The DevOps market is expected to reach $50 billion by 2022. However, despite the growing market, many organizations are struggling to make the transition from the successful implementation of a DevOps project to scaling across an organization. Gartner anticipates that 75% of DevOps initiatives will fail to fully meet expectations through 2022. If organizations are to buck this trend, then they need to consider some of the common hurdles they will encounter as they embark on the path to scaling DevOps.
Making the transition from isolated project to the broad adoption of DevOps presents significant challenges that span culture, systems and technology. Before diving into scaling, organizations should consider the following pitfalls that have derailed others in their quest to embrace DevOps.
Don’t Start Without Resolving the Conflict Between IT and the Business
The key to setting yourself up for success is to establish goals before trying to scale. A critical hurdle to overcome is to reach consensus on the pace of software updates. IT teams traditionally want to continually release software as quickly as possible while the business prefers incremental change, with the goal of minimizing customer friction that frequently results from the constant software updates. Before trying to scale, organizations need to agree on a way forward that everyone accepts and works toward. Otherwise, the silos between teams will not be broken down. This requires leadership, especially the CIO, to take an active role. Without addressing this hurdle, it will be almost impossible to scale.
Don’t Expect Immediate Cost Savings with DevOps
Many are surprised as they try to scale DevOps that it doesn’t result in cost savings. It’s important to remember the DevOps mission is to deliver more reliable software at speed by increasing automation. By doing this at scale, the benefits to the broader business are significant as organizations are able to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.
Don’t Forget About Environment Management
Environment management is another hurdle that occurs when scaling, and it’s tough to solve if you have a lot of complexity. Don’t think it’s just technology, especially if you have multiple customized legacy systems. These present a significant challenge when trying to scale DevOps, so don’t underestimate the time it will take and don’t give up at the first challenge you encounter. However, once you have solved this challenge you will be able to manage these systems more efficiently and with less risk.
Don’t Get Distracted by Tools
From a technology perspective, the plethora of tools available can be overwhelming. As you scale, don’t be distracted by playing with tools. Go back to your goals and focus your efforts on the solutions that help you achieve these rather than being distracted by what is new and cool. Don’t be fooled into thinking that by investing in the latest Jenkins tool it will help accelerate the adoption of DevOps. Having the latest and greatest automation toolset doesn’t ensure that you will be able to scale DevOps.
Don’t Underestimate the Cultural Change Required
Scaling DevOps requires a significant cultural shift for every organization irrespective of industry. It’s relatively easy to carve out a project and make progress on DevOps, particularly as most companies start with an area where the teams will be more willing to collaborate. Scaling requires significant cultural change that will take time, and you will encounter many setbacks as you undertake this transformation.
Blurring the boundaries between teams is the foundation for scaling DevOps. This transformation requires changing the dynamics of how operations and development teams interact and breaking down silos. Scaling is dependent on cultural change, and that’s when organizations tend to stumble as they encounter resistance and many efforts stall.
Scaling DevOps is not a simple endeavor that can be achieved overnight and you will encounter a myriad of challenges along the way. By taking into account these five common pitfalls, scaling is much more likely to become a reality rather than an elusive goal that remains out of sight.