Cloud and DevOps: a dynamic duo forged in today's competitive business climate

Survey shows software is delivered faster and more effectively in organizations with both strong cloud and DevOps cultures.

There are many compelling value propositions for cloud, especially when it comes to Platform as a Service -- with the consistency, collaboration and access to cutting-edge tools it provides to development teams.

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

There is also a great deal of interest in DevOps, which potentially can boost the productivity of development teams as they hit increasingly ambitious release cycles.

It would seem natural, then, that DevOps would work well in the cloud, and cloud applications and services would be well served in a DevOps environment. And, now, there is some data to support that assumption.

A recent study claims organizations can double their software delivery speed, and achieve an 81% improvement in overall software delivery performance if they adopt a combined DevOps and cloud strategy.

The survey of 929 IT professionals, conducted by Freeform Dynamics in partnership with CA Technologies, also asserts that neither DevOps nor cloud alone provides such advantages -- but in tandem, they can be quite powerful. About 20% of the sample make extensive use of both cloud and DevOps, and are miles ahead of those who only make use use of one or another as part of their software delivery and implementation process.

The survey's authors note that the dynamic duo of DevOps-cloud results in gains across the board, but especially on speed and cost. "When we looked at the individual key performance indicators (KPIs) for software delivery, the gains were both more obvious and more nuanced. In particular, we saw that while the synergy boosted performance against all KPIs, it was especially beneficial to delivery speed and project cost control."

The survey report calculates that cloud-DevOps organizations have achieved 80% better predictability of software performance, along with a 69% improvement in customer experience than baseline of traditional software development and delivery models.

In addition, the researchers determined that cloud and DevOps feed off of each other. "Not only can cloud usage and DevOps both reduce friction in the software delivery process, but they do it in complementary ways, whether that is by providing easier and more scalable access to release automation or security testing tools, or by simplifying and speeding the delivery pipeline."

Why bother? It's about the business, the CA-Freeform study's authors say. Competitive threats drives the adoption of both DevOps and cloud. practices. "A key factor is the perceived level of competitive and operational threat to the business, both from internal and external sources."

In addition, corporate culture plays a key role. Adoption of DevOps and cloud "appears strongly linked to an organization's willingness to innovate." For example, 71% see their existing business methods as "becoming too expensive."

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