16 Challenges of DevOps in 2021 – From Adoption to Implementation to Scaling

16 Challenges of DevOps in 2021 – From Adoption to Implementation to Scaling

It seems every organization tries to implement DevOps nowadays. Which, in theory, is not a bad thing.

The actual problem is rushing into things without fully understanding how DevOps works and viewing DevOps as the universal solution to all problems. This leads to poor implementation and, ultimately, not the desired results.

In this article, we’ll highlight the most frequent challenges we see organizations face when implementing DevOps, along with solutions for each, so you can sail these troubled waters more smoothly (PS: you can solve some of these challenges simply by using Bunnyshell).

Before we get to the list, there’s one more thing we’d like to mention: every organization is unique, so, naturally, so are its challenges. So it’s possible that you encounter a challenge that’s not on this list, in which case we’d be super happy if you’d reached out to us and describe it, along with the solution, so others can learn from your experience as well 🙂

Challenges Associated with DevOps Adoption

1. Resistance to change

No one likes change, and the complexity associated with transitioning to DevOps is enough to put people off. Moreover, you can’t just tell your team they need to change; you need to package the move to DevOps as a natural evolution of development practices.

How to solve

Ease your way into DevOps. You can’t make the transition overnight; instead, find a small product or component to start with and build from there. As teams begin to realize the benefits of this new approach, more and more individuals will get on board, creating a snowball effect.

2. Moving away from expertise teams to cross-functional teams

Traditionally, software development was carried out by teams that had a specific focus (interface, server-side, database, etc.). But adopting a DevOps culture forces you to move away from expertise teams that work in silos towards cross-functional teams that are responsible for the features / products they build for their entire lifetime.

The challenge here is how do you integrate frontend, backend, QA, infrastructure, product, etc.?

How to solve

It all goes back to fostering the right company culture and ensuring collaboration doesn’t backfire. Also, you’ll need to invest in your team and help them broaden their skills.

3. Misplaced focus on tools

It’s true that tools enable DevOps, but DevOps is not about the tools. It’s actually the change in mindset and culture that will help you solve problems. This misplaced focus also comes from the need to train your team to use DevOps tools and ensure they are integrated with your existing infrastructure.

How to solve

Once you have the correct structure in place, you can start defining processes. Then, you can determine the tools required to follow these processes. But make sure you focus on your team more than your tools at all times, as this is the most important factor when transitioning to DevOps. If your team can’t follow the new processes or use the new tools, you will not have an efficient implementation of DevOps.

4. The clash between Dev and Ops tools

Traditionally, Development and IT Operations used different tools and had different metrics to track. So trying to bring the two teams together raises the challenge of which ones to continue using.

How to solve

The tools chosen should be in alignment with the goals your company is trying to achieve and be suitable for the products you’re trying to build. There’s no point in holding on to outdated legacy tools that slow you down.

5. Moving from legacy applications to microservices

Continuing with a legacy infrastructure can cause your organization to remain behind competitors, not to mention all the issues that steam from platforms and software not being maintained anymore. Replacing older applications and infrastructure with newer microservices architectures enables faster development and innovation.

However, transitioning to microservices doesn’t come without challenges, the most significant one being the increased complexity.

How to solve

The transition to DevOps in itself addresses these challenges – implementing automation, configuration management, and Continuous Delivery can help you manage the increased operational workloads associated with microservices architectures.

Challenges Associated with DevOps Implementation

6. Not understanding what DevOps actually means

Even though the term has been around for quite a while and many organizations pretend they’re doing DevOps, the truth is, many still don’t understand its actual meaning. Even worse, they see it as an alternative to other software development methodologies such as Agile.

But DevOps doesn’t replace Agile; instead, the two can be used together for best results.

How to solve

Education is key here. The lack of proper understanding of the DevOps principles makes its implementation very risky – you could create new problems that could destabilize processes within your organization.

7. The lack of expertise in the industry

DevOps is still a new concept, so it’s difficult to find people who have expertise in this field. This makes its implementation intimidating for most companies.

How to solve

There’s no workaround for gaining expertise other than learning by doing. And once you gain knowledge, you’ll also be able to have a vision of what you want to achieve.

8. Lack of vision

Without a clear plan and some metrics, you don’t know whether you’re on the right track, where you came from, and where you’re going. It’s also next to impossible to determine deadline estimates, milestones, or deliverables.

