Rackspace Survey Spotlights DevOps Business Benefits: Top 6 Findings

1 - Rackspace Survey Spotlights DevOps Business Benefits: Top 6 Findings
2 - DevOps Adoption Is on an Upswing, but the U.K. Lags
3 - DevOps Is Driven by Operations
4 - Is DevOps a Software Development Process or a Cultural Movement?
5 - Not Everyone Is on the DevOps Train
6 - DevOps Challenges Are More Cultural Than Technical
7 - Outsourcing and Automating Are Key for DevOps
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Rackspace Survey Spotlights DevOps Business Benefits: Top 6 Findings

by Darryl K. Taft

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DevOps Adoption Is on an Upswing, but the U.K. Lags

Despite DevOps having had a relatively short life so far, more than half of respondents' organizations (55%) have already implemented DevOps practices or approaches, and a further 31% are planning to do so within the next three years. Around half (49%) of those who have already implemented DevOps practices have managed to fully integrate their operations team with their development team, while a similar number (47%) have fully aligned their DevOps goals with their business goals. The U.S. and Australia are significantly ahead of the U.K. in this regard, with just 40% of U.K. companies having implemented DevOps, as opposed to 66% in the U.S. and 50% in Australia.

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DevOps Is Driven by Operations

The survey found that operations teams are the catalysts for DevOps adoption. Among those already using DevOps, 43% say the decision was primarily driven by the IT operations team. It was less likely for an individual such as the CIO (25%) or the CTO (7%) or a member of the business leadership (5%) to lead the implementation. While this data point may not reflect the original catalyst of an initiative, it does suggest that once a mandate for DevOps is created, the accountability for it lies with the operations team, giving them the seat at the table of business value and bringing their much needed experience into the developer circle.

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Is DevOps a Software Development Process or a Cultural Movement?

More than three quarters (77%) of respondents are familiar with the concept of DevOps. Drilling further into what they believe is the definition of DevOps, close to three in five (59%) see it as a software development process that brings developers and IT operations closer together, and a quarter (26%) see it as a cultural movement where developers and operations work closer together to increase business agility. In fact, the industry recognizes DevOps as a mixture of the two.

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Not Everyone Is on the DevOps Train

A minority of respondents' organizations (14%) are not using any DevOps practices or approaches, nor plan to. Just over four in 10 of these respondents (41%) feel that they have more urgent IT priorities, and over a third (36%) do not really know what the DevOps process entails. Nearly one-fifth (19%) see DevOps as another industry buzzword.

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DevOps Challenges Are More Cultural Than Technical

Over a quarter (27%) of businesses already using DevOps experienced no drawbacks of the implementation, but for others, a common challenge remains cultural rather than technical. This is not surprising given the fact that DevOps is a major shift in the way teams work, and close collaboration between these teams has outwardly been fairly hostile. Resistance to change, by both the operations team (37%) and the development team (32%), came out as a key hurdle to DevOps.

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Outsourcing and Automating Are Key for DevOps

A significant majority (70%) of respondents' organizations using DevOps outsource part of their DevOps services, averaging approximately a quarter (24%) of all their DevOps work. The primary reason for this is the cost-effectiveness (59%) of working in this way, followed by improved productivity (48%) and because it allows organizations the freedom to focus on innovation (50%). There are a number of areas of the DevOps process that lend themselves to automation—for example, deploying and scaling with configuration management tools and performance monitoring.

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