DevOps Helps Manage "On-Call" Challenges
February 05, 2016

Pete Goldin

As IT professionals are becoming more knowledgeable about DevOps and ChatOps, being on-call is slowly becoming more manageable, according to the second annual State of On-Call Report released by VictorOps.

VictorOps surveyed more than 500 IT professionals about what it means to be on-call and the challenges they face. Some key findings include:

■ Being on-call is slowly improving. 80 percent of respondents stated that the problems associated with being on-call are, or at least sort of are, getting better.

■ Alert fatigue is getting worse. Almost 70 percent of participants noted that alert fatigue is an issue – up from 60 percent last year – making it the number one reported pain point.

■ ChatOps is invaluable. The percentage of participants currently using ChatOps has increased from 28 percent last year to 40 percent.

■ Collaboration remains important. In fact, 46 percent of those surveyed reported that synchronous chat and collaboration solutions are the most important tools to use during a firefight.

■ Fewer people are using homegrown solutions. About three times fewer IT professionals are using homegrown solutions to manage their on-call process (25 percent this year compared to 70 percent in 2014). They reported that these solutions are difficult to scale, and it is hard to track the amount of time and money put into them.

■ Post mortems are the number one thing respondent utilize to improve processes. 81 percent of those surveyed said they strive for blameless post-mortems (up from 65 percent last year). However, surprisingly two-thirds of respondents only do post mortems after significant outages, and half do not have a defined process in place.

■ DevOps adoption is growing. Many IT teams are now including developers in the on-call process as a result of increased DevOps adoption. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents have at least a year of DevOps experience (up from 52 percent last year).

“As the growing DevOps movement is becoming more widely adopted by IT departments, we’re finding that more and more developers are being included in the on-call process,” said VictorOps CEO, Todd Vernon. “We’re seeing this trend a lot internally among our customers, and as a result, confirmed by our survey findings, the on-call process is becoming less painful.”

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