While DevOps has come a long way in terms of understanding and adoption, 2019 is going to be marked by a concerted effort to applying metrics to DevOps processes. Applying those metrics will not only substantiate the value of adopting DevOps, they also will provide the impetus many organizations need to close a variety of DevOps gaps that have emerged in recent years.
For example, a recent survey of 1,076 IT professionals conducted by CloudBees, provider of the open source Jenkins continuous integration/continuous development platform, suggests that while a lot of advances have been made in terms of developers embracing continuous integration, there remains a lot of work to be done before organizations fully embrace continuous development. The survey finds 67 percent of respondents say they are practicing DevOps, but only 50 percent have implemented continuous deployment.
Brian Dawson, DevOps evangelist for CloudBees, said one of the major reasons that gap exists is that getting developers to embrace continuous integration is an easier challenge than getting disparate developer and IT operations teams to jointly embrace continuous development.
Closing that gap will require more organizations to measure precisely the benefits they are achieving by making the transition to DevOps, sometimes referred to as value stream management, said Dawson. Once those metrics are collected, he said, it should become easier to drive DevOps processes deeper into most organizations.
The challenge, however, is that most organizations are not especially disciplined when it comes to monitoring metrics. In fact, according to the CloudBees survey, 34 percent of respondents admit they don’t gather any metrics from their DevOps pipelines.
In the meantime, Dawson noted the rise of containers and Kubernetes soon may force more widespread adoption of DevOps, as microservices based on containers are frequently updated. Kubernetes may soon provide a common set of definitions from which developers and IT operations teams can create a unified set of processes. A full 79 percent of respondents report they are using Docker and 47 percent employ Kubernetes. Additionally, 38 percent of survey respondents are using containers in both development and test activities, compared to 33 percent using containers from development all the way through to production. CloudBees is trying to drive adoption of Jenkins X, a CI/CD platform that is based on a microservices architecture enabled by containers and Kubernetes.
Of course, the DevOps gap is hardly limited to definitions. The CloudBees survey also exposes communications gaps that need to be bridged in 2019. For instance, according to the survey, C-level executives and developers have a generally lower opinion than IT operations teams and senior managers concerning the degrees to which DevOps practices are being adopted.
Dawson said greater focus on DevOps metrics will go a long way to closing DevOps gaps that are becoming more apparent with each passing day. DevOps is relatively easy to subscribe to as a philosophy. It’s only when organizations begin to implement CI/CD systems in a way that can be measured objectively does the commitment to that philosophy get tested.