Previously, we talked about the data explosion happening in healthcare and how the proliferation of software and the traditional software development lifecycle (SDLC) have created a huge burden on development and operations teams. (If you missed part 1, click here to read it). In part 2 of the series, we’ll look at ways healthcare IT teams are resolving these challenges.
Why a DevOps strategy and agile software development methodology are vital
DevOps is a new term and strategy that’s emerged as a solution to the aforementioned traditional SDLC shortcomings. DevOps is about developing a culture of collaborative tasks that brings together people and processes to facilitate quicker execution, continuous deployment and recurrent product releases. And, when executed correctly, it can help healthcare organizations attain tangible returns on their investments.
As is the case with any new concept, there’s always some confusion and misunderstanding along with some companies claiming to be “doing DevOps,” when they’re really not doing it. If you’re not sure where your organization fits in the DevOps continuum, ask yourself how your organization works together on projects.
- Does everyone on a team (or project) have a common goal of working together to enable rapid delivery of the software or system by automating processes?
- Are your server provisioning and software development processes automated from start to finish or are there steps in between that require someone’s approval, whether via email or filling out a form?
Another concept that goes hand-in-hand with DevOps is agile software delivery. Agile software development is an umbrella term developed by the Agile Alliance that represents a set of methods and practices that incorporate iterations and continuous feedback to successfully refine and deliver a software system. A few popular agile models include kanban, lean software development and Scrum.
Healthcare organizations entrenched in traditional development and testing processes may view DevOps and agile software development as a radical shift in the way business is done, but keep in mind that you don’t have to make a massive overnight change; you can take a phased approach. Start with a simple, noncritical item and work with your team to make that process faster.
Continue focusing on the building blocks for rapid deployment—automation, a robust testing framework, a team bonded by common goals and a useful toolset. All the building blocks must continue to remain a focus to be successful with DevOps and deliver changes to the users (e.g., doctors, nurses, clinicians, patients).
Research proves DevOps gets results
Any change can be difficult, but it always helps to stay focused on your goals and objectives. Keep in mind, too, that DevOps done right has a big payoff. For example, 2016 State of DevOps Report, which included feedback from 25,000 technical professionals, shows that organizations using DevOps decisively outperform their lower-performing counterparts. They deploy 200 times more frequently with 2,555 times faster lead times, and they recover 24 times faster and have three times lower change failure rates.
DevOps in healthcare is proving to be a revolutionary approach to enhancing software development in complex projects such as big data, EHR (electronic health records) and telemedicine and enabling companies to shorten their SDLCs from days to hours.
Like any change, knowing where to start can be the hardest part. Don’t forget that you don’t have to do DevOps alone—Bedroc is here to help. We work closely with our clients on a variety of IT and business projects, including application development and DevOps services.
Contact us today and discover why our customers enthusiastically recommend our company to those interested in building successful, high-performing organizations.