The idea of devops is very simple. It automates the notion of agile, which provides the ability to remove the traditional latency around the application development lifecycle. The advantage is that developers can make changes, then test, integrate, and deploy those changes automagically.
The cloud provides more of an advantage for the devops model. Since the applications are centrally deployed and managed, they could change several times a day, adding both fixes and enhancements.
While this kind of freedom and automation empowers developers, users also benefit. Indeed, as users discover issues with the cloud-hosted software or offer suggestions for improvement, they can communicate requests to developers, then correct and enhance the issues in hours or days, not months or even years.
Users often feel they have to adapt to the software they are asked to leverage, and this causes a level of frustration over time. They often feel that requests made to the ISV or SaaS providers don’t get the attention they deserve.
With devops combined with SaaS-based application deployment, SaaS providers and enterprises that deploy SaaS now have the automation in place to dynamically include the user, as well as the developers and operations. Via automated tools, developers can provide feedback while using the software, and developers can both respond directly to or trend requests. This creates an automated product management system where we move from a long process to a very short one.
As a result, users are more likely to stick with your SaaS application and even expand its adoption. Moreover, the ability to empower users through automation reduces overall costs by working with a community to determine the right path for the software, rather than a large product management team.
What’s exciting here is the ability to automate all aspects of the application development lifecycle and, by doing so, include the ultimate user in the process. We’ve only begun this journey, and I suspect there will be many opportunities to better serve the user in the future. Great customer service will become the name of the game when it comes to building and deploying software, cloud or no cloud.