DevOps is seen as a set of practices that combines development and operations behind the development processes to result in a shorter development cycle. But we say it’s something more.

DevOps is a culture that brings equal attention to both the development of the product and the behind-the-scenes operations that facilitate the development of the product covering every aspect of the development lifecycle including development, deployment, testing, and post-launch support.

The culture essentially comes with a great many benefits including but not limited to higher development ROI and greater coding efficiency and quality. Additionally, it also becomes easier for project managers or product leaders to formulate a road map to get the product delivered on time while meeting client expectations.

A Proven Strategy

Before DevOps took the business world by storm, development teams were instructed to focus primarily on product features and timely product delivery. This approach often ignores the importance of operational processes behind the development, and may result in delayed deliveries, unexpected surprises, reworks incurring additional expenses etc.

DevOps teams, however, are able to avoid such scenarios provided DevOps practices are implemented effectively with the team ultimately becoming exponentially faster than they were in their pre-DevOps environment.

Implementing DevOps Practices

For DevOps to deliver the benefits it promises, proper implementation is pivotal. Here’s where things get tricky. DevOps doesn’t work the same for every organization. Many companies don’t take this fact into account while implementing DevOps. They invest in DevOps mostly because of the hype surrounding it only to regret it later.

For DevOps to be effective, it should be complemented by some DevOps best practices that can improve development workflows which leads to greater efficiency and a better quality product. There are many practices that organizations can choose.

Here are three that can ensure a project’s success in a DevOps ecosystem.

Multiple code environments – As projects often have a lot of developers working on it, many companies set up multiple coding environments to prevent conflicts between codes. The developers can work on various sets of code in tandem without overriding each other’s work. This approach also resolves merge conflicts and streamlines the code testing phase.

Common environments include:

  • Local: This environment is where the individual workstations of the developers are. The code developed in ‘local’ is not integrated into the project yet. Coding is done in isolation so as to perform certain specific functionality.
  • Sandbox: This environment helps determine where untested codes should perform and how they should perform. Additionally, code quality assessment is also a prime objective of sandbox environments.
  • QA: This environment is to test the system’s functionality and also to ensure that new code or changes wouldn’t negatively impact the existing product version.
  • Staging: This environment is to ensure that upgrades to the production environment will be done without errors.
  • Production: This stage is where the ‘live’ version of the product that end-users would be directly interacting with will be fully completed.

Versioning – This is a DevOps best practice that ensures the reliability of all technologies within a product. During development, software needs to be routinely updated to reflect database changes or to include more features.

Version control makes this process easier, efficient, and effective i.e. it doesn’t impact the existing, functioning product negatively in any way. In the off chance that it does, the software can be easily reverted back to its functioning state. So essentially, versioning or version control enables accurate updates and ensures compatibility with new technologies. The added benefit is that developers won’t need to spend time fixing mistakes while end users have a better experience without compatibility issues.

Automation – Automation is a critical component of DevOps covering various aspects including systems, pipelines, and even the infrastructure that facilitates software development. Back in the day, manual deployment was the only option and the approach came with many risks; mainly data corruption or loss.

With automation, the team can work faster without having to spend time doing repetitive, manual processes like code deployment for instance. The approach facilitates easier iterations letting the development team focus more on mission-critical tasks. If done right, the best benefit of automation would be a significant increase in development ROI.

The following is a list of practices and principles that we recommend for automation in a DevOps ecosystem for the best results.

  • Unit testing
  • Behavior-driven testing
  • Production & staging servers
  • Deployment from production to staging (if re-works are needed)

By now, you may have realized the care that should be given while implementing DevOps and DevOps best practices in an organization. At AOT, we build our solutions in a DevOps ecosystem. We have ample expertise to help you get started with DevOps as well. Let us know your queries.


If you are reading this, chances are that your business has finally decided to shift to the cloud. We won’t say you are late because there are so many businesses out there still reluctant to migrate to possibly the only technology that can assuredly secure their future – the cloud.

Stats show that organizations that have already invested in the cloud is likely to increase their use of it in the next few years.

Last year, Forbes forecasted that 80% of all IT budget would be spent on cloud solutions by the summer of 2018.

