Enterprise understanding of DevOps expands, but has a long way to go

A new study has revealed that the enterprise is more likely to understand DevOps than ever before, but this knowledge isn't being fully utilized.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
New research suggests the enterprise is well on the way to understanding DevOps, but beneficial applications of these programmes are not commonplace.

According to cloud computing company Rackspace, the enterprise are behind smaller counterparts when it comes to adopting DevOps programmes, but large corporations are slowly catching up.

DevOps is a term used to group together various communication concepts in the technology realm. A basic joining of "development" and "operations," the concept concerns bringing together developers and operations specialists to work more closely together in a business -- improving efficiency, development speed, communication and understanding.

The Windcrest, Texas-based firm commissioned Vanson Bourne to conduct a global study researching DevOps within the enterprise. In total, 700 IT decision makers from organisations with more than 250 employees were interviewed throughout September 2014, spanning across the UK, US and Australia.

In total, nearly two-thirds -- 63 percent -- of UK respondents within the enterprise said they were familiar with the DevOps concept, while 73 percent of midsize business respondents said they understood the idea. Out of those at large organizations, nearly four in 10 said DevOps programmes have been implemented, whereas 42 percent of smaller companies are already on the DevOps track. In addition, 35 percent of both corporate sizes plan to introduce DevOps systems in the future.

However, while half of UK enterprises have been mainly focused on using DevOps for application monitoring and production support, just under a third -- 30 percent -- fully integrated their development team with their operations team, in comparison to 41 percent of smaller companies.

There are also a number of challenges when it comes to adopting DevOps. The researchers found that in total, 50 percent of of midsize businesses and 44 percent of UK enterprises do not plan to implement DevOps practices as they have other more urgent IT priorities.

In addition, half of enterprises and 34 percent of midsize businesses aren't sure what the process entails, and 22 percent of UK-based enterprises see DevOps as nothing more than a buzzword. According to Rackspace, 27 percent of midsize businesses also do believe there is value in DevOps.

However, UK businesses also believe there are benefits. The researchers claim that UK enterprises have nearly double the amount of releases compared to smaller businesses -- 23 on average each year -- after implementing DevOps programmes, and enterprises also have more than four times the number of upgrades and new features for existing applications with 127 each year on average, in comparison to 30 for midsize businesses.

The study also says that increased speed is also an advantage of using DevOps systems, with 41 percent of enterprises implementing DevOps experiencing an increase in speed for marketing new features and more stable operating environments.

Chris Jackson, CTO of DevOps Services at Rackspace commented:

"DevOps is becoming front of mind for large UK enterprises, yet we are still not seeing as many implementation success stories coming from this group as from small and medium-sized organisations. To really take advantage of the benefits DevOps has to offer, larger enterprises with more complex internal structures need to realise it's not just the relationship between developers and operations that matters.

It could be the relationship between developers and corporate security, or between operations and sales. Applying the principles of DevOps to other relationships in the business will help large enterprises come out with a really successful DevOps story."

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