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Feburary, 2020

Mid-Year Analysis of the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report

Author: Mark P. Hahn, Director, DevOps and Cloud Strategies

Introduction

It’s been nearly six months since the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report was released, and we’re taking the opportunity to review the report’s major findings in the context of today’s environment.

The authors of the 2019 State of DevOps Report have been researching DevOps effectiveness since 2012. Originally published by Alanna Brown at Puppet Labs, the report has tracked DevOps adoption and benefits. The annual report continues the research that was rigorously defined in the book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps

Presenting you Ciber's Top 4 takeaways from the report

DevOps will Become Pervasive

The most recent report showed that DevOps high performers are increasing their lead over competitors, and that they’re outpacing competitors in productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. The report provides strong evidence that DevOps improves organizations at all levels and sets them on a course to be high performers. And it concludes that the benefits of DevOps, as well as building community around DevOps, are so compelling that it is fast becoming the standard for all software development. 

Ciber has witnessed this trend firsthand over the past six months. Indeed, most of Ciber’s clients are asking for our help with their DevOps implementations, and we’ve been leading with DevOps for all new software projects. We find that DevOps provides the necessary product feedback cycles to increase the business value of the software we create. This focus on business value is why our clients continue to engage Ciber for more of their work.

As customers are increasingly adopting DevOps, Ciber’s DevOps Assessment process is proving to be a highly valuable tool for identifying the right incremental steps to begin adoption. The assessment process is also flexible enough to provide guidance and tactical roadmaps to increase the efficiency of any DevOps journey.

Change Management Needs to be Fast

A key finding of the report is that heavyweight change approval processes negatively affect both speed and stability. This may be surprising since most change processes are designed to increase stability.

At Ciber, we see that while these processes are designed with the right goals in mind, they have unintended side effects that undermine results. When quality gates are owned by an outside body, such as the change approval board, teams are incentivized to avoid responsibility for quality. This is like studying for a test but not really learning the material. Ciber builds our projects by shifting left on testing so that it’s integrated into the design and development work. Because quality is built in early, development teams can deliver to production with confidence. 

Measurement is Key

The report also emphasizes that using the Four Key Metrics to measure your development process is the right way to drive improvement. These metrics are lead time, deployment frequency, change failure rate and time to restore. Ciber has long taken a metrics-driven approach to software delivery, and we’ve found these four metrics to be of paramount importance.

Most of our clients collect and measure many business metrics, but few take the time to measure their software processes. Ciber uses lean processes, which make collecting and analyzing the four key metrics easy. We measure our own delivery processes and teach clients how to measure theirs, enabling us to continuously update our processes and tools to improve delivery.

Speed and Stability Enable Each Other

Finally, the most recent report shows that speed and stability positively reinforce each other—a finding that has been consistent for the past six years. Common wisdom holds that if the software is delivered quickly, it will be of poor quality. However, the research shows this is simply not the case, and the research stands up over time.

Ciber’s DevOps processes yield the same results. Our processes for delivering incremental change using automation produce higher quality software faster. And we continually strive to deliver in smaller increments because they are faster and easier to test, increasing our success rates.

Conclusion

DevOps is proven to lower costs and increase software quality, but it can be daunting to know where to start or to figure out if your DevOps program is succeeding. That’s why Ciber recommends conducting a DevOps assessment to help you focus on improving your DevOps capabilities that have the highest potential for immediate and lasting impact.

If you’re looking to jump-start your DevOps processes in 2020 and start realizing all the benefits, Ciber is here to help. We’ve already helped many companies improve the quality and velocity of their software releases. Drop us a line if you’d like to learn more.

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