The 2018 State of DevOps Report(s)

Written by Stefan Thorpe
Featured image - #StateofDevOps

In its seventh annual outing, the results of Puppet and Splunk’s collaboration is out in the form of the 2018 State of DevOps Report. As the Report outlines from the responses of 3,000 participants, “DevOps is an ongoing evolution, and there is no final destination. But there are ways to achieve success faster.” Many teams today are at various stages in their DevOps adoption and Puppet and Splunk’s document offers practices which will help everyone involved get started or advance if they’re stuck.

A similar focus is at the center of another report, Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy which is the work of DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and Google Cloud. It is based on the findings from an increasingly diverse cross-section of 1,900 technical professionals worldwide who participated in the research.

Both Reports offer performance-based data to demonstrate the comparisons between teams that have initiated DevOps culture and practices across teams and departments, and those who haven’t. For example, the Puppet Report displays a higher percentage of highly evolved organizations have expanded DevOps culture and practices across multiple teams and departments than lesser evolved organizations have. The DORA one reinforces this data by reporting that the highest performers are still excelling at throughput and stability, while medium and low performers remain behind.

DORA also shows a fourth high-performance group: elite performers. A new category which exists now as high-performers are growing and expanding up to a new bar of excellence. Thankfully, this is not exclusively reserved for individuals with any special characteristics. devOps can help any organization achieve similar performance results. It just takes time. This elite group delivers:

  • 46 times more code deployments
  • Commit to deploy lead times that are 2,555 times faster
  • A X 7 lower change failure rate
  • Incident recovery times that are 2,604 times faster

Puppet hypothesized before the Report that highly evolved organizations are measuring by significantly higher levels of automated business metrics as well as higher levels of automated system measurement. The final results supported these findings.

Interestingly. the same report showed the perspectives of the DevOps evolution are different among departments across the spectrum of organizations. C-suite executives responded much more optimistically about the State of DevOps in their organization than Team Members did. Puppet suggests better-automated system measurements to filter clearer information up the management ladder so everyone is on the same page.

By leveraging systematic automation, teams are able to synchronize (and speed up) work and processes. Thus, teams can improve their work quality, productivity, and consistency, and remove time-consuming low-value tasks from their workflow. As such automation systems progress and become increasingly integrated with the rest of your organizational infrastructure, sharing resources, automation insights, and deployment patterns is simpler too. Puppet’s Report documents that organizational sharing best practices as employed by highly evolved companies are reinforcing the higher abstraction and automation processes the teams employ too.

The DORA Report identifies an interesting J-Curve of Transformation that most organizations go through for automating processes where medium performing teams are still doing the highest amount of manual work. Data which continues from findings in previous reports.

DORA DevOps Report #Jcurve

(Forsgren, Humble and Kim, 2018)

The Puppet Report, which reinforces the idea that “DevOps […] is not just automation,” visually shows the evolution of teams automated progress in terms of evolution through performance level. The bar chart supports the progression depicted by DORA that medium performers are automating few of their own processes still.

#Automatedprogress - Puppet Report

(Mann, Brown, Stahnke & Kersten, 2018)

Both Reports firmly establish that is the cultural changes needed for DevOps success which teams are finding that delay the process and are making it more difficult for organizations to implement. These are the practices that require broader organizational input and support.

Culture remains the pivotal element of implementing a successful DevOps transformation. DORA’s Report reflects that “Trust and voice, in turn, positively affect organizational culture.” It continues that strong leaders who communicate clearly are a guiding light in any DevOps journey. The Puppet Report reinforces this by acknowledging that, “ You’re not going to magically fix your organization’s culture overnight. But you can start by improving collaboration (and results) across this one critical functional boundary.” The key mentioned already above being ‘sharing,’ both across team and organization. The document expands on the idea that sharing is fundamental to success with the other three pillars of DevOps: “culture, automation and measurement.”

Software delivery performance remains a key element of organizational performance for both commercial and non-commercial goals. Both Reports continue to support the argument that implementing DevOps practices and capabilities enhance technology transformations and result in improved organizational performance as well as quality products and features.

References:

Forsgren, D., Humble, J. and Kim, G. (2018). Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy. DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA).
Mann, A., Brown, A., Stahnke, M., & Kersten, N. (2018). State of DevOps Report 2018 [Ebook]. Puppet and Splunk.


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