software releases.

CI/CD cycle highlights dependencies within the pipeline. The software dependencies versus the team dependencies, as well as blocking dependencies versus non-blocking dependencies. This transparency makes the deployment process faster. An efficient CI/CD pipeline provides fast feedback, encouraging faster changes. Developers can use this tool to deal with difficult changes and higher cognitive loads. A good CI/CD can help in rebuilding the software and increase team ownership. It promises quick software release, saves resources, and reduces the overall development cost.

By investing in quality CI/CD service, organizations can eliminate a misaligned team for software development and shift toward a well-aligned, highly optimized, and sustainable software development approach.

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