Did you know the 2023 forecast for the global e-commerce market is $6.3 trillion? In fact, by 2026, the worldwide e-commerce market is expected to surpass $8.1 trillion in value.
The key to success in the e-commerce industry is speedy delivery and consistent updates. Your website must be adaptable and user-friendly to keep pace with industry trends to remain competitive. Developers need to integrate new features and functions with the quality of service.
How can you achieve this flexibility yet retain the top-notch quality of the e-commerce platform you’re scaling?
The answer to all your problems is to Integrate DevOps services.
Adopting a DevOps-driven approach in today’s business environment has become essential for companies to survive. This is true for major marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and small online stores.
You may wonder, why?
Primarily, due to their reliance on the e-commerce platform they use as a framework.
What are some current e-commerce demands in IT?
In the modern world of e-commerce, customers set the rules for how online stores operate. Customers will quickly move on to other options if the platform fails to deliver. This is why e-commerce projects have specific IT requirements to meet the evolving demands of their customers.
Here are some IT requirements in the e-commerce space:
- Quick turnaround on bug fixes
- Short & speedy term release cycles
- Exaggerated levels of availability – 99.9%
- Expect service stability
- Low cost of infrastructure maintenance
- Quick processing of data
- Secure data storage
- Easy compatibility with AI/ML techs
DevOps in E-commerce – Why Use it?
By utilizing DevOps in e-commerce, development projects become more efficient, significantly increasing productivity. The development team’s output during quality checks and deployments over time is the benchmark for measuring productivity. Compared to traditional methods, DevOps offers a host of benefits, such as:
1. Fosters Transformation & Innovation
DevOps empowers businesses to release innovative solutions at a rapid pace, putting them ahead of their competitors. A sequential process is followed across every phase of the creation process, connecting all phases of the traditional SDLC. With DevOps, Development, and Operations are integrated, facilitating a steady release of new updates without impacting quality or speed.
2. Breaks Down Departmental Barriers
DevOps offers a major advantage in streamlining the deployment process by eliminating the silos between IT and operations. Rather than relying on the traditional approach of having one department complete all project tasks before handing them over to the other (process handover), DevOps fosters collaboration to ensure seamless deployment and development. This approach results in a more flexible and dynamic deployment process.
3. Infuses Top-Notch Customer Satisfaction
The ultimate goal of DevOps is to boost productivity and improve software delivery, enabling teams to handle a high volume of modifications easily. In today’s hyper-competitive digital market, delivering an exceptional customer experience is critical. With DevOps Azure developers, businesses can quickly and efficiently introduce new, high-quality features to enhance user experience.
4. Security for e-commerce – monitoring & alerting
Proper storage, processing, and data protection are crucial as online stores solely serve customers online. Moreover, companies must create infrastructures that adhere to rigorous GDPR standards, particularly those that handle sensitive customer information. Therefore, implementing DevOps methodologies can help build a secure environment immediately.
To ensure the highest level of service availability and customer satisfaction, online merchant businesses must implement DevOps best practices that include monitoring and notification tools. These tools provide real-time alerts, auto-scaling and load balancing setup, and automated decision-making to handle traffic spikes and unexpected loads.
5. Increased Responsiveness to Revolving Demands,
DevOps promotes an agile mindset that enables e-commerce businesses to quickly and efficiently deploy new features and updates to their customers. By reducing the time it takes to move from concept to delivery, DevOps enables businesses to stay ahead of the competition.
Common Challenges & Solutions while Scaling DevOps
Challenge 1: DevOps & Production Control
DevOps’ emphasis on frequent code deployment can clash with the need for rigorous production control in regulated industries. This can cause delays of days or even weeks in companies with established change management protocols.
Solution: Automate production control by collaborating with the change management team to create an auditable system. Educate change management professionals on the advantages of continuous delivery. As long as changes can be traced to specific individuals, production control should not hinder speeding up production.
