8 min read
Eyal Katz

What is DevOps Automation and 5 Simple Steps to See Results

DevOps promotes collaboration between development and operations teams through practices and principles. It aims to streamline the software development cycle, ensure continuous, high-quality delivery, and enhance team relationships. Learn more with Control Plane.

What is DevOps Automation and 5 Simple Steps to See Results

Imagine your engineering and IT operations team working together seamlessly, producing software and delivering great products to market faster than ever. What a dream, isn’t it? It’s called DevOps. 

Customers want high-quality products, and they want them yesterday; you have to throw old practices out of the window to meet this pace, make stakeholders happy, and keep up with an ever-increasing workload that gets more complex by the minute. But there are cloud budget constraints and security and compliance requirements too. 

DevOps alone isn’t the solution – but pair it with automation, and you have yourself the holy grail of efficiency. With 70% of businesses expected to adopt infrastructure automation by 2025, this topic is very much on companies’ radars. So what can you do to bridge the gap between wanting DevOps automation and implementing it in your organization?

In this guide, we will take you through simple steps you can take when introducing automation to your DevOps processes.

What is DevOps Automation?

As a practice, DevOps entails using tools and processes to bridge the gaps between developers, IT operations, and infosec teams to enable effective and rapid development and delivery of reliable and high-quality software. But as we have noted – this isn’t a perfect approach.

Traditionally, DevOps involves many routine and repetitive tasks, such as provisioning infrastructure, integrating code, and managing monitoring and logging. The role of automation in DevOps is to free engineers from manually performing repetitive tasks and to enable better collaboration between development and operations teams.

For example, you can automate software builds from source code to testing and use CI/CD to automate integration, code change testing, and deployment to production. You can also manage and provision infrastructure as code (IaC), monitor performance and cloud costs, and introduce DevSecOps practices like security testing and data privacy compliance into your SDLC.


The benefits of DevOps automation

First and foremost, automating your DevOps processes lets engineers focus on mission-critical and creative tasks that are vital for innovation and growth. After all, creativity separates humans from machines – and there is a reason you chose to hire humans. But that’s not the only advantage of employing DevOps automation tools and processes.

From an R&D perspective, DevOps automation increases development teams’ efficiency while lowering cross-team dependence. It makes infrastructure provisioning and cloud deployment a familiar breeze with IaC and makes for better software products delivered in a shorter time.

Regarding business advantages, DevOps automation can save you a lot of dollars. According to a Google survey, financial savings vary between $10M to $285M a year, depending on the size of your organization and industry. As your different teams won’t have to perform repetitive tasks anymore, this reduces not just time waste but potentially costly human error and eliminates the need for large DevOps teams. 

Five Simple Steps to DevOps Automation

We got to the most exciting part. How do we make DevOps automation work? In an ideal world, DevOps automation creates a self-service environment in which incident management is automated, resources are available to developers on demand, applications can be effortlessly re-architected to meet changing business requirements, and product, development, IT operations, and security teams collaborate efficiently.

None of that happens overnight. Achieving measurable results and reaping the benefits of DevOps automation in your SDLC doesn’t start and end with adding more tools to your existing DevOps stack. It neither entails hiring more staff nor making drastic changes to existing processes. 

1. Define a clear plan

Throwing money and tech at a problem is never the right solution. Instead, you should start assessing what you already have (regarding tools and processes) and where you want to get. Depending on where you are in your DevOps journey, here are a few tips for getting your DevOps automation planning right.

  • Involve your engineers. At this point in the process, the best way to find your quick wins is to ask developers what tasks they find annoying and tedious. Automating those tasks will also benefit your engineering teams by adding DevOps automation to your SDLC.
  • Set your goals. Obviously, you can’t automate everything in development operations. Set your ultimate automation goals before you take action or acquire any tool.
  • Evaluate your DevOps maturity level. This will enable you to understand your DevOps processes are ready for automation.


