The Lifting Force of DevOps Strategy: How to Make Your Project Take Off

Are you not getting the most out of DevOps? Perhaps, there’s some problem with your strategy. Read to learn more about the power of the DevOps strategy.

Does your DevOps team seem to be doing everything right, but it still takes an eternity to deploy an update, limiting your scalability? Are you using the best-in-class infrastructure provisioning tools, but a substantial chunk of your cloud resources go wasted? Or probably, the metrics suggest that your team is not getting the most out of DevOps, but as a C-level, you don’t have enough technical expertise to identify and address the problem? 

In all likelihood, you rely on a failing strategy. Or there’s no strategy at all. Luckily, building out the DevOps strategy is the centerpiece of our discovery stage—and we distilled our experience and knowledge into this article. 

Read on to learn what the strategic approach to DevOps means, what it involves, and why it’s a crucial element of your project's success.

What’s the strategic approach to DevOps?

Not so long ago, one media and entertainment (M&E) startup reached out to us for our DevOps expertise. Despite having automated its CI/CD pipelines and using some of the top DevOps tools, the company was struggling with long builds and deployments. 

Why did it happen? Their previous team set up CI/CD pipelines without any strategy at all. They just put together some tools, hoping that it would work out. It probably did at the beginning. But as the project grew, the infrastructure deficiencies made themselves felt: because of redundancies in processes, even the tiniest update would take at least six hours to get deployed! 

The moral of the story? Going DevOps isn’t enough for success. It’s vital to conduct a thorough analysis of the current state of affairs (at the level of tools, processes, and people), compare it to the desired state, and plan for future growth with all the pitfalls taken into account—and this is what every our project begins with and is actually what the strategic approach to DevOps stands for. 

Let’s see what benefits it brings. 

The power of the strategy

Building a thorough action plan and following it strictly takes time and some upfront investment—the main reason many businesses decide to act “at random”. And yes, with this approach, you’ll probably see immediate improvements. But the trick is that they’ll bite back in the form of technical debt later as your project becomes bigger—this is what actually happened to the M&E startup. 

At the same time, when you know your infrastructure environment like the back of your hand, what exactly you are aiming for, what challenges you are likely to face during the implementation, and how these challenges will mutate as you scale your system, you’ll have a chance to define the most optimal route to your goals. 

This, in turn, translates into two benefits: 

Benefit #1: Success that lasts (and doesn’t take long to come)

Without constantly overcoming unforeseen challenges on your way, you’ll arrive at your desired destination much quicker and more efficiently, and improvements will echo throughout the entire project lifecycle (because you’ll take your growth into the equation from the very beginning). 

As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy the key merits of DevOps, such as cost efficiency and accelerated growth. 

Benefit #2: Investor confidence

If you rely on external funding, a strong strategy will help you build trusted relationships with your investors and even attract more funding. Why? First, you’ll have a clear understanding of what resources (human and financial) you need and why—this will instill confidence in your investors as they will know what they invest in and when it pays off. 

Second, when applied in the right way, DevOps ensures efficient use of invested resources and pays off manifold. For example, adopting DevOps practices helped Amazon save millions of dollars. Meanwhile, automated deployments allowed Fidelity International to save more than two million in the first year of their DevOps journey. The list of successful DevOps cases is endless, which means that you, as a technical management representative, will be able to demonstrate to your investors the results of their funding, thus strengthening trust. 

These two benefits demonstrate that a robust strategy is vital to any DevOps initiative. Without it, your project risks crushing right on the flight way. But what does “strategic DevOps” imply? Let’s see below. 

The key elements of “strategic DevOps” 

Perhaps, the most challenging part of DevOps is that there’s no universal way to do it right. The tools you choose, the practices you apply, and the experts you involve will vary depending on your case. Still, certain elements seem to be set in stone. Here they are.


People are the fundamental element of DevOps success (or failure). The hardships of the M&E startup began with the team, which didn’t have the expertise sufficient enough to pick suitable tools and configure them in a way that worked for the client. 

roles in devops

What’s more, the significance of the team goes beyond the technical side of things. Without a suitable team in place, it’s impossible to build the DevOps culture—the central aspect of the DevOps success according to DORA’s report. 

So, if you see that your DevOps efforts don’t bring the expected results, consider delegating them to a team focused on results and growth acceleration.  

Architecture analysis 

Once you have all the needed expertise aboard, the next step is scanning the existing DevOps architecture for bottlenecks and areas for improvement. 

architecture analysis

At Alpacked, this happens during the discovery phase. After identifying the business and technical requirements of the client, we get access to their DevOps setup. We analyze everything that concerns DevOps—including CI/CD pipelines, environments, dependencies, tools, code, and even chats—and evaluate it against our standards. After that, we match our findings with what was requested by the client and proceed to outline our strategy. 

Business considerations

DevOps was born to help businesses win competitive advantage and meet customer needs in the most cost-efficient way possible—a purely business goal. So, when building your DevOps strategy, it’s vital to take the business element into the equation. 

benefits of devops

What does it mean? First of all, it’s paramount for your DevOps team to be aware of the project’s ultimate business goals. After all, it will affect their technical decisions. For example, in one of our projects, the client wanted to make their infrastructure as cost-efficient as possible. As a result, the combination of AWS EKS Fargate, AWS Aurora RDS, AWS Lambda, Pulumi, and the feature “suspender” (built specifically for this project) allowed the client to scale up and down their infrastructure with a click. 

At the same time, it’s critical for business decision-makers to stay up to date with what’s going on in the technical trenches. For instance, in the project mentioned above, the client declined a couple of our recommendations because of the limited budget—as a result, we focused on the most critical parts of the solution. Hadn’t they done that, they would have found themselves out of budget in the middle of the project. 

Continuous improvement  

Since the CI/CD market is dynamic, no matter how genius your DevOps strategy is, it isn’t something you build once and for all. New technologies and practices are mushrooming all the time, and your needs might change, too. Given that, you should always be on the lookout for better ways of doing things. 

continuous improvment

For instance, in a project with one prominent offensive security provider, our role extended beyond the basic DevOps routine—we also functioned as R&D experts, constantly experimenting with new solutions and incorporating them into the client’s workflow. As a result, we managed to take some inconveniences and inefficiencies out of the client’s processes. After all, continuous experimenting and improvement constitute the backbone of the DevOps mindset—and that case just proved this fact. 


An actionable plan is key to DevOps success. But building one, as well as identifying inefficiencies in the current strategy, requires profound expertise. If you don’t have the needed talent in-house, look no further. 

Whether you are looking to improve your DevOps processes, consider augmenting your team with additional expertise, or need someone to evaluate the current state of affairs in your DevOps workflow and suggest improvements — reach out to us, and our DevOps-as-a-service experts will assist you in any initiative.

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