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Delivering Digital

DevOps: In Practice, More Promise than Reality

DevOps teams struggle to make the promises of DevOps their reality, surveys find

Enterprises that want to digitally transform themselves have likely embraced DevOps for quickly delivering software for the business — or at least they have embraced the idea of DevOps. According to two new studies, it seems that many organizations that have started DevOps journeys still have a considerable way to go when it comes to successfully implementing the methodologies.

Here’s the real eye-opener: though a full 86 percent of business leaders believe DevOps is important to their organization for rapid software creation and delivery, only 10 percent said they are successful at using DevOps to achieve those goals.

So says a report by Harvard Business Review, which surveyed over 650 business leaders about their DevOps attitudes and practices. The HBR study showed that 48 percent of respondents always rely on DevOps when building software and another 21 percent do so periodically. Only about 8 percent have yet to practice DevOps. Among those who have adopted DevOps, the study showed that only one in five could report that it was very positively impacting innovation.

The second survey, this one by enterprise software maker Atlassian of 500 software development and IT professionals regarding their tools and practices, may have uncovered why.

That study found “insufficient automated test coverage, additional manual processes, lack of build/deployment pipeline automation contribute to issues with manual testing for 62 percent of teams.”

Additionally, 75 percent of development teams face challenges with bugs, defects, and/or delays when it comes time to release their software. And when it comes to self-hosted software, 73 percent of development teams spend from 10 percent to 50 percent of their time on software updates and upgrades.

Nevertheless, the latest research did offer up some good indications that organizations are doing some things right with DevOps. According to the HBR study, roughly two-thirds of the respondents who have adopted DevOps reported at least some of the typical benefits. For example, 70 percent say they’ve seen increased speed to market and 67 percent have separately reported some productivity increases and improvements in customer relevance.  Meantime, 66 percent have had positive upticks in innovation and 64 percent have managed to improve product/service quality.

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