AI in DevOps: Everything You Need to Know

Abstract depiction of AI across the DevOps cycle.

AI in DevOps refers to the integration of generative AI tools into software and hardware development to drive innovation, increase productivity, and save time. Since 2022, the applications for AI have grown massively. The market for generative AI in DevOps alone is expected to grow 33% in the next two years.

This growth is driven in part by new AI tools that help teams reduce coding errors, streamline development, monitor applications, and more. These applications are helping humans reduce mundane work and repetitive work. Moreover, they are rapidly improving due to the vast amounts of data they are processing and the innovations of newer AI models.

How can you thrive in this era of rapid AI-driven disruption?

This blog explores the benefits of AI in DevOps, who can use it, and the game-changing functionalities of an AI DevOps tool you might need.

I. What is an AI DevOps Tool?

AI tools for DevOps use generative AI to reduce manual tasks, increase employee productivity, and save time within your DevOps cycle. You can use these tools for:

  1. Elicitation of requirements
  2. Detailed analysis and operations on work items based on custom prompts
  3. User story and Gherkin generation
  4. Test case creation
  5. Requirements quality analysis
  6. Elaboration, paraphrasing, or summarization of work items
  7. Pseudocode generation to simplify the coding process
  8. Test script generation
  9. Translation of work items into different languages

While ChatGPT is useful for some DevOps applications, are best suited for the specific needs of DevOps professionals. Generative AI tools in DevOps are quickly becoming ideal assistants to boost employee efficiency, enterprise , and work item quality. Using AI ensures swifter deployments, fewer errors, and enhanced productivity. This investment into AI also has clear financial benefits. According to a Microsoft study, for every $1 a company invests in AI, it gets an average return of $3.5X

II. Who can use AI in DevOps

The modern DevOps cycle involves many sub-specializations to manage the modern software development process.

Diagram showing all the different types of professionals who can use AI DevOps tools.
People across the DevOps cycle can use AI tools to boost their productivity.
  1. Business Analysts: AI can aid business analysts by taking over more mundane and repetitive tasks. It can also help business analysis professionals identify new opportunities, analyze data, and improve their internal processes.

    By leveraging generative AI in a DevOps context, Business Analysts can automate tasks such as requirements elicitation, analysis, summarization, and elaboration. AI also enables the generation of and user stories directly from work items, significantly speeding up project timelines and reducing manual effort.

  1. Project Owners and Project Managers: AI can assist project owners and managers in Agile planning, ensuring that projects are well-documented and thought-out. AI in DevOps can also help generate first-draft solutions to problems through:
    • Eliciting requirements based on work item data
    • Elaborating underwritten requirements
    • Generating first drafts of Gherkin or user stories
    AI can also help project teams deal with many routine managerial tasks like:
    1. Generating summaries for long documents. Summaries help project managers and owners quickly understand long requirements documents and make decisions on the fly.
    2. Analyzing the quality of written requirements so they can improve the overall requirements quality within the organization
    3. Analyzing large scale data sets with custom prompts. E.g. a project owner can map the existing features of a product to the original stakeholder requirements and spot gaps to fill.
  1. Compliance Professionals: Professionals like Compliance Officers, Compliance Analysts, and Compliance Engineers can ensure their company and project meet regulatory standards using AI. They can do this by automating tasks like requirements analysis, continuous compliance, and ensuring work items for compliance. It can also generate reports on code adherence to various compliance requirements. For instance, using an AI DevOps tool, a compliance engineer can map their healthcare software to HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) and find missing features.
  2. Quality Assurance: QA work can sometimes involve repetitive and manual tasks. You may have to execute the same test cases multiple times, make minor changes to the test scripts, and even manually verify the software functionality. AI in DevOps can help QAs in the following ways:
    • Automated Testing, Test Scripts, & Autonomous QA: AI can create automated testing and deployment processes to improve resource management and enhance product and process security. It can also create test scripts from work items which you can select, edit, and add to your workflow.
    • Predictive Analytics & Real-time Defect Detection: AI can optimize code quality by identifying patterns and detecting potential issues early. For instance, a Capgemini report showed how predictive analytics can improve defect detection by up to 45%.
    • Standardized Process & Shift-Left Testing: AI can ensure coding best practices by generating pseudocode. It can also standardize corrective measures into the requirements generation process, reducing the chance of expensive rework later in the process.
  3. Risk Management: Risk Management Professionals can use generative AI in DevOps to speed up threat detection, data analysis, and prepare countermeasures. AI can also automate compliance checks with industry security standards, streamlining the monitoring .
Copilot4DevOps Plus UI showing analysis of work item data in Azure DevOps.
Teams can reduce risk by mapping a car's driver monitoring system to MISRA and ISO 26262 regulations.
  1. Developers: AI can aid developers by generating pseudocode and assisting in code generation for various programming languages, thus accelerating the development process. It can also help them by generating user stories and Gherkin. User stories help developers connect their coding to specific customer needs. Gherkin gives them a structured format for behavioral tests, improving communication and reducing ambiguities.
Abstract diagram of Gherkin language format showing given, when, and, when, and then statements.
AI generated Gherkins can help developers better understand stakeholder needs.
  1. Developers: AI can aid developers by generating pseudocode and assisting in code generation for various programming languages, thus accelerating the development process. It can also help them by generating user stories and Gherkin. User stories help developers connect their coding to specific customer needs. Gherkin gives them a structured format for behavioral tests, improving communication and reducing ambiguities.
III. Benefits of AI in DevOps
  1. Increased Efficiency and Speed
    AI in DevOps can increase your efficiency and speed by automating many tasks associated with software and hardware development and delivery. AI can reduce routine tasks like requirements elicitation, test script generation, automated testing, error handling, and a lot more. This frees up teams’ work hours to focus on strategic projects, resulting in faster project completion with fewer errors.

