25 Advantages of DevOps - Part 1
April 18, 2016

DevOps is hot. This sizzling buzzword is on the tip of every tongue in the IT world, from Development, Testing and QA through IT Operations. At DEVOPSdigest, we have talked a lot about what DevOps is and how you get there – but what's the point? Why go through all this trouble? What advantages can be gained from adopting a DevOps strategy? To explore the answers to these questions, DEVOPSdigest asked experts from across the industry – including consultants, analysts and the leading vendors – for their opinions on the most significant advantages of DevOps.

In recent expert commentaries, we have seen that there are at least 17 different ways to define DevOps, and at least 30 different tools that can support DevOps, so it is no surpirse that this list of DevOps advantages is just as varied and complex.

There are multiple layers of advantages – DevOps helps Development, IT Operations, and the Business. DevOps helps the relationship between Development and Operations, the relationship between IT and the business, and the relationship between the company and its customers and employees. There are many diverse ways to look at these advantages, and the many experts that contributed to this list prove that point with their unique and thoughtful statements.

Maybe the most important point to understand about this list is that it is not hype. The advantages outlined on this list are very real, and many are measurable. David Seuss, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Ipswitch points out that, “Higher velocity, learning organizations that embrace DevOps far outperform traditional organizations in terms of IT and software management. Facts like 'High-performing IT organizations experience 60X fewer failures and recover from failure 168X faster than their lower-performing peers' and that 'they also deploy 30X more frequently with 200X shorter lead times' can be found in the annual State of DevOps Report put out by Puppet Labs.”

As usual with these types of DEVOPSdigest lists, many of the categories overlap or relate to each other in some way. But we broke out several of these ideas, and placed them in their own categories, to show the different ways of looking at the issues, and to expose the many layers of advantages and who they impact. Some advantages lead to additional advantages, and so on.

The list of 25 DevOps Advantages will be posted in 5 installments this week. We start with Part 1, which covers the impact of DevOps on the Business and its customers.

1. IMPROVED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND SATISFACTION

Ultimately, the primary goal of DevOps is to deliver higher quality software to end users at a faster pace, driving topline benefits around improved customer experience and increased revenue opportunity. The underlying goal is to become more agile and efficient in general, and this spans everything from driving greater productivity out of the IT workforce to subsequent benefits in operating expense, but at the end of the day it all goes back to deepening engagement with customers by creating increasingly useful applications in a more responsive manner. If digital transformation is the endgame in meeting customer requirements and growing the business, DevOps is the vehicle that allows you to get there.
Aruna Ravichandran
VP, DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies

Read Aruna Ravichandran's blog: Gene Kim - Charting DevOps Milestones and Metrics

DevOps is about borderless and frictionless collaboration between Developers and Ops teams. According to Gartner, by 2018, 90% of I&O organizations attempting to use DevOps without specifically addressing their cultural foundations will fail. And that cultural foundation has to be to offer customers the best user experience possible, and to be driven by the need to constantly keep improving at the highest rate possible and by doing so, increase customer satisfaction. So the next time you hear a vendor talking about incredible outcomes that don't fully address customer experience, question them on it.
Daniel Schrijver
Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle

From a business perspective, the most important reason to adopt a DevOps culture is delivering better quality services faster to your end users. This is crucial to staying ahead of competition that may adapt to changed customer demands faster or with greater agility. The modern consumer expects and demands exceptional customer experience (CX) across any digital property or brand touchpoint. By introducing a culture focused of collaboration with multiple feedback loops between Dev, Ops, and business teams, organizations can identify issues earlier in the development pipeline, ship less bad code, reduce time spent fire-fighting, improve mean time to repair and ultimately deliver a better customer experience. DevOps allows you to fulfill the unspoken promise to consumers that do not view digital performance as a luxury but expect it in our hyper-connected world. Our data shows most will abandon a page or an app if it fails to load within just three seconds. By enabling exceptional digital performance, successful DevOps teams act as the vehicle for delivering world-class CX.
Andreas Grabner
Technology Strategist, Dynatrace

The most important reason to adopt DevOps from a business standpoint is to gain the ability to be proactive in driving quality of experience to your users. How does this impact your bottom line? Having a more proactive organization that can steadily improve on the products and tools your users rely on saves you time, reduces the cost of operations and drives higher revenue through higher customer engagement, reduced tool overhauls and better control of costs and timelines
Stefan Schneider
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SevOne

2. BREAKING DOWN THE SILOS

There are numerous tactical benefits that DevOps affords the business, but taking the long view, I believe the most important strategic advantage is proving that self-organizational approaches can successfully break down the silos that result from hierarchical organizational models. The Agile Manifesto touted self-organization for small teams, but extending it across organizational lines – and actually getting it to work – will be the most important bottom-line advantage to DevOps over time.
Jason Bloomberg
President, Intellyx

