How automation is making DevOps pros’ jobs easier

Dec 12, 2022 · 4 min read · Leave a comment
Sharon Gaudin GitLab profile

As DevOps professionals look for ways to save time, money, and tech muscle as they work to push better and more secure software out the door, they’re increasingly seeing the advantages of automation — and that those advantages seamlessly come with adopting an end-to-end DevSecOps platform.

In a 2022 GitLab quiz, more than 82% of respondents said automation plays a “vital” role in developing and deploying safer and faster releases.

It’s clear that DevOps professionals are realizing that automation minimizes the need for a lot of extra hands-on and time-consuming work, like backup, installation, and maintenance. It also can reduce the potential for human error and provide consistency. A DevSecOps platform, unlike a cobbled-together DIY toolchain, offers many advantages, like visibility and collaboration. Another major benefit is that it offers automation for everything from alerts to testing and monitoring.

Benefits of DevSecOps automation

Here is how automation throughout the software lifecycle could help DevOps teams cut time and money spent on repetitive tasks, eliminate human errors, and streamline the whole DevOps process:

  1. Security – A critical benefit of migrating to a full DevSecOps platform is that software won’t simply get a security test at the end of the pipeline – an inefficient, and often costly, feedback system. When security is shifted left, if a vulnerability or compliance issue is introduced into the code, it’s identified almost immediately thanks to automated and consistent testing. Automation built into a DevOps platform leads to better software and reduces the time between designing new, higher-quality features and rolling them out into production. And that maximizes the overall return on software development.

  2. Compliance – With a single DevSecOps application, compliance confirmation lives within the platform and is automated. That means professionals can verify the compliance of their code without leaving their workflow, removing the need for compliance managers to require developers to context switch among different point solutions in a DIY toolchain, which can lead to the loss of productivity and efficiency.

  3. Configuration – It’s a complicated job to set up, manage, and maintain application environments. Automated configuration management is designed to handle these complex environments across servers, networks, and storage systems.

  4. Continuous integration (CI) – This is the step that enables the DevOps practice of iteration by committing changes to a shared source code repository early and often – often several times a day. CI is all about efficiency. By automating manual work and testing code more frequently, teams can iterate faster and deploy new features with fewer bugs more often.

  5. Continuous delivery (CD) – This is a software development process that works in conjunction with continuous integration to automate the application release process. When deployments are handled automatically, software release processes are low-risk, consistent, and repeatable.

  6. Monitoring – This is a proactive, automated part of the process, focused on tracking software, infrastructure, and networks to trace status and raise alerts to problems. Monitoring increases security, reliability, and agility.

Automation by the numbers

In fact, the GitLab 2022 Global DevSecOps Survey, which polled more than 5,000 DevSecOps professionals, showed that automation is becoming increasingly critical to all DevOps teams.

The survey found that 47% of teams report their testing is fully automated today, up from 25% last year. Another 21% plan to roll out test automation at some point in 2022, and 15% hope to do so in the next two or more years. And three-quarters of respondents told us their teams use a DevSecOps platform or plan to use one this year.

Why are they using a platform? Well, security professionals called out easier automation and more streamlined deployments.

Fewer repetitive and unnecessary tasks

So what is all of this automation enabling DevOps professionals to do? They’re able to let go of a lot of work.

According to the DevSecOps Survey, respondents said they’ve been able to reduce a lot of repetitive tasks. For instance, they say they no longer have to do as much infrastructure “handholding” — they’re not manually testing their code, writing messy code, and ignoring code quality.

With automation, each task is performed identically and with consistency, reliability, and accuracy. This promotes speed and increases deliveries, and, ultimately, deployments. While it doesn’t remove humans from the picture, automation minimizes dependency on humans for managing recurring tasks.

And with GitLab’s single, end-to-end DevSecOps platform, automation is a system feature and not something that has to be added in. Automation with the GitLab platform is ready to go. Check out the “Ditching DIY DevOps for GitLab’s Single Platform” to learn more ways a platform can help DevOps teams.

“The automation in GitLab's DevSecOps platform is a game-changer. Here are six examples why.” – Sharon Gaudin

Click to tweet

Open in Web IDE View source