Proven Ways to Reduce Costs with DevOps

Leadership DevOps

IT spending has been on the rise for several years. Gartner predicts growth in IT spending of 8.6% in 2021. The projection amounts to a total of $4.2 trillion. With several IT leaders, managers, and CIOs tasked with reducing operating costs, it's crucial to get an accurate picture of IT spending and the factors that drive it. 

For several businesses, these expenses are out of proportion to the revenue. They look for optimization techniques and management approaches that can help evaluate and impact IT costs. One proven practice for optimizing IT operations and driving change is DevOps. 

However, do you know that DevOps can also help reduce IT spending? In this article, you’ll learn about the many ways that DevOps can help reduce IT cost. 

8 Ways to Reduce Costs With DevOps

The section details the proven ways that DevOps can help you reduce your IT spending.

Cloud Adoption

The first benefit to leveraging DevOps is the switch to the cloud. While this is an obvious advantage, many organizations overlook it. Does this mean you have to spend more to save more? Yes, sort of. Of course, you’ll need to invest significantly in adopting cloud services. 

However, imagine the IT infrastructure and maintenance cost of managing your own data center. And other services you’ll miss out on, leading to more draining resources and effort, fewer innovations, less productivity, much lesser ROI. According to the 2021 State of Tech Spend Report by Flexera, 62% of respondents plan to cut down the usage of data centers in the next 24 months, 27% will significantly reduce it, and 7% plan to eliminate them.

The DevOps approach promotes the adoption of cloud services. With the cloud, you’ll pay substantially less and can go on a usage-based billing plan. Outside of this, your team can take advantage of cloud-based automation services and containers to rapidly build and deploy your applications.

Cloud adoption gives you greater flexibility; they require much less maintenance, offer greater scalability, and provide more innovation potential.

Collaborative Culture

Can you cut down costs by becoming more collaborative? The simple answer is yes. Depending on your organization’s approach, tearing down silos and bridging the gap between all teams can help cut down IT waste and control costs. 

Employees use different tools and data-sharing platforms with varying levels of productivity resulting in Shadow IT. How many Shadow IT applications or activities are under the purview of your organization? The average enterprise with four thousand employees spends over $15 million on software annually.

DevOps is a cultural approach that encompasses all processes within an organization. Above all, DevOps helps to bridge the gap between operations and development through automation. Because of the greater collaboration and communication that DevOps eschews, you can enable cost control as part of the entire process. Similarly, you can have greater data visibility and share across all stakeholders. 

According to Gartner, organizations that facilitate and encourage data sharing will have better performance on business value metrics than their competitors. By eliminating silos, you can easily share ideas, find and recommend better DevOps tools and services, and consequently, save costs lost through waste.

Infrastructure and CI/CD Process Automation

By eliminating manual processes and enabling automation, you can reduce the cost and effort associated with manual tasks. By automating CI/CD and provisioning IT infrastructure, you won't have to manually manage and configure your servers, databases, networks, storage, operating systems, compliance, security, and other IT infrastructure processes.

One of the central tenets of DevOps is automation. With DevOps, you can automate infrastructure and enable elastic scalability across cloud services. By doing this, you can save more development, allowing you to focus on more productive activities. A Puppet report estimates that you can reduce the release costs of a single application by 97% through automation and reducing the need for human testers.

This automation helps to reduce manual errors, upgrade patches, and ensure compliance. As a result, you can reduce the costs of potential risks that come with non-compliance and security vulnerabilities.

Flexibility With Agile 

Several businesses find it challenging to adapt to changes in the market. According to the 2021 State of DevOps report, one of the major blockers of the low-evolution DevOps team is a cultural difficulty in embracing risk and adapting to changes. Businesses stand to lose a lot by failing to adapt to modern practices and technologies. For enterprises to remain competitive and meet user demands, flexibility in adapting to change is crucial.

DevOps promotes several agile practices, including rapid releases, agility, and innovation. By fully embracing DevOps, you can rapidly respond to dynamic market changes and deliver the best end-user experiences. 

Fast Time to Market

As with releasing improvements, speed is the top priority when launching a new product. Waiting too long in releasing a product will give your competitors headway in attracting customers and leading the market. And eventually, when you do release your product, it might end up being irrelevant, and ultimately unsuccessful. 

