LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–Over half (55 percent) of surveyed businesses have implemented DevOps practices

  • 52 percent of these businesses have increased customer conversion and satisfaction
  • 70 percent of businesses with DevOps outsource automation, allowing half of these businesses (50 percent) to focus on increasing innovation

Rackspace, the managed cloud company, today announced the findings of a global Vanson Bourne study on the adoption of DevOps initiatives for Rapid Application Delivery (RAD). The study, which was commissioned by Rackspace, found that DevOps is becoming increasingly recognized as an established industry practice and the rate of adoption is remarkable given its relative infancy. Over three quarters (77 percent) of the respondents said they were familiar with term DevOps, with 55 percent having already implemented DevOps practices. A further 31 percent said they were planning to implement it by the end of 2017.

In addition, the poll of 700 technology decision-makers across the UK, US and Australia showed the clear business value of implementing DevOps. Over half of the companies with a DevOps program reported seeing an increase in customer conversion and satisfaction (52 percent) as well as an improvement in customer engagement (43 percent). Strikingly, over a third (38 percent) also experienced an increase in sales.

On the technology side, of those that have deployed a DevOps program, over half (57 percent) experienced faster delivery of new features, while 46 percent had a more stable operating environment. Increased innovation was also a benefit for 43 percent while 32 percent have reduced their IT costs.

Getting over hurdles
Despite the clear benefits of DevOps to speed up the process of application development, deployment and operations management, many businesses still need to address the cultural change DevOps introduces. Roughly a third of those who have gone down the DevOps route said internal resistance from both operations teams (37%) and developers (32%) was a challenge, while nearly a quarter (24 percent) had issues from the wider business not buying into the change. Additionally, of the 14 percent not planning to implement DevOps at all, 41 percent said they had other more urgent IT priorities.

Chris Jackson, CTO of DevOps Services at Rackspace, said, “DevOps is all about encouraging innovation and streamlining processes to help ensure development and operations are working hand in hand to deliver business objectives. While, the findings suggest that the DevOps journey is already becoming well established in many organizations, there is still a job to do in articulating the benefits to all groups involved for them to accept and drive through this change. This becomes especially important when you see the real commercial benefits DevOps teams are delivering.”

Organizational drivers for DevOps
In the majority of the cases where DevOps had already been implemented, the Operations team was the primary driving force behind the change (43 percent). For those businesses still in the planning stages for their DevOps programs, the Operations team was again key to the process (43 percent).

Chief Information Officers were also key facilitators, with 25 percent having driven the adoption of DevOps within their organizations.

Outsource and automate
With 59 percent of respondents agreeing that DevOps is “a software development process that brings developers and IT operations closer together”, the primary DevOps practice implemented by survey respondents was to fully integrate development and operations teams (49 percent). Successful DevOps teams also aligned DevOps goals with business goals (47 percent).
Following the clear team integration and business goal setting priorities, other popular DevOps initiatives included introducing Continuous Integration (42 percent), Automated Testing (40 percent) and Application Monitoring (38 percent).

70 percent of organizations currently using DevOps also said that they are working with third parties to outsource DevOps automation services with nearly three in five (59 percent) citing the fact that it is more cost effective for them to do so. This in turn is allowing them to focus more on their business to improve innovation (50 percent) and productivity (48 percent).

One customer experiencing the benefits of Rackspace DevOps first-hand is new media company, Ceem Technology, a long-time user of the Rackspace cloud. DevOps has emerged at just the right time to support Ceem’s burgeoning needs.

Ceem CEO, Simon Mellamphy, said, “When we first began working with Rackspace using its cloud services to support our personalized video messaging platform and content, DevOps was unheard of. Since then our needs have increased dramatically and DevOps has been a real benefit. Our team works closely with the Rackspace DevOps team, providing them with very specific requirements so they understand precisely what it is our servers must deliver, and when. They, in turn, have thought outside the box and have come up with a cost-efficient solution that intelligently scales up our server resource when it’s needed and scales it down when it’s not.

“As its first customer to work within the Rackspace DevOps process, we can honestly say there is a clear Rackspace DevOps advantage – this teamwork has really delivered!”
Chris Jackson continued, “This survey shows a real appetite for the kind of development and operational processes today’s digitally-focused businesses need. DevOps is empowering IT functions to make a real impact on the business. It is also finally an opportunity for IT to be recognized for having a central part to play in delivering great customer experiences and ultimately increasing sales.”

Future Implementations
For the 31 percent of the organizations which were planning to introduce DevOps, all had scheduled implementation to take place by the end of 2017. Contrary to those who have already implemented, their key priority will be to align DevOps goals with business goals (53 percent), perhaps an indication DevOps is gaining greater recognition for adding real business value.

About the research
Rackspace commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake this piece of research. 700 IT decision makers from organizations with more than 250 employees were interviewed throughout September 2014. Respondents came from an even distribution of sizes/sectors and were from the following countries: US (350), UK (250) and Australia (100). These interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

The full DevOps report can be found here.