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DevOpsJournal Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

DevOpsJournal: Blog Post

Top 5 Takeaways from the 2017 State of DevOps Report

State of DevOps Report

The full post can be found here.


The sixth annual State of the DevOps report – encompassing over 27,000 survey respondents – just hit last week. Like every year, the findings of the report would become ‘the bible’ for the DevOps industry and for organizations delivering software in the months to come.

The report not only provides us with the benchmark for what to aspire to, but also shines a light on some of the proven patterns and tactics we should be focusing on to advance our own DevOps journey — to show consistent improvement and to achieve the greatest bang for our buck.

As someone who is often citing and relying on the reports’ data throughout the years, I wanted to share some of my favorite findings and takeaways from the 2017 data:

1) Automation. Automation. Automation

And, again: A-u-t-o-m-a-t-i-o-n.

Automation has always been considered a key practice of DevOps, but the 2017 State of DevOps report further confirmed that automation is a key differentiator for organizations. High performing IT organizations do less manual work and automate significantly more of their software delivery processes – from configuration management, to testing, deployments, and change approval. This Automation has two main outcomes:

  1. Accelerating feedback loops – which improves product quality and release cadence
  2. Leaving teams with more time for actual coding – versus getting bogged down with manual, mundane, IT tasks and processes. Seriously, who really wants to spend time manually provisioning yet another server, instead of writing code to make your product even more awesome?

I would also add a third outcome, not specifically called out in the report but that’s a personal favorite of mine: Automation is auditing. Automated processes come with the extra benefits of being consistent, repeatable, with predictable outcomes, and they can be automatically logged and documented. Since DevOps spans your entire pipeline, it can provides traceability from code change to release. As you’re automating things – from your build, test cycles, integration cycles, deployment and release processes – your DevOps automation platform has access to a ton of information that is automatically logged in great detail. That, in effect, becomes your audit-trail, your security log, and your compliance report – all produced automatically.

2) Think about connecting the dots

Automation dots, I mean.

I’ve noted before that the next evolution of DevOps in the enterprise is that of standardization and consolidation. According to Gartner, 80% of organizations have some automation in place, in what we call “pockets of automation”. These are silos of automation, where different teams use different tools to automate (some) of their various processes. While this is OK to start with, as DevOps matures in the organization, there is a move towards consolidation and standardization in order to drive automation – and its benefits – throughout the entire organization, and not just in pockets.

Connecting the (automation) dots is crucial for scaling DevOps across the organization, as well as connecting the dots between business metrics and the underlying tools and processes.

Organizations are now investing in integrating their DevOps toolchains- connecting all the functions, tools and stages along the pathway to production- from dev, test, Ops, IT, business, and more. This move from silos of automation to an integrated, end-to-end pipeline that drives your software delivery doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have independent teams/processes/point-tools, or that practitioners won’t be able to pick the their preferred tool for the job. The report underscores the importance of being able to integrate and orchestrate all those tools and different ways of working, having them converge on a shared pipeline – which enables a layer of orchestration, visibility and governance across the entire delivery process.


Continue reading for more takeaways.