Enterprise Teams Make Their First Forays Into DevOps

DevOps—the close working alliance between development and operations teams—is catching hold in enterprises dependent on continuously and frequently delivering new versions of software, whether for internal consumption or external services. DevOps is intended to help increase the frequency of software deployments, while ensuring faster time-to-market for new features, less time between software fixes, fewer failures, and faster recovery when issues occur. However, most organizations are still in the early phases of their DevOps efforts.

These are some of the findings of a survey of IT managers and professionals, conducted by Unisphere Research, the research division of Information Today, Inc., in partnership with Quest Software. 

According to the survey report, “The Current State and Adoption of DevOps,” authored by Elliot King, while DevOps represents a relatively new framework and philosophy for application development and deployment, its momentum is growing and should continue to grow in the near future. The momentum is being driven by the most important benefit—the potential for better outcomes. Keep in mind, however, the road to creating a successful DevOps environment is not an easy road to travel. New organizational structures must be put in place and new tools must be utilized.

Given the fundamental shift in attitude and, in some cases, the organizational structures that DevOps represents, it is not surprising that less than half of the survey respondents are currently using the DevOps approach—defined by its steps of plan and measure/develop and test/release and deploy/monitor and optimize. However, given the potential payoff, the interest in DevOps is clearly growing. More than a quarter of the respondents indicated that they planned to use the DevOps approach within a year.

Currently, respondents who are already engaged with the DevOps framework do not use it exclusively. In fact, around one-third of the current users employ the DevOps framework on less than 20% of their projects; only around 10% use it on more than 75% of their projects. Over the next 2 years, however, those numbers will shift. More than 25% of the respondents believe they will be using DevOps for more than 75% of their projects, reflecting both healthy momentum as well as a good dose of optimism for the approach (see Figure 2).

DevOps is gaining momentum as a result of the pull of new technologies such as cloud computing, as well as the push from the shortcomings of the traditional development approach, the research found. IT professionals anticipate a number of advantages from DevOps from technical and business perspectives. The most important technical benefits that DevOps offers are better success rates in application deployment and the continuous delivery of software (see Figure 3). And, over time, its proponents also believe that DevOps will lead to increased quality and reliability in service. In addition, the faster delivery of features is another notable anticipated benefit (see Figure 4).

The survey found a strong link between the use of cloud technology and DevOps adoption.

The key factors to successfully implementing DevOps are the creation of cross-functional teams and support from the executive leadership team. Source control and issue tracking are the two most common tools to be integrated into a DevOps environment.

There is now considerable momentum toward DevOps approaches being seen within many development organizations. Overall, it still may be some time until DevOps is a pervasive widespread approach to application development and deployment. Nevertheless, interest is growing, and the use of the framework should continue to spread for the foreseeable future, the report noted. DevOps may not become the only approach to application development and deployment in the near term, but it promises to become a very significant one.