    Let’s take pseudocode as an example. It ensures clear communication and collaboration between developers and often acts as a first draft. The relative simplicity of pseudocode helps teams refining code logic without getting caught up with syntax. It also helps developers develop code faster.

    An AI-driven pseudocode generator can help speed up a development project by generating C++ pseudocode directly from written requirements.
UI showing Copilot4DevOps Plus generating pseudocode in C++ within Azure DevOps.
AI DevOps tools like Copilot4DevOps Plus can generate test pseudocode in most commonly used testing languages.
  1. Improved Accuracy and Consistency
    Sometimes, even the best business analysts can write poor requirements. Data shows that approximately 50% of product defects start with low quality requirements. A massive 80% of expensive rework is also traced to requirements defects. AI can help improve the accuracy and consistency of projects by analyzing requirements and suggesting improvements.
Copilot4DevOps Plus UI showing analysis of work item data in Azure DevOps.
Copilot4DevOps Plus can generate quality analysis of work items and improve communication with other DevOps professionals.

In the above example, with an intuitive tool like Copilot4DevOps Plus you can use AI-derived insights into your requirements to improve the quality of your requirements. Alternatively, you can also copy and paste the suggestions on external documents to send to other members of your team.

  1. Faster Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery or Deployment (CI/CD)
    DevOps aims to achieve continuous integration and continuous deployment, a philosophy of incremental code changes allowing for faster releases and frequent updates. Generative AI helps automate the CI/CD pipeline by identifying code integration, generating pseudocode and even spotting patterns in data. Thus, AI-based automation accelerates the delivery pipeline and minimizes the risk of errors introduced during manual interventions.
  2. Better Decision-Making
    AI empowers the DevOps team with faster and more precise decision-making capabilities. Large language model driven solutions can crunch massive amounts of data and return valuable insights. Combined with its other benefits, AI can help leaders make better decisions faster.

For instance, if a project manager has many long work items to parse, he can use AI to generate quick and accurate summaries to take faster decisions.

Copilot4DevOps Plus UI summarizing a long work item into a bite-size chunk
An AI DevOps tool can help generate bite-size summaries of long requirements documents.
  1. Better Risk Management
    As the speed of releases and the competition in the industry increases, the importance of risk management also increases. AI in DevOps proactively minimizes risk through predictive insights, automated testing, and gives data intelligence to leaders. This is especially true in areas like security, compliance, and service availability. Failure in any of these areas can lead to extensive loss of revenue and reputation for a company.
    In 2019, hackers stole the personal data of half a million British Airways customers. It resulted in a £183 million fine because of “poor security arrangements” under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In 2019, hackers stole the personal data of half a million  British Airways customers. It resulted in a £183 million fine because of “poor security arrangements” under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Timeline of the 2019 British Airways hack.
Timeline of the 2019 British Airways hack.

An AI DevOps tool can help teams ensure that such oversights do not happen through better security, efficiency, and coverage of stakeholder needs. For example, a project manager can use an AI DevOps tool like Copilot4DevOps Plus to map work items to GDPR requirements and spot any compliance discrepancies.

UI of Dynamic Prompts function of Copilot4DevOps Plus showing how it can analyze GDPR compliance.
Copilot4DevOps Plus can spot patterns in large datasets to make work more efficient.
  1. Enhanced Security
    AI tools within your DevOps workflow can give you significant security benefits, especially when integrated into market leading ALM tools like . Among the security capabilities within AI include:
    1. Anomaly detection
    2. Threat identification
    3. Automated responses to threat identification
    4. Detecting vulnerabilities

    All these are abilities afforded by AI tools, but their security benefits go beyond that. Within your organization, employees are increasingly using generative AI tools like ChatGPT. But if these uses are not expressly licensed by the organization, you can risk giving information to companies. However, an AI DevOps tool that uses the OpenAI API or the automatically doesn’t use data for training any AI models.

