DevOps is essentially the practice of optimizing the development process by bringing together modern automation tools and fresh methods. This helps to improve tried-and-tested formulae, by allowing businesses to outpace their competitors through rapid iteration process while maintaining exceptional flexibility.
The Importance of DevOps
Why is this so important? Very simply, because software users are more demanding than ever before. Having become accustomed to the rich level of convenience offered by industry juggernauts like Amazon and Google, and granted near-unlimited alternatives through the internet (no matter what tool you’re using, there’s going to be something similar out there), users aren’t practically obliged to endure bad experiences. They can simply go elsewhere.
Apply DevOps Model to your E-commerce Development Project
Below are some basic tips on how you can apply the DevOps model for optimizing your process:
Combine Agile Management with Detailed Feedback
Agile methodology is all about moving away from the rigid and old project management structure that will help to quickly respond to customer feedback. Customer feedback is very essential for e-commerce because of the amount of profit depends a lot on a person’s user experience (UX is hugely important). It is plausible that a slight tweak in the navigation style can make a difference in the user experience — between winning a conversation and seeing a qualified lead leave without ordering anything.
If feedback suggests that something needs to be completely revised, your development team will be flexible enough to make the change. And if your site is already live, and you are working on ongoing development, then you can have access to incredible data through site analytics that you can take on board and roll out A/B tests confirming that the resulting changes are fully warranted.
Ensure Cooperation Among Team Members
Let us look at an interesting example of the potency of DevOps. E-commerce hosting provider Shopify supports many types of merchant. So keeping everyone happy is a major challenge. Seeking a more responsive development process, Shopify moved to embrace DevOps in late 2015. The results were remarkable and by late 2016, it was rolling out updates three times as quickly.
Why was this so impactful? Because it helped teams to communicate efficiently with each other and discuss the different phases of the development process. You are unlikely to have as many teams as a company of that size, but typically, an e-commerce business is going to have a developer, a designer, a marketing team, and a sales team. By encouraging cross-team communication (something that a DevOps approach demands), you can get them to help each other achieve their goals, thereby also improving software delivery.
Automate System Testing
Functionality is all-important in the e-commerce world. If a live chat window breaks down on a regular business site, it can massively drive away potential buyers resulting in a huge loss of money. This is why e-commerce demands rigorous and ongoing testing, given the need for regular updates (both to alter features and to patch security vulnerabilities).
Automated testing (particularly when AI-enhanced) can take most of the manual effort away from the testing process. This allows you to set out a range of standardized tests and run through them procedurally whenever an update is rolled out or you have reason to believe that you might have missed some kind of mistake.
Scale development to revenue
Determining how much money to spend on e-commerce development (both initial and ongoing) is quite a challenge. The primary goal of the system (or systems) involved is to generate revenue. requires managers to set out budgets at the beginning of a project and stick to the estimation.
It is easy to see why this is not ideal. With a DevOps-inspired process, you can simply eradicate such problems and scale your efforts as needed.
Using a flexible budget is clearly the best way to handle investments in something as fundamentally variable as is found in e-commerce. Sticking to a set budget is a great way to find yourself either spending money you cannot afford to spend or completely failing to take advantage of unexpected success.
There is so much money on the line in the e-commerce world that slow-moving development is incredibly wasteful. Using DevOps, you can quickly respond to feedback, encourage team collaboration, automate testing, and maintain flexible budget allocation that makes the best use of your available resources. Give it a try.