Challenge 2: Ownership of Operations
In large organizations, there may be a need for clarity on who owns operations, with some teams being aggressive while others only commit code. Who takes ownership of operations at scale in such situations?
Solution: Establish expectations for DevOps ownership.
For bigger organizations, it’s essential to establish clear responsibilities for infrastructure among teams to avoid conflicts. DevOps is a philosophy, and providing enough resources for teams to adopt the practices comfortably is vital. Encourage experimentation and foster a culture where innovation is welcomed and it’s okay to make mistakes.
Challenge 3: Decentralization & Variation DevOps
How to balance DevOps decentralization and variation in a large organization where too much variation can lead to challenges due to incompatible technologies?
Solution: Standardize DevOps practices
Test out different DevOps approaches during the initial stages to determine what works best for your organization. This works well with small DevOps teams. As you expand DevOps, establish a centralized practice with consistent rules for all teams. Create a central group responsible for ensuring compliance and guiding teams toward standard toolsets.
Challenge 4: Central Budgeting vs. Self-service Deployment
How can developers access self-service APIs and provide systems dynamically when a fixed budget is updated once a year, and they cannot wait for the operations team to provide hardware?
Solution: Large companies face budget constraints and server ownership limitations that can hinder dynamic scaling and automated testing. By modeling cloud infrastructure costs and forecasting environmental demand, you can build the necessary capacity to create and destroy environments as needed. This enables efficient DevOps at scale.
Challenge 5: Can DevOps be implemented on a large scale?
Skeptics argue that with more people involved in meetings, project plans, and hierarchies in larger enterprises, DevOps becomes impractical.
Solution: Some people believe that DevOps is impractical for large organizations due to increased bureaucracy and hierarchical structures. However, it is important to ignore this noise and focus on the benefits of DevOps, which can improve collaboration between teams and increase efficiency.
Optimal Ways to Integrate DevOps into E-commerce Projects
1. Continuous Integration and Delivery
CI/CD pipelines enable businesses to stay agile and meet changing customer needs quickly. By incorporating customer feedback, they can swiftly analyze and enhance their products, giving them a competitive edge.
Benefits of CI/CD pipelines include:
- Minimized bugs in production as automated tests run quickly, allowing the QA team to focus on overall product improvement.
- More frequent releases of new features and updates without pausing development.
- Automated deployments for even small changes.
- Reduced risk of breaking things due to deployment of small batches of changes, leading to a less stressful release process for developers.
2. Infrastructure Automation
Manual processes go against the principles of DevOps and can lead to unexpected failures, causing businesses to lose customers and revenue due to service unavailability. Infrastructure automation is key to avoiding such issues.
Smart infrastructure automation results in
- Automated changes that can be applied quickly, enabling faster deployment.
- Upgraded infrastructure using modern tools to speed up business processes.
- The ability to measure and analyze performance data for continuous improvement.
- More efficient use of development teams’ time, allowing them to focus on improvement tasks instead of maintenance.
- A decrease in errors due to manual intervention.
- Reduced infrastructure maintenance costs.
3. Creating a DevOps Culture in Your Organization
DevOps is more than just a technological shift; it involves transforming how technology is developed, implemented, and utilized. DevOps practices incorporate automated processes for deploying, configuring, monitoring, and testing applications and infrastructure to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software delivery.
- DevOps adoption typically involves changes in culture, processes, and organization, such as forming cross-functional product teams with the required competencies to deliver value based on the product’s needs and characteristics.
- DevOps transformation involves both cultural and technological changes. One aspect of the technology upgrade is the implementation of CI/CD tools that automate the deployment of changes to the target environments.
[Also Read: Best Practices for Successful DevOps Transformation]
DevOps has become essential for successful product development, and its implementation continues to grow in demand as businesses seek new products and functionalities. As digitalization and innovative growth strategies become more crucial, DevOps practices will become even more critical. Therefore, embracing DevOps as the primary methodology is necessary and a never-ending process to keep up with the constantly evolving business needs.