Given how competitive the SaaS market has become in the last two years, it doesn’t come as a surprise that more companies are looking to implement DevOps. There are now over 7,700 SaaS companies in the United States – and DevOps Engineer is one of the most sought after position for hiring.

As more companies attempt to rollout their own DevOps implementation strategies, we’re seeing many of them get trapped in the quagmire of definitions and ever-shifting challenges. Our solutions architects and DevOps engineers have outlined the six key steps any tech or SaaS startup can leverage to get an unfair competitive advantage in this incredibly competitive market.

Long story short: SaaS companies need DevOps.

To make DevOps automation part of your SaaS application strategy, here is what you and your team must do:

1. Evaluate your architecture and processes

To realize the dream of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), make sure your app and workflow are built to align with DevOps core principles. Microservices, those self-contained, interacting functional blocks, should comprise your app as a whole. Commit to compiling your code early and often – don’t hold off on integration for the end of that waterfall you’re leaving behind.

2. Map out deployment

Improve deployment speed and make continuous delivery a reality, by making a map out every step of your deployment process from start to finish. Identify any inconsistencies and standardize your process wherever possible, and writing it down will force you to realize how many steps are actually part of a single deployment.

3. Automate deployment

Once you’ve mapped out and standardized your deployment process, you can work towards automating delivery to the point at which anyone in your organization can deliver code with the push of a button. Any action you must do more than once, should automated to improve efficiency and reduce errors.

4. Automate testing

Prevent bugs from slipping through the cracks and make rollbacks easier by automating your testing process. Get your team on board with new testing protocols to fill every metaphorical crack before your users are left struggling on their own before jumping ship to a competitor.

5. Automate alerting

Use DevOps automation software to not just monitor every step of deployment but also automate alerts to notify your team when something goes wrong, in real time. Every minute lost in uptime are dollars lost on your bottom line.

6. Tighten feedback loops

As your team gets used to receiving and addressing alerts, tighten feedback loops to increase your issue resolution velocity every month. Document the procedures you need to follow – and don’t have each one end with “call our one engineer” for a solution.

These six steps get you started with DevOps, but it’s just a process. To get your DevOps program rolling, you’ll need an experienced Solutions Architect and several DevOps engineers in your corner.

Your Architect’s primary role is creating the bridge between business, product and technical strategy. An architect will assess your business goals and needs, map out key processes for automation and design a robust, scalable cloud environment for application hosting. Then, your engineers execute, automating processes and monitoring activity in line with the Architect’s master plan.

Understand that hiring a Solutions Architect and DevOps engineers in-house is expensive, time-consuming and often disruptive to the company. Consider working with a next-gen Managed Service Provider to implement DevOps strategy and resources as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. That way, you can focus on growing the business and making a better product instead of putting out fires.

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