By embracing DevOps, businesses can effectively boost productivity and efficiency. Similarly, they can enable faster releases, causing competitors to struggle to keep up. In addition, DevOps has been significantly successful in cutting down release costs while ensuring the best and most effective performance.

Resource and Usage Optimization

Most of the resources and applications your team uses every day are probably over budget because of poor management. So, it would be wise to take inventory of all your resources and usage data if you want to reduce its expenses. Let’s take an eCommerce site as an example. On a Black Friday, most eCommerce sites receive significantly high volumes of traffic over the entire day. 

This traffic may cause the site to slow down or crash as a result of the spike. There are two problems with this scenario. First, if your application cannot balance the load from this traffic, you will experience a great deal of downtime and poor response time, which may drive away customers and result in a loss of revenue.

Secondly, if your application can't balance loads and handle traffic, you’ll be paying for those usage resources, plugins — including subscriptions for third-party services — that you don't need. Some resources may be running 24/7 instead of just when in use, for instance, keeping a development environment running all day. 

DevOps teams can optimize cloud resource usage management as a means of reducing waste and cutting down costs. To do this, you can prepare a solution where you only run a cloud infrastructure on demand. This way, cloud infrastructure automatically starts or stops according to usage. 

On top of that, DevOps teams can help create a resource usage optimization roadmap to select the best instances, capabilities, payment options, subscription-based services, and an entire cloud infrastructure. You can go a step further by implementing a FinOps approach within your DevOps culture to oversee the financial costs of the cloud. It can help you:

  • Analyze the usage and relevance of subscription-based services
  • Take advantage of cloud service provider discounts
  • Configure your infrastructure to go into hibernation or shut down when they are not in use
  • Choose the right instance type for cloud resources and get rid of unused instances
  • Monitor spend threshold limit and Implement alerts when it exceeds the predetermined limit
  • Consider hosting in another region/zone will be beneficial for your project

DevSecOps and Continuous Testing

Do you know what happens when your application becomes vulnerable to security threats? You may end up with a security breach and loss of sensitive data, which may have legal repercussions for your business. Additionally, you'll have to spend not only on fixes but also on security upgrades. That’s not factoring in the cost of downtime and poor user experience. 

Security is of utmost importance in every application. The fact is, even though most organizations have security practices in place, few enforce them, leaving them vulnerable. DevSecOps is a surefire way to enforce the utmost security practices for your infrastructure. The DevSecOps approach is an evolution of DevOps. It helps to detect potential vulnerabilities within your enterprise data security measures. That means you can prevent any breaches before they occur.

Greater Insights With Metrics Tracking

In every business, there’s always space for improvement. But how can you optimize your performance, reduce operating cost, and achieve a better ROI? By holistically tracking key performance indicators across all infrastructure operations and services. However, it’s necessary to note that you shouldn't only track vanity metrics. You should set clear achievable goals on what you intend to measure. With the insight you gain from these KPIs, you can adjust your application and make improvements across the board. 

At its core, continuous improvement is an essential part of DevOps. That is only made possible by tracking and measuring KPIs across all applications. For any business to reduce the cost of operations, one of the first steps is to track and measure the current state of your architecture. What application drains resources? How much do you spend on storage? What percentage of operating costs are unproductive or lead to waste?

Get Your IT Costs Under Control

With escalating IT costs and overstretched infrastructure, the DevOps methodology offers flexibility in optimizing and regulating resource usage, streamlining operations, improving efficiency through automation, enhancing collaboration, and eliminating bottlenecks. The advantages to using DevOps for your enterprise are limitless. 

You can leverage DevOps to lower infrastructure costs by following these steps:

  • Get a clearer picture of your business goals, processes, and all infrastructure operating expenses
  • Invest in automation and embrace cloud services
  • Continuously conduct a thorough analysis of operating costs and set thresholds 
  • Identify bottlenecks and risk scenarios
  • Adopt serverless computing 
  • Use containers and container orchestration tools when developing your applications
  • Plug every security gap and consider the DevSecOps approach
  • Optimize services usage and billings for best value and productivity

Topics: Leadership DevOps