Survey: IT development, operations teams really do deliver when working together

One in four enterprises employs DevOps,and it's making a difference in software delivery. Data security is a concern, however.

In an age when enterprises are under intense pressure to grind out products and software at blazing speeds, those that have DevOps in place are doing it a little faster and a little better.

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Photo: ZDNet UK

That's the key takeaway from a new study of 1,425 business and IT leaders, released by CA Technologies. The survey finds that 24 percent of organizations have DevOps in place, in one form or another. Another 46 percent plan to explore DevOps strategy over the next two years or so.

DevOps is a key initiative because developers and operations teams typically have different mindsets -- developers tend to work in a more informal style, and all any and all hours. Operations folks are more focused on structure and schedules. To get software releases out the door faster, these two groups need to work in sync.

Many of the executives who have DevOps in place report they have already seen faster movement and deployment of software across their organizations. The top benefits arising so far with DevOps include the following:

  • Increased frequency of software deployments 46%
  • Increased collaboration between departments 39%
  • Increased numbers of customers using our software/services 39%
  • Improved quality and performance of applications 36%

Looking at the benefits another way, IT and business leaders with DevOps programs underway report they have seen upward bumps in the business metrics they have tied to their initiatives. Here are the average rates of improvement seen with DevOps for some top metrics:

  • New software/services that would otherwise not be possible 21%
  • A reduction in time spent fixing and maintaining applications 21%
  • Increased collaboration between departments 21%
  • Increase in revenue 19%
  • Improved quality and performance of our deployed applications 19%
  • Reduction in spend on development, testing or operations 19%

Now, if we could only bring in business users into this circle of trust, things would really be humming along.

Of course, DevOps can't be set up overnight. It takes quite a bit of organizational legwork to bring everyone together. There's no doubt everyone agrees that DevOps is a good thing, but changing workflows and setting up the best types of collaborative environments takes some time and wrangling. That being said, the CA survey also looked at some of the obstacles to DevOps. Interestingly, security issues top the list -- operations teams aren't necessarily at liberty to release data that the development side needs for testing, as it may mean sensitive data is copied and released outside the operations security perimeter:

  • Security or compliance concerns 28%
  • Roles & responsibilities across dev and ops not aligned 27%
  • Organizational complexity 27%
  • No budget/lack of clarity over whose budget is responsible for what 26%
  • Difficult to justify from an ROI standpoint 25%

While there is no single tool for DevOps, IT and business leaders in the survey were able to identify the types of tools that best help them to get things in working order:

  • Application performance monitoring 38%
  • Release automation 37%
  • Functional testing 33%
  • Change/configuration management 30%
  • Performance testing 28%
  • Application development lifecycle 27%
  • Capacity management 25%

The survey also finds DevOps adopters are also more likely to invest in people and tools over the next year as part of their implementation of the strategy. The top investment item is hiring new resources with necessary skills (63 percent), followed by engaging a consulting firm (51 percent). More training for dev and ops personnel was cited by 46 percent.

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