In a DevOps evolution, there are many paths to success, but even more that lead to failure


Every organisation is different and for most, the DevOps journey isn’t linear. There are many starts and stops along the way, which can kill early momentum and lead to cynicism. Without a prescriptive path forward, organisations are struggling to scale their DevOps success beyond isolated teams, according to the 2018 State of DevOps Report released by Puppet.

Globally, 80 percent of respondent organisations are Medium. Almost 11 percent are Low and just under 10 percent are High. Though DevOps practices have become mainstream, it’s much harder to make the leap from Medium to High than it is from Low to Medium. Thus, organisations can gain a serious competitive advantage if they concentrate on further evolving their DevOps practices.

This year’s report, written by Puppet and Splunk Inc., reveals the five stages of DevOps evolution and a pragmatic, prescriptive approach aimed at helping organisations get started with DevOps, replicate and scale existing pockets of success and make forward progress in their DevOps evolution.

The report maps organisations along an evolutionary scale based on how frequently they are using key practices. Those that are employing all the practices with a high frequency are highly evolved, or High. Those organisations employing few practices with low frequency are Low, and those doing some practices sometimes are Medium.

Executives have a rosier view

For nearly every practice, C-suite respondents were more likely to report that DevOps practices were in frequent use. For example, 44 percent of C-suite respondents believe that security policy configurations are automated versus 36 percent at the team level.

Additionally, 59 percent of C-suite respondents believe their organisation automates security policy configurations versus 36 percent at the team level.

In APJ (59 percent), respondents feel less support from their leadership for their DevOps initiatives than people in the United States (63 percent) or Europe (60 percent).

The disconnect between executives and their team members reveal an incomplete understanding of DevOps progress and impact. To bridge this gap, organisations should adopt automated systems and provide better, and more objective, measurement.

The success of DevOps rests on the ability of teams to collaborate 

Highly evolved organisations are more likely to have teams that collaborate to automate services. In APJ, 41 percent of highly evolved teams are collaborating to automate services for broad use versus only 13 percent of the least evolved teams.

In the same trajectory, best practices and patterns are shared across the organisations in highly evolved teams (28 percent) versus only 10 percent in the least evolved teams.

DevOps practices empower people across the organisation, for example, allowing individuals to make changes without layers of approvals needed. The collaboration between teams is therefore a crucial aspect of scaling DevOps success.

A critical practice at the highest levels of DevOps evolution

Highly-evolved organisations are 24 times more likely to always automate security policy configurations compared to the least evolved organisations. This finding underscores how as organisations evolve, security policy becomes a part of operations, not just an afterthought when an audit looms. In other words, teams are automating security policy configurations initially for their own benefit, and as their understanding evolves, this automation evolves to work for the benefit of the entire organisation.

Darryl McKinnon, Vice President and Managing Director, APJ, Puppet commented, “DevOps practices are becoming well established, yet many organisations continue to struggle to scale the pockets of DevOps success across multiple teams and departments. Whilst more organisations are recognising the opportunity to adopt DevOps, particularly at the leadership level, there are clearly some barriers to success that have to be addressed first. In the face of rapid digitalisation, mapping out the journey and better defining those challenges are a key step in enabling that success.”

Paul Ng, Senior Vice President of Investments at Singapore investor EDBI(the investment arm of the Economic Development Board), which announced its investment in Puppet in August this year, added, “Singapore’s digital transformation is rapidly accelerating and innovative companies such as Puppet are critical enablers for enterprises going digital. Businesses can leverage Puppet’s integrated automation platform to manage their IT assets across multiple departments more efficiently. We look forward to closer collaboration with Puppet to help many more Singapore companies adopt DevOps practices, including infrastructure automation as part of their digitalisation journey.”

“This year’s report findings validate that foundational practices have a profound impact on an organization’s overall DevOps evolutionary journey and are key to scaling successes no matter how mature the DevOps transformation is within the organization,” said Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate, Splunk. “Splunk’s partnership with Puppet and participation in this report reflects our shared commitment to empower organizations to collaborate across critical boundaries and automate resources for broader use.”

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