Though the present stats aren’t out yet, we suppose it’s safe to assume that Forbes was right for such is the momentum of the cloud today.

Though companies have generally seen a lot of blog posts and articles about the benefits of the cloud, they still might find it challenging to determine what cloud service they should use in their organization. For many organizations, this choice comes down to three of the biggest cloud platforms in the world – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and the Google Cloud Platform.

Comparing the three to find the best of the bunch is rather pointless. All three are popular and widely adopted for more than one reason. They all have their fair share of pros and cons. The truth is that it’s the organization that needs to choose the right kind of cloud service that matches their business strategy and goals.

To make it easier for you, this blog will explore the characteristics of these 3 cloud platforms.

But before we begin, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The cloud provider should understand your business and its objectives – The cloud service provider that’s right for you should understand your business, its objectives, and what it aims to achieve with the cloud.

Your current architecture – Your business architecture should be compatible with your cloud provider’s. Their architecture needs to be integrated into your workflows. So compatibility should be given top priority. For instance, if your business already uses Microsoft tools, Microsoft Azure is the way to go. At the end of the day, you want seamless, hassle-free integration.

Data center locations – This factor is important if the app your business is going to host on the cloud is sensitive when it comes to data centers and their locations. For a great user experience, the geographical location of the data center hosting the app is pivotal especially if the business has branches across the globe. Your service provider should have data centers in various locations that are far from each other ideally.

With that, let’s get down to the main topic at hand starting with…

Compute services

Microsoft Azure – Azure is widely preferred for its ‘Virtual Machines’ service. Its key offers include excellent security, an array of hybrid cloud capabilities, and support for Windows Server, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Linux, and SQL Server. Azure also features instances optimized for AI & ML.

AWS – AWS’ main service is the Elastic Compute Cloud with a plethora of options including auto-scaling, Windows & Linux support, high-performance computing, bare metal instances etc. AWS’s container services support Docker and Kubernetes as well as the Fargate service.

Google Cloud – Though Google Cloud’s compute services don’t come close to its two biggest competitors, its Compute Engine is still turning heads with its support for Windows and Linux, pre-defined/custom machine types, and per-second billing. Google’s role in the Kubernetes project and considering the fact that Kubernetes adoption is increasing rapidly gives the Google Cloud an edge over others when it comes to container deployment.

Cloud tools

Microsoft Azure – Microsoft’s heavy investment in AI reflects on Azure as the platform provides impressive machine learning and bot services. Other major Azure cognitive services include Text Analytics API, Computer vision API, Face API, Custom vision API etc. Azure also offers various analytics and management services for IoT.

AWS – AWS competes with acclaimed services like the Lex conversational interface for Alexa, Greengrass IoT messaging service, SageMaker service for ML, Lambda serverless computing service etc. Amazon also unveiled AI-related services like DeepLens and Gluon.

Google Cloud – The services and tools for Google Cloud seem to mainly focus on AI and ML. We can also assume that since Google developed TensorFlow – a huge open source library to develop ML apps, the Google Cloud has a slight edge over its rivals when it comes to AI and ML. Other great features include natural-language APIs, translation APIs, speech APIs, IoT services etc.

Making the choice

Though all three are dominant in the cloud services industry, Google Cloud still seems to be trailing behind the other two. But the tech giant’s partnership with Cisco, the company’s hefty investment in cloud-computing services, and focus on machine learning may give the Google Cloud more traction very soon.

Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, initially lagged behind AWS but is now considered the most dominant cloud service provider in the world. If your business relies on Microsoft platforms and tools, it’s going to pair well with Azure. But Azure’s focus on Microsoft’s own Windows puts Linux on the backseat despite Azure’s compatibility with the open source OS. So if your business is associated with Linux, DevOps, or bare metal, Azure may not be a safe bet.

This leaves us with AWS. With its massive scale and a broad array of services and tools, AWS can easily give Azure a run for their money. Though Microsoft’s efforts are starting to pay off catapulting Azure to new heights, AWS is consistently growing every year. However, if your business is looking for a personal relationship with your cloud provider and expecting an attentive service, you may find AWS disappointing. Amazon’s massive size itself makes offering such a service practically impossible.

