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The DevOps Jigsaw | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Agile #Microservices

Only 20% of DevOps users have put all the parts in place to reap the full benefits of DevOps

According to the results of a new global study, commissioned by CA Technologies, 72% of organizations have implemented some aspect of DevOps but when the study took a closer look at the numbers, only 20% of DevOps users have put all the parts in place to reap the full benefits of DevOps.

Unlike many IT-related concepts, DevOps doesn't revolve around a specific type of technology, and it can't be classed as a methodology either. Indeed, DevOps generally requires blending a number of different technologies, skill-sets, tools and methods.

A useful way to think of DevOps is as a philosophy, i.e., a way of life for those involved in software development, delivery and maintenance. In line with this, cultural transformation to create cross-functional alignment and harmony is key.

Success in practice requires a business-led approach, adequately skilled and collaborative IT teams, and the implementation of a range of key enablers and controls. The study broke these out further, and ended up with nine key areas that were each confirmed by over 80% of the study respondents as being important for maximizing DevOps effectiveness.

This leads to what they call "the DevOps jigsaw." The nine key areas were separated into three categories:

Business-led approach

  • Well-defined strategy and objectives
  • Business stakeholder education
  • IT-business alignment of priorities

Skilled and collaborative IT

  • Relevant IT knowledge and skills
  • Cross functional IT processes
  • Cultural harmony within IT

Key enablers and controls

  • Right infrastructure & tooling
  • Right suppliers & support
  • Security & compliance measures

When the survey asked if participants had adopted each of these key pieces. The results revealed that most had not. Only 29% had achieved cultural harmony within IT. Only 33% had done business stakeholders education and had the right supplies and support.

The numbers we see here immediately highlight that when someone says they have adopted DevOps, this doesn't necessarily mean they have done it comprehensively. Most say they have done what's necessary around strategy and objectives, for example, but this is still a work in progress for many. The evidence also suggests that even where a strategy exists, business stakeholders are not always bought into it, which in turn impedes effective priority alignment. Looked at overall, the picture is consistent with many DevOps initiatives being driven ‘bottom up' from within IT.

When it was all said and done, just 20% could be qualified as "Advanced DevOps adopters," meaning they Implementation activity in all parts of the puzzle and implementation in relation to at least six pieces.

These results bring to mind a DevOps study we conducted in 2015. Out of the 65% who practice continuous delivery, only 49% answered that they practice CD for the database, the remaining 51% are just ignoring one of the most important links in their development chain - the database.

Once we dug deeper into their answers, and asked about the actual processes that are being used, the percentage of respondents who are truly practicing CD for the database dropped drastically to just 14%.

Using manual steps to deal with a significant resource like the database kind of misses the point. You are not really improving the process, you are actually just doing it manually over and over again, hoping you get it right each time.

Read the full results from our full DevOps for Database Survey.

As more companies adopt methodologies like DevOps and continuous practices, they have to be careful they are not just giving lip service but rather fully embracing DevOps across the entire organization and development lifecycle.

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Yaniv Yehuda is the Co-Founder and CTO of DBmaestro, an Enterprise Software Development Company focusing on database development and deployment technologies. Yaniv is also the Co-Founder and the head of development for Extreme Technology, an IT service provider for the Israeli market. Yaniv was a captain in Mamram, the Israel Defense Forces computer centers where he served as a software engineering manager.