CI/CD: A Better Option for 21st Century Business Automation

Overcoming the Roadblocks of Automation

The traditional approach to automation is subject to a variety of roadblocks from maintenance to score creep. That eats up the time of your team as they attempt to managing existing robots and continually respond to project scope changes that push deadlines back further and further and further.

In addition, Manually testing workflows can be a big-time drain, taking a significant toll on productivity—and end-user satisfaction.

These issues become even more prevalent as you attempt to scale up to address increasing demand. CD/CI can help.

Shifting Approaches for Better Functionality, Lower Cost

In the "old days" software development was a massive undertaking, requiring months of work on the front end before code was even pushed out. Enter CI/CD or continuous integration/continuous development. CI/CD involves making smaller changes more frequently. It’s a process used by development teams to simplify the testing and building of code. CI helps to catch bugs or problems early in the development cycle, making them faster and easier to fix. Automated tests and builds are run as part of the CI process.

Today’s continuous software development approach is a more modern approach. It’s an approach that is iterative, taking incremental steps through a collaborative process that allows releases to be produced more quickly and ensures continuous monitoring so that any issues can be proactively addressed before they impact your workflows.

It’s an approach that supports high scale software development. But there’s one key component that is a must-have in this approach: continuous testing.

The Critical Role of Continuous Testing

Implementing a continuous testing approach allows you to proactively identify potential issues before those issues impact your actual processes.

Continuous testing ensures that your workflows will run smoothly, even as errors are identified because those errors can be fixed in real-time through automated testing tools. A continuous feedback loop requires four steps that will likely be familiar to many of you with a background in process improvement.

  • Planning – a project plan is created to identify requirements, tasks, and who they will be assigned to.
  • Build—workflows are created, and all workflow paths are evaluated to make sure they will run smoothly.
  • Monitor—automating monitoring ensures continuous testing to make sure that everyone runs as expected.
  • Act—actions are taken before a breakdown keeping your processes up and running.

The PBMA model, as we alluded to, is very parallel to the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model used in process management circles. It’s a simple model that packs a powerful punch. And, when incorporated as part of your CI/CD efforts ensures ongoing access and continual updating that doesn’t require expensive downtime or excessive manual interventions.

There are a significant number of processes within your organization that could benefit from the automation of the right kind. Learn more about how NITCO can help you streamline your processes the modern way with CI/CD. Contact us at YourDigitalTechnologyPartner@nitcoinc.com.

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