What benefits are driving DevOps adoption?

CA survey shows 88% of enterprises either have or expect to adopt DevOps.

A new survey by CA Technologies shows that an eye-popping 88% of more than 1,400 IT or line-of-business executives have already adopted or plan to adopt DevOps within the next five years. This is up from about 66% in a similar survey taken last year.

What is driving this mass adoption of DevOps? The answer is really simple – DevOps is providing benefits. According to the respondents, the benefits they have seen or expect to see break down as follows:

011515 devops ca benefits CA

This is a pretty broad set of benefits. Any reasonable person could understand that if this list is accurate, DevOps will indeed find mass adoption in line with the numbers in this survey.

I had a chance to speak with Andi Mann, vice president of the office of the CTO at CA. Andi says that one important thing that is driving these numbers is that DevOps is about tools as well as culture. There is a nice chart of the types of tools that respondents are using. But, as a matter of fact, there has been something of a dividing line in the DevOps movement on the question of tools versus culture.

Is DevOps about culture, or is it about tools? Did the chicken come before the egg? Actually, it is about both. But I don't think that is what is driving these kinds of adoption numbers. According to the survey, there are two main drivers for DevOps adoption:

  1. The greater demands on IT to deliver more, faster, better, continuously and in an automated fashion
  2. The results of their peers that plainly show success

Don't underestimate No. 2, either. Similar to the NFL, nothing attracts success like success. When IT execs see their peers gaining advantage by adopting new technologies or new ways, they are not shy about jumping on the bandwagon. Of course, this sometimes leads to the lemmings following each other over the cliff, but that is enough for cheap clichés right now. The fact is DevOps benefits are real and tangible. That is enough to drive more adoption.

But let's not fool ourselves. Not every organization that tries to adopt DevOps will succeed. There will be some failures. These failures could be as much about culture as they are about the wrong tools. In fact, there is a school of thought that DevOps is not for everyone.

Anyone reading the CA survey and ready to take the DevOps plunge would be wise to do some digging around into best practices for adopting DevOps. Otherwise, you may just find yourself asking what the buzz is about.

There is a section in the CA report on the survey about preparing for DevOps success. Additionally, Andi Mann is a frequent contributor to many DevOps-related sites, and writes frequently on key steps in DevOps success.

CA is not the only enterprise IT organizations behind DevOps, of course. IBM has a tremendous amount of resources invested in helping its customer base adopt DevOps. Just yesterday, IBM announced the release of edition 2 of its DevOps for Dummies booklet, which many new to DevOps may find useful as well.

In any event, I don’t know how next year’s survey can top this one in terms of DevOps adoption. But it will be interesting to see if the benefits live up to the hype. DevOps is going mainstream; it may be a good time to learn a bit more about it.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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