How to solve

Once again, preparation is key as lack of expertise makes the implementation of DevOps downright dangerous. Keep in mind that, at the moment, analysts think there are only a handful of people in the worldwho truly have expertise in this domain, despite the plethora of DevOps tools available

9. Choice of tools

There are two implementation challenges associated with DevOps tools: 1. the intimidating number of tools available, which makes choosing very difficult (especially when there’s a lack of proper knowledge about the technology behind it), and 2. the actual lack of tool knowledge.

DevOps introduced the CI/CD principles, which are meant to be used alongside the proper tools. But many teams prefer to continue using legacy tools, which makes getting accustomed to the functionalities of the latest DevOps tools difficult. The lack of tool knowledge further makes it difficult for organizations to choose the ones that best align with their technical vision (and integrate them with the existing infrastructure).

How to solve

The easiest way to solve the problem of tool integration is to find the right orchestration tools. For example, you can use Cloud sandboxes to automate tool environments.

Challenges Associated with Scaling DevOps

10. Changing the organizational culture

To implement DevOps effectively, everyone has to be on board. DevOps is not about just bringing Development and IT Operations together, but rather bringing all stakeholders together – the QA team, business folks, product managers, the marketing team, even your customers through the feedback they give.

How to solve

Foster a company culture that encourages all teams to work together to deliver value to your customers.

11. Following a bottom-up approach

When it comes to tools and platforms, traditionally, changes are imposed on employees by the management. But DevOps promotes a different approach. Since developers are the ones who know best how to get a job done, it should be up to them to decide on the tools and platforms that work best for the task at hand.

12. The speed of innovation

Implementing DevOps principles helps shorten the release cycle. That’s great, but that also means you have less time to build, test, and deploy changes, so you can’t rely on manual processes as they have the potential to cause delays.

How to solve

Implement automation! Yes, automating processes is not easy, and it might require you to change your current workflow. But you’ll eliminate a good chunk of the human errors that can appear and achieve increased productivity long-term.

13. The optimization of the delivery pipeline

Speaking of automation, we can’t not also mention Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, the cornerstone of DevOps. Following a CI/CD pipeline helps you lower the costs and time associated with moving a feature from development to production.

The challenge is how do you enforce development standards and without slowing down development? And how do you ensure your team follows policies? The solution is unique to each organization.

14. Managing multiple environments

The more complex your application becomes, the more pregnant the need for separate development, staging, test, and production environments. This also raises the complexity of managing multiple environments.

How to solve

Have a plan in place. Managing these environments can quickly get out of hand, so following a series of predetermined steps can speed up deployment by streamlining development and testing.

15. Securing your infrastructure

Security is so important to DevOps that it even has its own subset – DevSecOps. The problem is, how do you achieve safer deployments without sacrificing speed?

How to solve

By developing components with security in mind and introducing security at the beginning of the deployment cycle, you can spot bugs early on and reduce risk, costs on resource management, and legal liability.

16. Implementation costs

Some organizations get the wrong idea that implementing DevOps will help them lower costs. Actually, what DevOps helps you achieve is grow your revenue because you deliver more value to your customers. On average, organizations that adopt DevOps and Agile practices notice a 60% growth in revenue and profit.

How to solve

The truth is, there’s no workaround if you don’t have the budget to implement DevOps. However, one word of advice, don’t start implementing it halfway if you don’t have the budget to sustain the full transition – this will only cause more friction and challenges.

Plan ahead and only begin the transition when you have the necessary resources.

Solving the Challenges of DevOps with Bunnyshell

Bunnyshell Helps with Orchestration

We enable organizations to take control, manage, and design complex production-ready infrastructures with ease. With Bunnyshell, you can integrate backups providers, define rules, and apply retention policies that allow you to revert or spin up new instances.

Bunnyshell Helps with Deployment

No more deployment downtime! Enable automated git deployments and choose from various deployment strategies such as rolling, immutable, blue/green, or all-at-once deployment to achieve 100% uptime.

Bunnyshell Helps with Optimization

We developed a set of out-of-the-box DevOps tools that would otherwise take months to build by a dedicated team, so you don’t have to. This way, instead of learning tens of DevOps tools, you only need to understand and use a single DevOps automation platform that incorporates all of them.

Bunnyshell Helps with Security

We help you easily identify security incidents by automatically scanning your infrastructure, collecting logs from multiple data sources, and aggregating logs from all of your systems.

Ready for Full-Blown DevOps Efficiency? 😉

Bunnyshell is designed for startups, eCommerce websites, dev agencies, or any SMB that wants the benefits of automation and uptime as a service. By using our platform, you can launch and deliver products significantly faster, with ZERO DevOps experience.

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