Why the move to DevOps means more than greater business agility

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Moving to a DevOps approach in your organisation has long been advocated as being a good idea – but what benefits does it provide? A new piece of research from managed cloud services provider Claranet argues better quality of applications is the key reason to move over.

The study, which surveyed 900 IT decision makers across Europe, argues the classic reason for moving to DevOps, greater business agility, is not a catch-all. Indeed agility (55%) was only the third most popular benefit, behind greater apps (60%) and a better understanding between employees (56%). Increased profitability (55%), better customer satisfaction (52%), and greater operational efficiency (50%) were also highly cited. Not one person surveyed said there were no benefits of a DevOps approach in their organisation.

Almost a third (32%) of firms polled said they are implementing DevOps practices, up from 26% the year before, yet almost all (92%) said they had experienced some difficult in the implementation process. Lack of time to automate tasks was the most frequently cited bugbear, with almost half of respondents (47%) arguing for it; conflict with historic ITIL (44%), skills shortages (43%) and a lack of understanding in how to implement DevOps strategically (40%) also cited.

“We are at a position in the software industry where cloud, or dynamic and changeable infrastructure, has given us the opportunity to change how we design, deliver and operate our software systems – which is where DevOps comes in,” said Neil Thomas, Claranet product director, adding: “But businesses need to have the right infrastructure and management processes in place for it to work effectively.”

The move to DevOps, much like enterprise mobility, often comes with a question of ‘is it right for my organisation?’. For Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical, speaking to this publication in January, the answer was in black and white – DevOps is right for every organisation because the alternative is silos, which is wrong for every organisation.

Claranet argues similarly, although adds that culture can be a major stumbling block. “At a very simplistic level, developers look to change things while operations teams look to preserve them,” said Thomas. “They need to welcome the changes involved in this shift in approach, be ready to adapt to changing circumstances and be more flexible about job functions.”

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