Survey: DevOps an Overnight Success Because It Works

September 12, 2013

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Know what grinds my gears? A myopic view of devops! 😉

We’ve all heard of bands or movie stars that seem to be overnight successes, even though they’ve been working hard for 10 years to “suddenly” make it. Like them, the idea of DevOps seems to have come out of nowhere, even though it has been around for years and is suddenly making it big because it delivers big business benefits.

That’s the results highlighted in the  latest researchconducted by Vanson Bourne and sponsored by CA Technologies. Two-thirds of the 1,300 respondents from large organizations across the globe have a DevOps strategy currently in place or plan to implement one. (We define DevOps as a method of developing software which lets developers and IT operations professionals communicate and collaborate to speed the delivery of new business services.)

DevOps_Benefits

Even more importantly, of those who have implemented DevOps, more than 90 percent have seen or expect to see measurable benefits. Ninety-four percent, for example, have seen or expect to see more frequent deployment of software and services, which allows them to bring new ideas to market more quickly. The same percent have seen or expect to see increased collaboration to help develop those great ideas in the first place.

Ninety-one percent have seen or expect to see DevOps not only reduce development and operations costs, but allow the delivery of new software and services that would not otherwise have been possible.  This is really exciting because it shows how DevOps can help transform the business, reaching or even creating new customers and new markets to drive growth.

It’s also interesting how many of those metrics are “external” measures that make a difference to customers (like the speed of delivering new applications) rather than “internal” measures (like lower costs). Forty-nine percent of respondents measured DevOps by such external metrics compared to 38 percent using internal metrics. That makes sense because most of the key drivers they reported for DevOps are external, such as customer demand for faster application release, the need to improve the customer experience, and increased use of mobile devices.

DevOps is hot now because it’s needed more than ever. It’s also hot because it’s become more feasible, due to new tools that enable IT automation (a top requirement cited by respondents) and collaboration, as well as virtualization and the cloud.

But DevOps is not easy, with 35 percent reporting the key obstacle to DevOps adoption is organizational complexity and 28 percent citing the lack of alignment of roles and responsibilities across development and operations. Large companies must also take into account their inherent and unavoidable complexity, their special security needs, and regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX).

DevOps_Obstacles

To meet these challenges, it was interesting that most respondents (70 percent) plan to invest in new tools, compared to only 53 percent hiring new resources with DevOps skills. That fits with my belief that existing staff is an incredibly valuable resource, because they best understand the business, the customer and the culture. In other words, retrain the staff that already “gets” your business needs, and use new tools to automate, manage and secure your new, streamlined practices.

Our core DevOps toolset, for example, includes CA LISA Service Virtualization to accelerate and improve app test, QA and acceptance; CA Layer7 to standardize and secure API access; CA LISA Release Automation to speed deployment into production; CA Application Performance Management to manage new release operations; and CA LISA Pathfinder to close the collaborative feedback loop from production to development.

DevOps_Components

To me, the results of this survey say that if you’re still on the fence about DevOps, get off and get working—but watch out for the organizational hurdles. To learn more about the quantifiable business benefits your peers are getting from DevOps and their best practices for achieving these results, download our white paper, TechInsights Report: What Smart Businesses Know About DevOps.

This blog was originally posted on CA Technologies Innovation blog at http://blogs.ca.com/innovation/2013/09/12/survey-devops-an-overnight-success-because-it-works/

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