Earlier in the year, we declared 2017 to be the year of DevOps and I am pleased to say, “we were right!!” With our data confirming that 50% of organizations are implementing DevOps, DevOps has reached “Escape Velocity.” The questions and discussions with clients have shifted from “What is DevOps?” to “How do I implement at scale?”. As we are near the end of 2017, the number of inquiries are increasingly focused on how I&O organizations will be successful given the pressure of accelerated delivery of applications and services – without additional headcount. The DevOps momentum is occurring within all industry sectors. While healthcare, banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors are leading the charge – all are leveraging DevOps to support their business transformation towards agility and speed. Although many organizations are in the experimentation stage with single or multiple pilots – they all are transitioning toward DevOps across their entire enterprise.
To prepare your organization to transition from pilots and proof of concepts to a enterprise DevOps, I&O’s focus must be the following key areas: culture, automation, lean, measurement and management, sharing and sourcing. To give insight into the DevOps success to date we leveraged Forrester’s 2017 DevOps Benchmark Online Survey to point out the following:
Culture is looking good
In previous research, Forrester has emphasized the importance of a collaboration and experimental culture in order to develop, drive and sustain DevOps success. Our research reinforces organizations are embracing this shift in culture as a foundational component of the transition. Culture is being reinforced with a focus on collaboration across teams as the primary topic during the transition phase. One of the critical aspects is to shift the teams mindset towards a culture of experimentation where failure is leveraged as an opportunity for learning and evolving processes rather than the traditional processes where manual additional checks and balances are added. These mindset transitions are imperative for successful DevOps, and the market trends are encouraging.
Purposeful automation is improving
Silos of automation have and for many organizations continue to be a barrier to success. This is a result only maturing individual process silos such as change or incident management which leads to manual handoffs or difficult integrations that need management. In our research we found that organizations which have adopted automation across the complete lifecycle including continuous integration, continuous delivery and production deployment have experienced more velocity and quality. Purposeful end-to-end automation is foundational to success especially as DevOps initiatives scale. Our research shows the growing adoption of configuration management solutions and the complete automation of the CI/CD pipeline to enable rapid deployment of quality solutions. However, even with the current improvements , there continues to still be significant opportunities for more automation and I&O pros will need to work closely with their Dev partners to drive adopt more automation across the processes and functions.
Change management becomes lean
The evolution of automation tooling such as continuous delivery and release automation solutions also provide support for automation deployments in multiple formats such as canary, blue-green or even dark releases. Additionally, release packages are usually delivered with the ability to restore the environment should the deploy fail. These abilities combined with deployment velocity force I&O pros to revisit their change management practices with the goal to automate and shorten their traditional manual and lengthy change management practices. High performing DevOps organizations have reduced manual steps within their change management processes by leveraging modern tooling such as deployment automation. Deployment must be accelerated and I&O pros play a major role in the transition to speed up deployment cadence.
Measure to validate success
As enterprises transition to DevOps they will need to use metrics to understand progress and report success as well as to point at areas for improvement. For instance, reporting accelerated deployment velocity without improvement in quality is not a success. Critical to a DevOps program must be effective metrics to continue and drive intelligent automation decisions. Our research identifies that many organizations are struggling with DevOps metrics. A good starting point include metrics that align to velocity and throughput success.
The above trends reinforce the success and momentum of DevOps and represent a subset of findings from our DevOps Benchmark survey. Our recent report, Six Trends That Will Shape DevOps Adoption In 2017 And Beyond includes a more detailed perspective of the trends. As always, I welcome your observations, comments, and experiences. You can contact me here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@RobertEStroud).