DevOps Success: Beyond Marketing Tools
November 09, 2015

Matthew Hines
CA Technologies

OK, so, it's true. I'm a product marketing guy (gulp). To many readers this means that my opinion should be outright disqualified, or at the very least taken with a handful (versus grain) of salt.

Listen, I get it. I'm not really one of you. I've never been dev, nor ops, nor truly engineered anything much more complex than Ikea furniture, my son's Star Wars Lego sets, or my tiny collection of rapidly aging and cudgel simple motorbikes.

Ostensibly my job is to help sell stuff to those of you who actually live DevOps, and as such, for many, that makes me the kind of guy for whom the #spoved tag was created on Twitter.

But here's the deal, the perception that adopting DevOps is all about culture, not as much about technology, would appear rather shortsighted. No question, navigating the involved people and process issues is widely recognized as the biggest challenge in adopting DevOps models. That's an established concept that I doubt anyone familiar with this movement would attempt to dismiss.

However, it's also very clear that finding the right tools and services to support this evolution is a hugely critical piece of the puzzle. To that end, a new report published by Freeform Dynamics (sponsored by CA Technologies) confirms that those organizations that qualify as "Advanced Adopters" are "significantly more likely to have key tools and methods in place."

The report, Assembling the DevOps Jigsaw, outlines top maturity metrics, many of which remain a work in progress for the lion's share of survey respondents, 80% of whom are identified as "Early or Limited" adopters.

Yet, when isolating the remaining 20% "Advanced" organizations, researchers pinpoint some fairly overwhelming results regarding their degree of "DevOps & continuous delivery enabler" technology adoption, including:

Software development: A vast majority 77% of DevOps leaders "fully" leverage related development and configuration management tools, compared to the 22% who chart only "partial" adoption. Another 75% of advanced practitioners have also fully adopted software build automation tools and repository solutions, with 60% having fully deployed service virtualization to help simulate live environments.

Testing and release: In this critical domain, some 72% of advanced organizations have fully employed release automation tools to orchestrate overall delivery, with 77% having fully implemented tools to automate and manage software testing.

Deployment & operation: Moving deeper into the Ops side of the equation, an overwhelming 78% of DevOps maturity leaders have fully adopted tools to manage capacity and performance in production, with 71% having fully embraced automation of platform build and configuration (infrastructure as code), and another 66% fully employing containerization for improved application portability.

Business alignment: Finally, in the area of overarching business enablement via DevOps, a whopping 89% of advanced orgs have fully deployed portfolio management to prioritize and track IT progress; some 68% have fully adopted agile development techniques and methodologies.

So there you have it, some tangible (albeit obvious?) proof that succeeding in this ongoing DevOps revolution is indeed, at least in part, dependent on the committed adoption of a fair amount of dedicated tooling.

Of course this should all come as no surprise to real-world practitioners, as a great deal of the excitement whipped up around DevOps and related process automation has been focused on the emergence some very exciting technology.

Marketing [of] tools aside, it's pretty cool to see what's happening as use case models continue to emerge and mature, regardless of what your role in this movement may be.

Matthew Hines is Principal Product Marketing Manager, DevOps, at CA Technologies .

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