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If there's any consistent criticism that's been leveled at the DevOps movement, it's that the term comprises such a wide range of concepts to so many different people, and that it's become more closely associated with marketing than real-world adoption.
So how do you overcome such critiques? Obviously the onus is upon those of us working in the space — especially on the provider side — to put a finer point on what DevOps (currently) encompasses in a practical sense. A big part of this must be found in highlighting those real-world use cases where DevOps is having the most significant impact.
Those specific ideas were among the primary targets that my co-authors and I set out to pursue when we began writing our recently released book DevOps for Digital Leaders. Looking at what we were able to produce, I honestly feel that we hit those goals.
While there have now been countless tombs issued on the subject of DevOps in general, reaching back to The Phoenix Project – wherein my friend and colleague Gene Kim and his partners leveraged colorful fiction to outline the basic concepts – few of these books have actually detailed what real-world DevOps adoption is all about.
Everyone is pretty familiar where DevOps came from at this point, spawned from the agile computing movement that had its own roots in the world of Lean Manufacturing, tracing back to roughly the mid-20th century. And while we touch on this history briefly, the real meat of our book relates to detailing emerging best practices – specifically as related to the core build, test, manage and deploy elements of the redefined DevOps SDLC.
Our goal was not only to further define those areas where DevOps is truly making a difference in spurring collaboration and innovation to improve software velocity and quality, but to show how this work is being carried out. This is most clearly evident in the included case studies that touch on continuous delivery, release automation and shift left monitoring practices adopted by global brands ING, Citrix and Australia's ANZ Bank, respectively.
Another important issue that we touched on in the book – employing practical metrics to understand and engage DevOps ROI models – is getting a lot of attention these days. We saw this in the 2016 State of DevOps Report, which Gene and I discussed in a previous webcast.
Those organizations that have most widely engaged agile and DevOps practices are starting to produce very meaningful data that absolutely prove its effect on everything from reduction of IT costs to improving customer experience, and spurring growth of their overall business. These figures are further reinforced by some work that CA has recently sponsored on the part of Coleman Parkes Research, also to be released later this month.