Read Jason Bloomberg's blog: DevOps - A Cultural Rethink

The one advantage of adopting the DevOps culture is the elimination of IT silos. In a typical IT team, there would be a team of people with up to five or six disciplines: linux/Unix, Windows, Networking, Storage, Security, Databases. Each discipline comes with its own certified professionals.
Samir Ibradžić
Head of Infrastructure and Systems, Midokura

The major advantage of DevOps is the way in which the “barriers” between the development teams, operations teams and testing teams have been eroded. It has ended the old linear process of one team completing all tasks associated with a discrete project before passing it over to another team to work on and so on. The result is a much more flexible and dynamic approach to systems development and deployment. This, in turn allows the business to be more responsive to changes in market conditions and circumstances.
Frank Puranik
Senior Technical Specialist, iTrinegy

Read Frank Puranik's blog: Making Virtual Test Networks Available to the Whole DevOps Team

3. ALIGNING IT AND BUSINESS

One of the primary objectives of DevOps is to create empathy throughout teams of an organization so that business value is brought to the foreground for all departments, especially IT. Every effort put forth is designed to shorten feedback loops, focus on continuous improvements, and above all, put the needs of the end user or customer before everything else. This line of thinking means higher efficiency towards innovating new products and services and the agility to change on a dime with markets and competition. All of which creates loyal and happy end users or customers and a successful and innovative company.
Jason Hand
DevOps Evangelist, VictorOps

I often find both the business and IT teams equally enthusiastic about DevOps as it helps both teams work together more collaboratively and effectively to grow the business while cutting costs.
Ashish Kuthiala
Senior Director, Strategy & Marketing, DevOps, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

DevOps puts a set of tools, practices and ideas at your disposal that you can use to solve whatever your main business problems may be.
Andrew Phillips
VP of DevOps Strategy, XebiaLabs

If you like to run IT in direct synchronization with business goals, you need a highly effective DevOps supporting your fast moving business. The biggest business problem in the new fully digitalized world is not the cost of IT operations or the DevOps team – it is the lost opportunity on not executing your business service delivery with enough quality and speed compared with the new breed of competitors attacking your business segment.
Sven Hammar
Founder and CEO, Apica

Read Sven Hammar's blog: Incredible Opportunities Offered by the API Economy

One advantage of DevOps is that is allows an organization to take the Agile principles of software development and apply them to the rest of the company. In other words, Agile is no longer just practiced in software development but rather it's extending into business operations. This results in lean practices that offer faster time to market as well as built-in quality. By implementing DevOps principles, organizations empower developers to move faster while maintaining quality and efficiency.
Malia Powers
PR Manager, Heavybit

Read Malia Powers' latest blog: 10 Visions of Development's Future

4. ENABLING THE BUSINESS

It's a bit of a cliché these days, but when people say DevOps is about enabling the business, they are (still) correct. Look at the large cloud services companies … Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, Google, Netflix, etc., they might not be using the term DevOps internally, but what they have done is to totally rethink the entire IT supply chain (people, process, technology and culture) to improve their overall business performance primarily with respect to speed … but also in reducing the cost of supporting the business as well through an emphasis on continuous innovation. While as an industry we tend to emphasize the “geekiness” of DevOps by often focusing on the tools and associated technologies, the state of the art practitioners are very cognizant of how their efforts contribute to both the top and bottom line of the business.
Cameron Haight
Research VP, IT Operations, Gartner

DevOps transforms IT to deliver innovation and agility that can help achieve business outcomes and competitiveness. The transformation spurs better collaboration, automation and process improvement that delivers results based on business needs. This helps IT become a strategic partner, as opposed to a cost center, to the business.
Krishnan Badrinarayanan
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Riverbed

Velocity is really the new currency in IT. Not simply speed, but speed with direction, specifically in the service of the business. DevOps delivers velocity. Jez Humble, Nicole Forsgren, and Gene Kim have published research showing high-performing DevOps organizations were twice as likely to exceed profitability and market share goals than those not using DevOps. How? By moving faster in the right direction, driving productivity across development and operations to deliver better services, faster, at less cost. In the end, successfully implementing DevOps can turbocharge a business to best compete in today's economy.
Lucas A. Welch
Director of Communications, Chef

5. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Every enterprise, in every industry is having to digitally transform the way they operate. This means using innovations in technology (e.g. mobile, IoT, connected cars etc.) to deliver new digital services that enhance customer experience and improve employee productivity. At the center of these digital services is software. DevOps is essential to being able to deliver digital services at speed and with quality, and so the bottom-line advantage of DevOps is that it's a foundational element of successful digital transformation.
John Rakowski
Director of Technology Strategy, AppDynamics

Read 25 Advantages of DevOps - Part 2, covering agility and velocity.

Author

Pete Goldin
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