  2. Return on Investment (ROI)
    The specific benefits of AI in your organization depend on many variables, including the number of employees, organizational structure, the type of tasks at hand, and implementation. But the benefits of AI implementation are undeniable.

    Microsoft commissioned the research firm IDC to survey over 2,000 C-suite leaders on AI’s business impact. The best performing organizations had an ROI of as much as $8 for every dollar they spent on AI. Organizations usually saw returns on their AI investments within a 14-month period.

    These gains are likely to increase with more data and more advanced generative AIs DevOps tools joining the market.

Graphic showing how AI in DevOps impacts company bottom line, per an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft.
AI tools have undeniable benefits on company revenue, besides the soft benefits.

All these monetary benefits add to soft benefits like fewer repetitive tasks for employees, better employee engagement, and less stress.

  1. Enhanced Security AI in DevOps can lead to higher customer satisfaction. Due to faster feedback and release loops, companies using AI in their DevOps cycle can be more responsive to customer needs. These can break down into metrics like:
    1. Reduced Mean-Time-To-Recovery (MTTR): AI tools can quickly identify the cause of failures and automate the recovery process, reducing the MTTR – the average time it takes to recover from a failure.
    2. Improved Quality and Reliability: By reducing the failure rate and improving testing accuracy, AI can help deliver a more reliable product, thereby increasing customer satisfaction. That can increase your net promoter score (NPS).
    3. Increased Efficiency: AI can automate manual, repetitive work, leading to significant increase in worker productivity and better products. A 2023 Nielsen study showed that generative AI boosts employee performance by 66% (average) across three case studies. The study saw more significant improvements in complex tasks and among less-skilled workers.
Bar graph of productivity increases because of AI based on a Nielsen study in 2023.
Employees within software companies can massively increase specific tasks using AI.
IV. The Essential AI DevOps Tool
Abstract depiction of Copilot4DevOps Plus functions.
Copilot4DevOps Plus is a revolutionary work item management AI tools for Azure DevOps.

The benefits of AI in DevOps are best realized with Copilot4DevOps Plus, an essential AI work item management tool integrated into Azure DevOps. Through its wide array of features, it extends Azure DevOps into a single source of truth for teams using it. It also has a button-based UI that reduces the user’s over-reliance on prompt writing. But for further refinement, prompt-based features are available.

Its features include:

  • Analysis: Analyze requirements for quality based on the 6Cs: clarity, conciseness, coherence, correctness, courtesy, and conviction.
  • Elicitation: Elicit high quality requirements from work item data in one-click.
  • Dynamic Prompt: Engage interactively with projects by enacting queries on work item information to streamline various tasks.
  • Pseudocode Generation: Streamline development by generating pseudocode in common programming languages to help developers craft products.
  • Test Script Creation: Create test scripts in common testing languages in one click.
  • User Story/Gherkin Generation: Create user stories and Gherkin from raw requirements data in one click.
  • Summarize: Get quick summaries of long requirements documents to ease decision-making.
  • Paraphrase: Rephrase requirements to understand requirements and work items in more than one way.
  • Elaborate: Furnish unfinished work items with additional detail to better serve stakeholder needs.
  • Token Quota Status: Monitor your team’s monthly token consumption with a simple counter.
  • Custom Instructions: Select GPT model, response styles, language, and give the AI fine-tuned instructions to refine your interactions with Copilot4DevOps Plus.
  • Translate: Enable cross-team collaboration with one click translation of work items into more than 40 languages.

Copilot4DevOps Plus stays secure by inheriting OpenAI and the Azure OpenAI service security updates and protocols. Copilot4DevOps Plus is also available as a feature upgrade in Modern Requirements, an award-winning requirements management tool.

V. The Road Ahead for AI-Powered DevOps

AI in DevOps points to heightened efficiency and innovation in the future. Trends indicate that companies will use AI to enhance resource management and develop monitor projects tools. This progression will gradually automate manual and repetitive DevOps tasks and help pioneer new tools to help businesses meet their goals.

AI in DevOps is set to transcend traditional boundaries, promising faster deployments, improved code quality, and enhanced employee productivity.

  1. What is AI in DevOps?

AI in DevOps lets organizations use advanced AI tools for innovative, productivity-boosting, and time-saving approaches in software and hardware development.

  1. Is AI taking over DevOps? Will it replace DevOps?

No. AI is not replacing DevOps. Instead, it is enhancing and transforming the approach. If DevOps integrates development and operations from development to deployment, then it applies the efficiency multiplying and time saving benefits of AI to DevOps. It amplifies human collaboration and capabilities.

  1. How do I use Gen AI in DevOps?

Identify some use cases for generative AI and assemble a cross-functional team to incorporate it into your workflow. Also consider integrating it into CI/CD, performance and infrastructure monitoring, and the security and compliance workflow.

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