DevOps Holds Potential for Federal IT, but Roadblocks Remain

The MeriTalk report indicated that many agencies, though gaining some momentum with cloud migration, are finding it difficult to fully shift gears.

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Approximately two-thirds of federal IT workers say development operations (DevOps) will help agencies shift into the cloud fast lane, improving IT collaboration and migration speed, according to a MeriTalk survey of 152 federal IT managers familiar with their agency’s cloud adoption.

DevOps is a software development and IT management model that integrates software engineering, quality assurance, and IT operations teams to collaboratively manage the full application lifecycle.

However, help is needed, with 66 percent of respondents saying that their agency needs to move IT services to the cloud faster to meet mission and constituent needs. While DevOps is a growing focus in the private sector, just 22 percent of federal IT managers are very familiar with it.

In addition, four out of five IT managers (78 percent) said they believe their IT department needs to improve collaboration to enable a more streamlined move to the cloud.

Based on the survey results, just one in 10 federal IT managers would describe the collaboration between software and applications developers and systems administrators as highly collaborative. They cite with a lack of understanding and shared vision as key roadblocks. To fully implement a model like DevOps, Feds say agencies should train current personnel (55 percent); establish a new vision for the future (41 percent), and incentivize a change in culture (40 percent).

More than four in 10 (42 percent) of federal IT workers identified infrastructure complexity as a top challenge to adopting cloud, followed by , and lack of a clear strategy (35 percent).

The report also found that since the introduction of cloud, fewer than half of federal agencies (44 percent) have made process or policy changes; 30 percent have made cultural changes, and 28 percent have made organizational changes.

Just 13 percent said they can develop and deploy new systems as fast as the mission requires, citing delays from operational, policy, and security requirements. Eighty-one percent believe their agency could accelerate application software through the development lifecycle.

Seventy percent of survey respondents said increasing cloud adoption would improve IT’s ability to innovate; 69 percent said it would allow IT to refresh existing applications and deploy new ones, and 62 percent said it would provide high availability, reliable performance, and secure operations.

A paltry 12 percent of respondents said their IT department has all of the tools it needs to transition to the cloud. About one-third said they need authorization and control tools to successfully make the transition, while 32 percent cited integrated monitoring and logging tools, and 28 percent cited the need for automated infrastructure provisioning tools.