Benefits of DevOps extend beyond greater business agility, finds Claranet

Universal recognition of benefits presented by DevOps approach, though implementation challenges remain

DevOps has been hailed as a way for organisations to achieve greater business agility, but research conducted by Claranet reveals that DevOps can have wider-reaching business benefits. However, these benefits will only be realised if DevOps adoptees can overcome their infrastructural, organisational and cultural challenges.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, found that while a growing minority (32 per cent, up from 26% last year) have implemented a DevOps approach, 100 per cent of those organisations have seen benefits of some sort. Looking at the benefits most likely to be achieved, six in ten (60 per cent) reported having better applications, 56 per cent have seen understanding between employees improve and 55 per cent have increased their profitability.

However, making a success of DevOps has, for the vast majority (92 per cent), not been without its challenges, with many encountering cultural, skills and technical issues. 40 per cent, for example, said that there was a lack of business understanding of how to leverage DevOps strategically, 36 per cent struggled with unstable infrastructure and a quarter (24 per cent) encountered cultural resistance internally.

Commenting on the findings, Claranet’s Product Director, Neil Thomas, said:

A growing number of businesses have turned to DevOps as a way of achieving competitive advantage and keeping pace with the quickening business tempo, but it’s clear that the benefits are far wider, driving a better quality output in addition to speed and agility. If you can get it right, DevOps can be hugely advantageous. It generally means more efficient working across the organisation, where technical teams can better understand the business needs, and improved software, which allows work to develop smoothly, with fewer hiccups and fewer bugs. With both operations and development teams working towards a shared goal you can do away with battles for budgets and create an environment in which creativity and innovation can thrive.

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. But businesses need to have the right infrastructure and management processes in place for it to work effectively.

While getting the right tools and processes in place is critical, culture can be a real stumbling block, primarily because operations and development teams traditionally approached things very differently. At a very simplistic level, developers look to change things while operations teams look to preserve them. 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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