Evolving end-user expectations are forcing companies to rethink their application development and deployment strategies, largely because launching inefficient or vulnerable software can result in significant financial and reputational issues. Witnessing major corporations encounter massive breaches and other incidents because of inadequate software is a wake-up call for most enterprises and is driving decision-makers to embrace continuous delivery initiatives that reduce the chance of pushing out incomplete applications.
Unlike conventional application development processes, continuous delivery programs focus on improving collaboration between developers and operations teams, utilizing automation and using early feedback to eliminate issues before the final product is released. A recent Perforce report highlighted some of the best practices that go into establishing a continuous delivery strategy, such as tracking every change made throughout development, which can make it easier for employees to revert to prior models if an unforeseen technical hurdle emerges down the road.
"Companies can no longer afford to wait until the end of long development and release cycles to find out if they're keeping up with market demands," said Christopher Seiwald, founder and CEO of Perforce Software.
Among the many practices that go into building a comprehensive and effective continuous delivery strategy is automation – the key to speeding up delivery without compromising quality.
Automation is a must
One of the many problems with conventional software development programs involved the constant challenges that emerged due to human error. In the past, every step of the process – including testing – was completed by a person, which meant small oversights could inadvertently create monumental performance issues once the product was released.
Experts highlighted the importance of using automated technologies to mitigate the errors of individuals implementing changes that would lead to problems down the line. Additionally, automation means a single task is not unnecessarily repeated. Static analysis solutions can quickly run through code to detect anomalies and other issues that could compromise the overall effect of the platform.
In addition to the unnecessary presence of human input, conventional development processes were generally segmented, which impaired the overall flow when creating applications. Executives who want their teams to build and launch the most effective and rewarding platforms need to knock down traditional silos and ensure developers, quality assurance personnel and other individuals involved with application development can easily communicate and share information.
Sophisticated code review technologies can make this collaborative endeavor easier by enabling employees to analyze software throughout its development process. Rather than encouraging individuals to work on a single task at any given time, adopting DevOps and other emerging philosophies that allow multiple eyes to evaluate code gives firms the ability to produce software that has a lower risk of housing a vulnerability upon release.
The expanding mobile landscape is putting an immense amount of pressure on the development environment, as both businesses and consumers use mobile-enabled applications frequently and for more purposes. If those individuals end up utilizing insecure or inefficient solutions, organizations may face unwanted brand reputation or financial problems.