Gene Kim: Charting DevOps Milestones and Metrics
To advance your DevOps efforts and drive success, you need to understand precisely where you stand
February 22, 2016

Aruna Ravichandran
CA Technologies

For those of us deeply immersed in the rapidly advancing DevOps revolution, sometimes it’s hard to remember that we're still early on in this game.

As discussion of "unicorn" adopters has grown somewhat weary – given that these organizations tend to be those whose business models lend themselves to transformation – practitioners have made it abundantly clear that they seek more practical guidance as to where they should expect to find themselves on this journey.

Despite his status as one of the recognized "godfathers" of DevOps, or at the very least one of its most visible spokesman, noted entrepreneur and author Gene Kim (co-author of The Phoenix Project and other seminal works) remains intimately connected to the movement's real-world standing through his continued thought leadership work.

Based on this close connectivity to practitioners – those with both advanced and more nascent initiatives – there's perhaps no better person to ask which milestones, challenges and performance metrics represent the hallmarks of today's existing DevOps adopters.

In a recent interview, Gene shared some interesting feedback on what he's hearing out on the conference circuit and elsewhere in speaking to various stakeholders about their current DevOps strategies.


Filmed at CA World '15, the interview is definitely worth viewing in its entirety, as it touches on timely DevOps maturity topics, including:

Milestones

According to Kim, there is palpable progress being made related to the continued expansion and strategic import of DevOps adoption, namely:

■ DevOps is in fact spreading rapidly beyond the realm of unicorns –finding a home in many different types of organizations, from financial service providers to old-line product manufacturers, among others.

■ Those people spearheading and supporting DevOps transformation within their organizations are rapidly climbing the ladder, with many of the practitioners he meets being promoted and granted greater responsibility.

■ Organizations are expanding their initial (local) DevOps initiatives to take on more far-reaching (global) influence, across a broader swath of projects, with even greater impact on their overall business strategies.

Challenges

Based on some ongoing research, Kim said there are five primary challenges that most organizations are working to address today, related to:

■ Automated Testing: Practitioners are still attempting to increase the scope of automated testing to include more of their legacy assets.

■ Cultural Change: How successful organizations have been in driving transition of workflows, roles and responsibilities remains an issue.

■ Security Acceleration: Advancement of security and compliance processes remains an area where most DevOps practitioners cite the need for more work.

■ Operations 2.0: With far more IT operations work being carried out using self-service models, organizations are still working to ensure consistency.

■ Building Metrics:Organizations also remain highly focused on the creation and management of proper metrics to help assess their progress.

Metrics

In terms of leveraging metrics to deepen internal DevOps buy-in, and further drive home the overarching business case, today’s critical metrics include:

■ Lead time: Specifically, how quickly organizations can move from “code committed” through required testing cycles and into deployment.

■ Deployment rates: Obviously the endgame of DevOps is increasing responsiveness and getting apps in the hands of users more quickly.

■ Change success rates: Because DevOps isn’t only about getting releases out the door, it’s also about the overall quality of those resulting updates.

■ Mean-time-to-repair: This is another no brainer, as leveraging DevOps to find and fix emerging apps issues is at the core of the entire movement.

Worth noting, the research project that Kim is referencing, which surveyed over 20,000 organizations, also concludes that DevOps "high performers" continue to greatly outpace their peers in how they chart progress related to those metrics.

The very nature of DevOps is such that every element of the SDLC is treated like a work-in-progress. Yet, one of the critical elements of advancing your overall effort and driving success is understanding precisely where you stand.

Aruna Ravichandran is VP, Product & Solutions Marketing, DevOps, CA Technologies

The Latest

April 24, 2018

Developers and engineering teams are under increasing pressure to release higher quality software faster. Continuous testing has proven to be central to these efforts as it helps eliminate bottlenecks and ensures that automated testing is a constant throughout the development process, not an exercise relegated to the "last mile." The value of automated testing is more evident than ever before, with nearly half the respondents reporting that management is fully committed to automated testing and with plans to increase spending, according to the recent Sauce Labs Testing Trends for 2018 report ...

April 19, 2018

As development speed has become a competitive advantage, the DevOps team has sought to enable continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). For the CI/CD process to be successful, it must be fast and efficient. Any potential roadblocks that delay any part of the process increase cycle times and slow down delivery ...

April 18, 2018

The top barriers to DevOps adoption involve stagnant organizational cultures; managing the jumble of legacy processes, IT infrastructure and newly created cloud environments; and growing software complexity that impacts application modernization initiatives ...

April 16, 2018

This is the third in a series of three blogs directed at recent EMA research on the digital war room. In this blog, we'll look at three areas that have emerged in a spotlight in and of themselves — as signs of changing times — let alone as they may impact digital war room decision making. They are the growing focus on development and agile/DevOps; the impacts of cloud; and the growing need for security and operations (SecOps) to team more effectively ...

April 12, 2018

Only 52 percent of developers using commercial or open source components in their applications update those components when a new security vulnerability is announced, according to new research conducted by Vanson Bourne for CA Veracode, part of CA Technologies. This highlights organizations' lack of security awareness and puts organizations at risk of a breach ...

April 10, 2018

For a few years now, it has seemed like agile developers and DevOps teams haven't been giving testing its proper due. One could almost picture them thinking, "So what if there's a bug, design flaw or performance issue. We'll fix it in the new version next week." Of course, this line of thinking has turned out to be a big mistake ...

April 09, 2018

Government IT professionals surveyed, as part of F5 Networks' State of Application Delivery report, made it clear they are heavily focused on building the foundation necessary for application-driven digital transformation. Around the world, government organizations are shifting towards digital government, and with that we see government organizations embracing the cloud, adopting automation and orchestration, and adjusting security strategies ...

April 05, 2018

The digital war room — physical, virtual or hybrid — is not in retreat but in fact is growing in scope to include greater participation from development and security. It's also becoming more proactive, with on average more than 30% of "major incidents" before they impacted business service performance. In this blog I'm providing a few additional highlights from the insights we got on digital war room organization and processes ...

April 04, 2018

Many development organizations rely on DevOps, Agile and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) practices and tools to speed up application delivery. However, shorter release cycles and faster application development also mean more frequent database schema and logic changes. Though the application release process has been fast-tracked through modernization and automation, the database deployment process has been forsaken ...

April 02, 2018

As March Madness is well underway, the journey to the NCAA basketball national championship feels much like the journey many organizations are on to achieve business success through digital transformation ...

Share this