How DevOps can reshape the global economy: Study


A new report, from Google Cloud, provides a comprehensive view of the growing DevOps industry, with scientific studies that span five years and more than 30,000 survey responses.

The new report has been assembled by Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim, of the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) organization, and it is called “Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy”. The research has been undertaken in conjunction with in collaboration with Google Cloud.

An important trend is that DevOps as a practice is maturing. The assessment indicates that DevOps practitioners are “getting better at what they do and pushing the pace for everyone else”.

The report draws out several aspects of DevOps and how this aspect of software engineering culture and practice, which aims to unify software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops), is becoming an ever important economic driver.

Competitive advantage

With this, the report concludes that software delivery and availability unlocks competitive advantages. Such advantages include increased profitability, productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, and the ability to achieve organization goals.

Infrastructure and the cloud

To achieve these advantages requires planning; thus, how a business implements DevOps is of importance, especially in relation to designing cloud infrastructure. The report finds that cloud computing improves software delivery performance but teams that leverage all of cloud computing’s essential characteristics are 23 times more likely to be high performers.

Software and outsourcing

A further factor for enhanced performance is open source software. The report finds that open source software is 1.75 times more likely to be extensively used by the highest performers, who are also 1.5 times more likely to expand open source usage in future.

The report also notes that outsourcing by function is rarely adopted by top companies and doing so can actually harm performance. While outsourcing can save money and provide a flexible labor pool, the survey notes that low-performing teams are almost 4 times as likely to outsource whole functions such as testing or operations than their highest-performing counterparts.

Best technical practices

What can drive efficiency are certain, called-out key technical practices. These include monitoring and observability, continuous testing, database change management, and integrating security earlier in the software development process.

According to Dr. Nicole Forsgren, summing up the research: “the data this year is the compelling case of doing cloud right. Adopting essential cloud characteristics drives high performance and differentiates the highest performers from those who may say they are in the cloud, but are unable to realize performance gains because their technology and processes aren’t executed correctly.”

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