  • Choose your targets and plan each step. Starting with the “low-hanging fruit,” like automating security testing and prioritizing the creation of a Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP) for releases and improved business agility.
  • Tools typically used in the planning stage include communication and collaboration tools such as Slack, Jira, Trello, and Asana.

2. Start with your CI/CD pipeline

Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) form the base for most DevOps automation efforts. The main advantage of CI/CD tools is that they reduce (or eliminate) the need for manual processes and human intervention while enabling the rapid delivery of high-quality applications.

CI/CD aims to automate pulling all the code, dependencies, and tests required for a successful deployment into one automatic process. It starts from a commit in a version control system, then runs the code through a series of tests. If all is good, the process ends with deploying the new version into the code to the pipeline’s target environment (development, staging, or production).

Automated CI/CD processes enable triggering pipelines upon each new code commit, automatically building and deploying the necessary changes to the application. This frees developers from manually creating new versions and performing tasks like code integration, software kit building, and dependency testing. Plus, it makes it easier to ensure security in multi-cloud environments that are inherently complex and challenging to monitor. 

Most of the code repositories offer functionality for building and automating the CI/CD pipeline, as do many cloud providers like AWS, GCP, Azure, and Heroku. Consider also vendor-agnostic tools like Jenkins and Circle CI.

3. Leverage containers, IaC, and serverless functions

The Cloudification of infrastructure (IaC) is essential to DevOps automation. Handling configuration and infrastructure as code lets developers apply familiar principles to provisioning and managing infrastructure.

  • Containerization. Containers are not a new trend in the DevOps world, but with the right tools to create and manage your containerized infrastructure, you can free yourself from many manual installations and configuration processes.
  • Infrastructure provisioning. The various components of your infrastructure (like your networks, virtual machines, and managed services) can be provisioned with code. With IaC, you can treat infrastructure like application code and scan it for potentially costly errors and security misconfigurations. Solutions like Terraform and Ansible enable DevOps engineers to set up and tear down environments in a declarative, repeatable, and deterministic fashion.
  • Serverless functions. Serverless functions can be a double-edged sword. While easy to deploy and scale, they can quickly turn expensive and inefficient. Seasoned DevOps professionals employ tools like Control Plane that seamlessly mix and match serverless functions across vendors and enable engineers to deploy highly reliable infrastructure with a click while minimizing cloud computing costs.


4. Set up observability and continuous monitoring 

Continuous Monitoring (CM) enables always-on monitoring of applications and infrastructure for performance issues, errors, or misconfigurations. You can integrate continuous monitoring solutions with alerting and notification systems you already employ so your teams can quickly troubleshoot relevant issues and take action to ensure uninterrupted service to end users.

It’s worth noting that today continuous monitoring extends to cloud computing expenses as much as to application performance and continuous security.

5. Shift left testing and security

Creating and deploying quality applications requires a lot of testing, including unit, UI, and integration testing. Writing, running, and verifying them all manually is not only time and resource-consuming but also famously hated by software engineers.

Many of these tests can be automated early in the CI/CD pipeline, like dependency testing, security and vulnerability analysis, configuration testing, and performance benchmarking. You then automatically run the necessary tests on every build, and you can even employ some automatic corrections to issues and errors, like code secrets that may have been accidentally pushed into a public repository.

Orchestrate DevOps Automation with Control Plane

Building and optimizing your DevOps automation stack can be challenging, especially if you’re running a multi-vendor cloud setup while trying to minimize cloud costs. This is why we developed Control Plane – a CloupOps automation solution that halves the length of the DevOps lifecycle by enabling all cloud infrastructure provisioning and management with a single API and UI. 
In addition, Control Plane lets you run your workloads on multiple regions of multiple clouds and mix and match cloud services for cost-effective and high-performance cloud consumption. You can integrate Control Plane seamlessly with the DevOps automation and cloud management tools you employ and get creative with making the most of all clouds with no vendor lock-in. Get started here.