The proportion of elite performers in DevOps utilization has almost tripled since last year, comprising 20 percent of all teams according to a newly released report. 

The Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019 is the 6th annual report from DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), which was acquired by Google Cloud in January of this year.The report represents six years of research and data from over 31,000 professionals worldwide.  

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According to DORA, the research revalidated that best technical practices, cloud adoption, effective organizational practices and productive culture are driving DevOps forward. This dramatically increased the proportion of elite performers, a group that was  introduced in last year’s report, and decreasing the proportion of low performers. 

“What this tells us is that elite performance is possible for anyone that requires executing on capabilities. How you get better is by executing on the principles of continuous delivery and by doing all of the things in that predictive model,” Nicole Forsgren, from DORA founder, and lead for research and strategy at Google Cloud, told SD Times. 

The report also found that the cloud continues to be a differentiator for elite performers, and that they were 24 times more likely than low performers to execute on all five capabilities of cloud computing. Their lead time from committing to deploying is 106 times faster and they have a 7 times lower change failure rate than low performers. 

Forsgren added another key finding is that the use of open source among top performers continues to be a strong pattern. Proprietary systems are really only used among low performers because the cost of the systems are so high and the community that knows how to use them is very restricted. 

“If you have a question you can’t go anywhere else to find these if you need to hire. Developers for these systems. It’s such a restrictive community in contrast open-source systems are really leveraged among the high performers,” said Forsgren. “If we’re leveraging an open-source platform we already have a better community to draw from. And as an interesting side note it also gives us better recruiting opportunities.” 

Also for the first time, the report found that enterprise organizations with more than 5,000 employees are lower performers than those with fewer than 5,000 employees. Heavyweight process and controls, as well as tightly coupled architectures, are some of the reasons that result in slower speed and the associated instability. Meanwhile, the highest performers focused on structural solutions that build community.

“Organizations ask what’s the best way to scale. And they want to find a silver bullet. They want to think about one place they can throw their money and that can be the nice way or the easy way,” Forsgren said. “So many of them find the best success is using structural solutions that build community. This allows them to have communities in place that are resilient to reorganize and product changes.”