DevOps is often associated with rapidly releasing new code in pursuit of shorter software development cycles and continuous improvement. What happens for industries with high levels of regulations that can be time-consuming? Are government contractors, healthcare software solutions, and other regulated industries simply unable to adopt or benefit from DevOps?
The answer lies in finding the sweet spot between doing things faster and doing things right. Companies that implement DevOps without quality controls or verifying that they’re delivering the right product won’t pass regulatory compliance, while companies that avoid change will be slower to market than competitors.
Include Regulatory Requirements from the Start
Include applicable regulatory requirements at the beginning of your DevOps planning, rather than attempting to retrofit them afterward. Design automatic compliance checks for each development phase that ensure the required documentation and approvals are complete.
DevOps Automation Informs Audits
Automation is an essential aspect to DevOps to improve efficiencies and speed to market. It has another benefit when it comes to regulatory compliance: it provides detailed documentation of repetitive tasks and removes human error. Complete your audits faster and with more confidence when you implement DevOps automation.
Constant Feedback, Constant Improvement
DevOps removes barriers between teams to encourage feedback earlier in the development cycle. This means issues with the code and product are fixed earlier than in traditional waterfall methodologies. Catching issues early avoids scenarios where non-compliant releases are in production with no fix on the horizon.
Compliant Software, Delivered Faster
It is possible to meet regulatory compliance and deliver quality software more quickly with DevOps by following these simple steps:
- Include regulatory auditors in the stakeholder process early in the planning phase.
- Automate tasks with clear documentation for easier audits.
- Design and incorporate automatic compliance checks.
- Use constant feedback to find and resolve compliance issues earlier in the development cycle.
Organizations in a highly regulated industry, can implement DevOps, deliver quality software quickly, and be compliant. Successful DevOps implementations include regulatory auditors early in the planning, use automation to streamline audits, incorporate automatic compliance checks, and leverage constant feedback to find and resolve compliance issues earlier in the development cycle.