A new survey out last week by MeriTalk and Accenture Federal Services shows that the federal government is on the cusp of finally putting its money where its mouth is with regard to cloud and that DevOps will play a big role in the transformation. In fact the government’s cloud success may hinge on DevOps.
The survey looked at perceptions of federal IT managers familiar with their agencies’ cloud progress. Many of them report difficulty in gaining cloud momentum, in spite of the fact that 66 percent believe that their agency needs to move IT services to the cloud faster to meet mission and constituent needs. Fewer than half of Federal agencies have made process or policy changes to facilitate successful transitions to the cloud, only 30 percent have made necessary cultural changes and just 28 percent have made organizational changes. What’s more just 12 percent of Feds report their departments have all the tools they need for a cloud transformation.
However, 57 percent believe DevOps holds the key to help them succeed in the cloud and 63 percent say DevOps will help them speed up application delivery and migration. As things stand, only one in ten respondents believe that developers and administrators are highly collaborative in the Federal setting and only 5 percent say their agency has fully deployed DevOps patterns.
“A DevOps model brings software engineering, quality assurance, and IT operations together as an integrated team,” stated Tim Hoechst, Accenture Federal Services’ chief technology officer (CTO). “Federal agencies can start up new projects more quickly, improve resource utilization, and reduce downtime – ultimately driving the innovation needed for real change.”
Respondents are hopeful of that vision, with 60 percent reporting they see DevOps in their agency’s future. Approximately one-third say they’ve already started adopting the model or plan to do so within a year.
But it’s not clear whether this is pie-in-the-sky hopefulness for a silver bullet or a real commitment to DevOps. A big red flag from the survey was that some of the same barriers to Federal cloud adoption are those that typically stand in the way of DevOps transformations. For example 40 percent of Feds said fear of change and inflexible practices have stood in the way of their cloud efforts.
Over half of respondents say they will need to train current personnel to implement DevOps, and 40 percent say DevOps success depends on incentivizing changes in culture to make it happen. Meanwhile 41 percent believe they’ll need to establish a new vision for the future to make DevOps possible.