A recent report published by Puppet suggests the level of DevOps maturity within most organizations is still relatively slight. In fact, most of the respondents reported high levels of manual work still occurring across configuration management, deployment, testing and change approval processes.
Alanna Brown, director of product marketing for Puppet, said the “State of DevOps: Market Segmentation Report” makes it clear that DevOps is being embraced to solve specific pain points with specific IT departments. As a result, silos of DevOps processes are springing up across the enterprise. That next challenge IT organizations will face is trying to unify all the DevOps processes, she said.
The survey finds deployment automation, version control, continuous integration and infrastructure automation were the most common starting points for DevOps. Less-common starting points were lean practices, visualization of key quality and productivity metrics and setting limits on work in progress.
Brown said the one surprising thing that study found is there is little correlation between the size of the companies surveyed and their relative DevOps maturity. Reliance on DevOps process may have more to do with needs arising from satisfying customer demand than anything else, noted Brown. The survey finds that media and entertainment and retail industry have the lowest percentage of low IT performers, while financial services, insurance and manufacturing companies had the highest proportion of low performers.
Not surprisingly, given the relative amount of DevOps immaturity, the survey also finds that reliance on IT automation frameworks is not yet especially widespread.
The Markets Segmentation report is based on the 2017 “State of DevOps” survey of 3,200 IT professionals that Puppet previously published. While it’s possible many companies may have advanced further down the DevOps journey since then, the report makes it clear that for both technical and cultural reasons fully embracing DevOps is an extended process. In fact, Brown said the report shows DevOps is still mainly being driven by the bottom of the organization up rather than by senior IT leaders. It’s only when DevOps success becomes visibly demonstrated that organizations attempt to replicate that success elsewhere in the organization. At the same time, widespread usage of DevOps processes suggests that DevOps itself is now much more than a grassroots movement, she said.
Change obviously comes hard to enterprise IT organizations. Many DevOps concepts were initially pioneered by web-scale companies that have the luxury of not having to support legacy applications and processes. Traditional enterprise IT organizations now typically are trying to support DevOps processes alongside process based on Waterfall and ITIL methodologies. Not every application being supported requires that number of release updates that many modern applications require.
Nevertheless, it’s also clear that as the number of applications being built, tested, deployed and supported continues to grow, the average IT organization is increasingly short-handed. Finding IT professionals with DevOps skill sets is a major challenge. But as more companies come to realize they are really a software company that happens to be selling a specific thing, the higher priority DevOps becomes.