Conclusion

These providers can help your business with pretty much every type of digital service it needs to stay ahead of the curve in today’s dynamic market conditions. If you think these providers don’t match your business objectives, you can still seek assistance from smaller boutique cloud providers. The bottom-line is that modern businesses are going to need the cloud backing them to efficiently adapt to a technologically advanced future.  If you require assistance regarding cloud adoption and migration, the experts here at AOT can help make it easier for you. Give us a ring to learn more.

Image Background vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com


DevOps has been making waves for the last couple of years successfully revolutionizing enterprises, regardless of their size, across the globe. And the most intriguing thing is that despite its rapid advancements, DevOps is still at its infancy. Its accelerated growth is being closely observed by experts as well as organizations that have invested in it right from its beginning.

It’s been forecasted by many experts that the global DevOps market will exceed $12 billion before 2025.

Considering this forecast, last year many experts predicted that the growth of DevOps will speed up even more in 2019 to the point that the market will start experiencing an 18.6% CAGR through to 2025. The field is evidently headed to a promising future, and we will be exploring the pathways to that future in this blog.

Here are the major DevOps trends that will drive its growth in 2019.

More focus on continuous delivery

When DevOps started gaining momentum, one thing that stood out was the continuous integration (CI) benefits. As a matter of fact, the prospect of CI made many companies adopt a DevOps culture in 2018. But as 2019 began, companies widely started shifting their attention to include continuous delivery (CD) in their DevOps ecosystem – a trend that started in 2018 but soon neglected. This also started the ‘continuous integration vs. continuous delivery’ debate in online communities.

On the way to 2019, CI gradually lost momentum while the DevOps culture shifted its approach to more actively include continuous delivery in software development. To support this change, many companies have started adopting tools to streamline continuous delivery pipelines. Moving forward, we can expect companies to focus more on continuous delivery subsequently leading to the launch of better tools and practices that improve CI/CD pipelines.

Kubernetes and other containers will dominate

Containers are massively popular now. The effectiveness of containers is one of the many reasons why Kubernetes became a big success. As DevOps grows in complexity and adoption, the demand for containers will rise proportionally. Kubernetes will be at the forefront again in 2019 backed by its ecosystem that spans a wide array of platforms and vendors. However, this trend will put some pressure on IT teams to get things implemented the right way in their DevOps environments.

More DevSecOps adoption

Over the years, many technologies popped up but only a few thrived. The ones that became popular inevitably evolved to better versions. But that evolution came at a price. While technologies advanced, cyber-threats also rose. The growing number of security breaches have been a big concern for many organizations due to the impact it can have on a company’s value in the long run. Even AWS wasn’t safe.

The looming threat of cyber ambushes has also triggered an evolution of DevOps with more focus on security – termed as DevSecOps. In 2019, we will witness more companies adopting DevSecOps to encourage more collaboration in software development internally. This however demands a dedicated team to ensure that the process remains efficient.

More serverless computing

It seems IT professionals across the globe are intrigued by the concept of serverless computing. There were early adopters at first but the trend started picking up pace only recently. Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) is the buzzword now due to the many benefits it promises – from faster startup times to optimized resource utilization. DevOps can potentially enhance serverless functions. So we can expect more companies to adopt the combo this year.

Increased visibility into processes

The increasing adoption of DevOps will also force organizations to research better, more efficient approaches to measure the impact of DevOps. The governance feature in many reliable DevOps tools are now supported by automated tracking and reporting mechanisms which also gives enterprises a holistic view of their ecosystem. For starters, they will know who made changes, what kind of changes were made, and when the changes were made.

This reduces feedback loops subsequently facilitating faster improvements and optimization of business processes. Such transparency also enables the team to identify pain points, understand what can work and what won’t, and improve areas that otherwise wouldn’t be noticeable.

Conclusion

It’s a wonder why many companies still think of DevOps as just another technology that promises to be beneficial in the coming times. It should be seen as a culture instead – something that brings conventionally disconnected components in software development, deployment, and delivery into one single loop. The trends mentioned in this blog will play a major role in helping DevOps reach closer to its full potential much more efficiently. If your business is considering DevOps or already adopted it, it’s important to keep up with these trends. Get in touch with the experts here at AOT to learn more about utilizing DevOps to the maximum.


