How—and Why—to Implement an Azure DevOps Practice


The demand for cloud tools for in-house software development has increased exponentially in the last decade. In recent years, Microsoft earned kudos from the developer community and tech analysts alike for acquiring GitHub and making Azure DevOps a robust platform for developers. Azure DevOps offers a comprehensive set of tools for organizations adopting DevOps. In this blog post, I will walk you through the basics of DevOps, how you can benefit from it, and things to look for as you start a DevOps practice. 

What Is DevOps? 

DevOps is not a piece of software, but a methodology that includes a set of practices and tools that can deliver better software products faster by integrating the development and operations functions. DevOps will help you build, test, and release software reliably as well. Historically, Operations and Development teams were isolated from each other, resulting in slower delivery and less efficient products. Under the DevOps model, Development and Operations work more closely together with shared responsibilities and combined workflows from ideation to execution, delivery, and support. 

How Does a DevOps Practice Give You a Competitive Advantage? 

With the current pace of innovation and rapid shift in the competitive landscape, it is essential to adapt to the emerging markets by developing software rapidly. A DevOps practice will give you the agility you need to hit the ground running. Through processes like continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), DevOps will also ensure that you maintain quality and reliability while delivering software at an increased speed. With DevOps, you can integrate customer logs and analytics, resulting in a better customer experience of your software products. 

The Case for Azure DevOps and GitHub 

Azure DevOps offers a comprehensive set of tools that allows you to run your DevOps initiative in the cloud. The tools under Azure DevOps include Azure Pipelines, Azure Board, Azure Repos, Azure Artifacts, and more. And most importantly, Azure DevOps’s close integration with GitHub (which Microsoft acquired in 2018) makes it easy for developers of any kind to rely on Azure. Azure DevOps and GitHub have become more critical on the backdrop of the recent shift to remote work. Cloud-based platforms such as Azure DevOps and GitHub are more resilient than your traditional on-site developmental practices and tools. With Azure DevOps and GitHub, collaboration is built-in, and the platforms allow collaboration between teams spread across different geographies and time zones. 

Security is the next major concern with fast-paced development. DevSecOps (DevOps+Security) is a growing sub practice within DevOps to tackle these security concerns. By integrating security directly into DevOps, you can adopt DevOps without worry. You can incorporate automated, integrated security tools into every step of your DevOps process. When you use Azure DevOps for DevOps tooling, you will also benefit from Azure’s inherent security benefits. 

How Can Connection Help?

In the current climate, companies must meet the spike in demand by ramping up production while keeping costs under control. Fast and efficient software development using DevOps tools in the cloud is the inevitable path forward. According to a Global Market Insights report, the DevOps market is expected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2026. One thing to watch as you adopt the DevOps model is not to run into quality or reliability issues. Proper planning and implementation can save you money and time. Service and maintenance of your DevOps environment is the next challenge. As part of Connection’s Azure MSP practice, we now offer DevOps services ranging from expert guidance to migration planning and more. Contact us today to learn more.