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How DevOps Became the New Normal | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Find out just how much has changed since the last CA Technologies Global DevOps survey

How DevOps Became the New Normal

Just last year, a CA Technologies and Vanson Bourne survey revealed that DevOps was not a sure-fire hit— 16 percent of senior IT professionals did not know what DevOps was, and an additional 18 percent had no plans to adopt it. Fast forward one year and the results tell an entirely new story. 88 percent of respondents had already adopted DevOps or plan to do so, up from 66 percent last year. In addition to senior IT professionals, this year’s respondents expanded to include senior Line-of-Business executives—precisely the people you’d expect would not know as much about DevOps. So how has DevOps become the new normal?

The application economy happened – or, rather, it accelerated so quickly that enterprises have no choice but to consider DevOps.  In our most recent global survey on the application economy, 94% of Line of Business executives say they are facing increased pressure to release apps more quickly due to customer demand or competitive pressures. But how to do this while at the same time maintaining the app quality and performance that is critical to the overall end user experience?  Enter DevOps.

Demand for DevOps coming from customers

For further proof, consider the stated demand drivers for DevOps.  In last year’s survey, the #1 driver was the need for greater collaboration between Dev and Ops.  This year, that dropped way down to #6, and the top demand driver is the need to improve the quality and performance of the applications, followed in the number two position with the need to improve the overall end customer experience.  In fact, all five of the top demand drivers relate to the challenges of the application economy: the need for simultaneous deployment across multiple platforms (number three), increasing use of mobile devices (#4) and the pressure to release apps more quickly based on customer demand (number four).

DevOps has clearly evolved from a process to just address dis-functional relationships between Dev and Ops to an essential component of rapidly delivering high-quality apps and superior experiences to internal and external users.

Investing in DevOps

Another big difference is how enterprises are planning to invest to ensure DevOps success. Last year enterprises were principally looking to better train existing staff, and acquire new tools. This year, 63 percent are looking to add new resources with the necessary skills and 51 percent plan to engage a consulting firm with a DevOps practice, recognition that the seismic shifts caused by the application economy may require a lot more than fine-tuning existing organizations or buying more tools, although these still remain part of the solution.

The plan by half of the respondents to engage a consulting firm is also an indicator that DevOps is is becoming more important. In many cases, consulting teams are engaged after an organization’s own DevOps efforts have grown to such a scale that a more formalized approach is needed, or help is required to further expand DevOps to embrace more elements of the organization.  Identifying the right consulting firm also brings its own challenges, as indicated by the 26 percent of respondents who highlighted this as a key obstacle to overcome.

DevOps concerns

One interesting shift over last year’s survey is that security concerns have vaulted to the #1 obstacle identified to achieving success with DevOps, versus its #3 position last year. This too reflects the evolution of DevOps. No longer simply a set of internal processes to facilitate collaboration, DevOps is now at the heart of enterprises’ app delivery life-cycle, which may include external partners, suppliers and even customers. Already 71% of respondents open their APIs to external users, and the issue of securing those APIs suddenly becomes a key priority (and concern). The good news is the industry is responding with an ever more feature-rich set of solutions addressing API management and security.

What’s next?

There is no doubt that DevOps has evolved and grown past troublesome adolescence to become a full-fledged adult best practice in the application economy.  If we conduct our DevOps survey again next year, what do you think will be the burning issues and obstacles identified?  Will there be any push-back or backlash from the rapid growth of DevOps?

Tell me what you think here or on Twitter @jackiekahle or LinkedIn. For the full survey results, download “DevOps: the Worst-Kept Secret to Winning in the Application Economy”.

More Stories By Jackie Kahle

Jackie is a 30-year veteran of the IT industry and has held senior management positions in marketing, business development, and strategic planning for major systems, software, and services companies including Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, and Gartner. She currently manages the strategy and execution of CA Technologies thought leadership programs. Jackie has an MBA from the Whittemore School, University of New Hampshire, a BA in Mathematics from New York University and is the Vice-Chair of the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

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