Digitization is what many industries have been after for the past couple of years, so as to create, innovate, experiment, and deliver faster. Digitization also boosts business agility, and the resulting competitive edge is imperative for a business’ survival today. When it comes to the software development industry, businesses are now required to adopt a flexible yet efficient approach that helps them overcome challenges, and eliminate risks, exploits, and dependencies.

Back in the days, it wasn’t easy for enterprises to figure out and implement such an approach. There was no working solution. They relied on a mix of best practices and refined management expertise to catch up with or keep ahead of the competition. It was even more challenging to innovate and deliver fast then. This was till DevOps finally went mainstream.

The State of DevOps Report for 2017 revealed impressive statistics post DevOps adoption. High performing organizations that effectively implemented DevOps principles recovered from failures 96 times faster, and had higher levels of customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Glimpse of a DevOps ecosystem

For a DevOps ecosystem to be successful in delivering desired results, the entire team should collectively contribute to deliver new features and maintain stability. In the old system, the development team would be writing the code and forwarding it to the operations team for production. DevOps brings balance to such a scenario enabling both the development and operations team to share responsibilities, while providing both with insights and visibility into the performance of the product.

It’s no surprise why the practice gained popularity incredibly fast. The DevOps adoption rate substantially increased last year (upto 74%) compared to 2016 according to data from DevOps.com

Consider these reasons that explain why you should adopt DevOps culture.

Speed up innovation

By integrating the development and operations team, and facilitating efficient collaboration between the teams, application development and deployment would be much faster. Modern businesses need this ability to innovate faster than the competition to succeed.

The ecosystem should also be adaptive to changes. DevOps engineers can be trained to analyze real-time performance data accurately so as to prepare for changes beforehand. Software fixes would also be considerably faster as the team need only check the latest code changes.

Increase efficiency

DevOps best practices recommend the utilization of automated tools and standardized production platforms for the best results. These elements make deployments more predictable and eliminates process/task redundancies. Reduced redundancies means the IT staff of the organization will have more time to focus on core tasks.

So essentially, the model facilitates continuous workflow and maximum productivity which can be translated to increased efficiency. A cloud-based DevOps solution provides a scalable infrastructure and enables faster testing and deployment. Development tools and various automated tools shorten development cycles without compromising the product’s quality. Increased efficiency with DevOps is also one of the major reasons behind the increasing adoption of the culture.

Reduce failures

The shorter development cycles resulting from an effective DevOps approach also enable developers to release codes frequently. It will be easier for the team to identify problems associated with configuration and infrastructure in addition to that associated with the application itself.

Developers would be able to eliminate problems while coding should they arise. This means there won’t be any need for a lot of fixes. As the developers would be engaged throughout the software’s lifecycle, they’ll be able to deliver high quality codes as well. The approach also enables faster recovery in case of a failure.

Employee satisfaction

DevOps environments promote performance-based work culture where risks are shared. Such an environment would motivate the team members to do their best. Essentially, they will be more satisfied with what they are doing when they are aware of their roles both within the business itself and in the larger scope of IT.

The lack of bureaucratic policies and rules, and the evaluation of performance would make employees want to contribute more, thus enhancing workforce productivity and, consequently, business performance.

Conclusion

Fast product delivery is the norm in the modern digital age we live in. DevOps can drive an organization to this goal rather efficiently. They become well equipped to deploy innovative new features faster. However, all these results can be achieved only if the business properly implements and integrates the culture into their environments.

Facilitating more business agility, security, performance, and stability, a DevOps culture could just be what your business is missing to trigger a transformation that can grant many benefits in the long run for you and the employees in your organization.

AoT is all for the DevOps culture which empowers us to create innovative software and mobile solutions for enterprises without compromising on quality. Drop us a message if you want to see how we deliver on our promises.

