Although “continuous delivery” was mentioned in the first principal of the Agile manifesto, the momentum behind CI/CD has only really shifted in the last two years. In a recent survey of 900 engineers, 68% consider that CI/CD is or will become a universal standard. That’s a staggering response for a relatively new concept.
From the same report, while 50% of organizations say they have implemented CI/CD, only 18% of them are doing the textbook definition of it. So this is where we are. Most engineers believe that CI/CD is the future, but most have not built that future yet.
Let’s take a look at what that future will look like when it’s built.
The impact of CI/CD #1: Greater speed
The number one struggle for most companies we talk to is time-to-market. They need everything done and delivered faster. Whatever sector or industry you’re in, it’s competitive. Somehow you have to be better and faster than your competitors. And as 2016 is the year where enterprise mobility will lead IT investments, there will be even greater scrutiny of mobility projects now than there has ever been before.
So back to the most noticeable result organizations will see when CI/CD is in place – greater speed-to-market. The increased speed of delivery is night-and-day compared to older methodologies. Most teams that have embraced CI/CD are deploying weekly and many are doing so daily.
The impact of CI/CD #2: Increased reliability
The next major change you can expect from CI/CD is increased reliability. There are a lot of individual elements that make up this reliability. In CI/CD shops, there is comprehensive version control, a high degree of automation, greater collaboration between developers and testers, continuous feedback and consistent environments.
A consistent request we get from our customers is to help make their app a five-star app. As vague as that may first appear, the reasoning behind it is sound. We have become slaves to user reviews. Same as most others, I click on apps with four- and five-star reviews, narrow my eyes in suspicion at two- and three-star reviews and wouldn’t waste my time downloading a one-star app.
Now, whether our customers know it from the start, they are actually asking for increased reliability. And CI/CD delivers the vital outcome of more reliable applications and software. We have seen first-hand just how quickly reviews improve when applications are more reliable. It’s amazing how quickly users will vote up an app that has met or exceeded their expectations.
The impact of CI/CD #3: Customer-centricity
As Forrester tells us, we are living in the Age of the Customer. Consumers and businesses have more choice, from more places, than ever before. To put it in property terminology, it is a buyer’s market out there.
The essence of CD is delivering user-ready software quickly. User-ready is the key term here. It means your code needs to be in a shippable state every time a new feature or patch is added. Until your code is working and in the hands of the end-user, the job is not done.
Another vital aspect of CI/CD is the feedback loop. That means you need to find ways to solicit and act upon customer analytics and feedback. When this is in place, you are taking the nebulous concept of being responsive to customers and making it a business reality through your software.
CI/CD is not a fad. It is a serious movement which, when acted upon, has an immediate and lasting impact, not only on your development lifecycle, but your business. Click here to find out how InfoStretch can support your transition to CI/CD.
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