Agile and DevOps: Better together?

'If you combine Agile and DevOps, you get much more success,' says CA.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

More and more businesses are putting a single manager in charge of Agile and DevOps.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Organisations across Europe believe that using an Agile methodology for software development can vastly improve the customer experience, while using DevOps can boost revenue from new sources.

A new report commissioned by software company CA said that 67 percent of UK organisations using an Agile methodology saw an improvement in customer experience, while firms using DevOps practices report a 38 percent increase in business growth from new revenue sources.

In addition, Agile reduces the time needed to act on new opportunities by 31 percent (from 13.69 weeks to 9.49 weeks) while DevOps lowers the time to develop and launch new apps by 26 percent (from 10.69 to 7.91 weeks), according to the research.

Other highlights include a 42 percent increase in employee productivity using Agile, while DevOps yields even better results with a 51 percent increase.

The report, Accelerating Velocity and Customer Value with Agile and DevOps, polled 1,770 senior business and IT executives in 21 countries, including 695 in EMEA.

According to Ritu Mahandru, VP of solution sales at CA, the report revealed a commonality of experience in the implementation of Agile and DevOps across Europe.

She said that 18 months after CA's purchase of Rally Software, a provider of agile development software, the company was keen to assess the current state of Agile/DevOps markets.

"What we found was that almost like ourselves, our customers were doing DevOps and Agile in silos and were missing a trick," Mahandru told ZDNet.

"Obviously, individually each produces results but we want to know what happens when you combine them," she said.

"What we found out was that many of the organisations agreed with us: if you combine Agile and DevOps, you get much more success," she said.

"This was reinforcing what I was seeing out there with customers anyway. They were beginning to look at how they could bring their DevOps and Agile practices together. But what we really need to look at now is how many of our customers are really combining it."

Mahandru said more customers are putting a single manager in charge of Agile and DevOps. "I think that is a move that says that companies want one person to be accountable for this."

Image: CA

Given that Agile and DevOps have been around for years, haven't businesses been slow to adopt them?

"Yes," she says, but adds that recently, "it has gotten a lot better".

"I have been working on this for a long time -- three to four years on DevOps and the last year on Agile -- and honestly, now it is different. Before we had to evangelise a lot, telling people that they really should be thinking about a DevOps approach... whereas now when we come into customers, they already realise they should be looking at DevOps or Agile, and they are looking to us to give them our best experiences."

Is there a difference between the UK and the rest of Europe when it comes to the take-up of Agile and DevOps?

"I travel all over Europe and I do think it's culturally different," Mahandru said. "I hate to say it but here [in the UK] we are a little more cynical about results. We are much more likely to dip our toe in then wait for results and go slowly.

"When I look at countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, they are much more likely to commit more and get going. They are much more likely to say, 'rather than let one team start, let's try four or five'. They are more likely to go at scale to try things out."

Nonetheless she knows of some "really, really, good Agile projects here in the UK".

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