Image Designed by Freepik


Mobile apps are seen like a full access pass into a gold mine in the software industry. There’s an app for almost everything today, and app downloads are at an all-time high. As a matter of fact, according to Statista, app downloads are projected to exceed 350 billion by 2021.

However, apps don’t always work for every enterprise. Nevertheless, mobile apps will continue to be one of the biggest tech trends for a long while. Businesses will have to continuously strive to optimize their mobile app strategies to keep up with or potentially overtake their competition in the present digital age.

For this purpose, they will have to arm themselves with an understanding of the latest trends and technologies. Here are a few that can augment mobile app strategies of businesses this year.

Android Instant Apps

Contrary to the fact that there are millions of apps in Google’s Play Store, Google apparently seems to be striving for the reality of ‘app-less’ smartphones, evident from their move with Progressive Web App (I/O 2016), and later with Instant Apps in the following year.

Android Instant Apps don’t require a smartphone user to download the app into the device and launch it. Instead, they enable users to access an app from any URL through a web browser while still retaining the ‘mobile experience’. Instant Apps also don’t have the limits of a standard mobile app.

For businesses, this can be beneficial as the users won’t be asked to spend time installing the app and configuring permission settings. They get the functionality they require as well. In addition, Instant Apps also benefit businesses that want their apps and features to be visible in search engine result pages. The only limitation as of now is that Instant Apps are only available for Android users, having devices running Android 5.0 or above.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

The concept of AMP was devised probably after the present day behavior of internet users. Today, internet users have little patience when it comes to waiting for a website to load, especially when they are browsing the internet through their mobile devices.

AMP is an open source initiative aimed at enhancing the performance of mobile websites and web apps.

For businesses who aren’t willing to compromise when it comes to their mobile performance, going for AMP would be beneficial. However, they do have other effective alternatives to AMP including Instant Apps, Progressive Web Apps, and Native/Hybrid Apps etc. AMP is generally considered a viable option if there is high reliance on mobile browsers to provide services and/or good experience to users.

Mobile DevOps

Traditional IT service delivery model is part of the bygone era now. The new digital age we live in experiences dynamic cultural shifts. DevOps is one of those cultural shifts, establishing itself across multiple domains and verticals.

According to Gartner, 42% of the organizations that adopted DevOps practices testify that DevOps supports their mobile app development cycle. DevOps involves practices that automate processes and enable effective collaboration between development and IT teams, thus ensuring that the product is developed, tested, and released faster. This makes it a great strategic approach when it comes to mobile app development.

Businesses would be able to streamline scalable app development using DevOps practices, instead of facing challenges like the project going off-course or delayed delivery. The plethora of mobile DevOps tools available offer individual functionalities and integration capabilities that help leverage DevOps optimally.

Chatbots and Bots

With the rapid growth of AI, tech giants are now looking ahead for a future where customer interactions are done by machines and not humans. The revolution has already started in the form of chatbots – independent conversational interfaces that advance through cognitive learning. Chatbots today are capable of understanding user intent.

Bots on the other hand are essentially apps or services that operate on apps, programmed to respond to user requests and event triggers by invoking other services if necessary. Bots can function based on a predefined set of rules or have specific AI-based algorithms imbuing them with self-learning capabilities.

While chatbots help businesses engage and interact with customers without requiring human intervention, bots can automate workflow thus freeing human resources for more productive work.

Progressive Web Apps

PWAs are essentially websites wrapped in a mobile app-like layer, combining the best of both worlds. PWAs come with the look & feel of a native mobile app on full screen without push notifications or address/navigation bars. Big brands like Flipkart and Uber already use PWAs.

For businesses, PWAs can reduce load time, decrease bounce rate, and even increase conversion rates according to studies. Customers using PWAs won’t be required to install them unlike an app, but still get an app-like experience albeit with limited functionalities.

Conclusion

Businesses intent on leveraging mobility should optimize their apps to provide better, more favorable user experience. Technically well-rounded mobile app development and an immersive user experience can make a lot of difference for businesses trying to get ahead of competition.

AoT, being an established mobile app development company with a successful track record, can give your business a great app that leverages cutting-edge technologies and your customers an engaging user experience. Get in touch with us to see how our services can help your business.

Image Designed by Freepik