Survey Shows Cloud and DevOps Complexity and Culture Concerns
Third annual survey from Quali of 1,300+ IT industry executives share insights on the adoption of cloud and DevOps strategies.
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Thanks to Shashi Kiran, CMO at Quali for sharing the results of their third annual Cloud and DevOps Survey examining current infrastructure trends, as well as some of the key barriers facing industry leaders.
The findings, based on more than 1,300 responses from DevOps and IT professionals, showed the top barriers to DevOps adoption involve stagnant organizational cultures (according to 22 percent of respondents); managing the jumble of legacy processes, IT infrastructure and newly created cloud environments (21 percent); and growing software complexity that impacts application modernization initiatives (20 percent).
Other critical concerns include the lack of standardized mechanisms for continuous testing (13 percent); managing the setup, tear-down and automation during different stages of the DevOps lifecycle (13 percent); and lack of dedicated budgets for these projects (9 percent).
DevOps teams are still highly dependent on IT assistance to help deliver infrastructure, often through a ticket-based process. About 27 percent of those surveyed get access to the necessary infrastructure and environments within one day. But nearly 50 percent must wait up to one month for infrastructure access, while 24 percent wait for more than a month, particularly those with distributed teams.
Two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) reported implementing some forms of automation to improve productivity and agility, while one-third (33 percent) had no structured automation systems in place. Of those already using automation, 33 percent have self-service capabilities for their R&D and dev/test initiatives.
Interest is growing for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment, but CI/CD is still not yet a mainstream activity. More than one-third of respondents (38 percent) have adopted some Continuous Integration, while 24 percent have adopted Continuous Deployment. A similar number of respondents (27 percent) have adopted Continuous Testing processes.
More than 80 percent of enterprises are considering adopting a cloud strategy, with 26 percent already having a private cloud strategy in place, including on-premise deployments. Nearly 20 percent are actively using the public cloud or they have some public cloud strategy. Another 39 percent of respondents intend to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, while 15 percent have no current cloud strategy and no immediate plans to adopt one.
The top five barriers to cloud adoption involve the complexity of applications and processes (41 percent of respondents); direct and indirect costs (20 percent); regulatory compliance (18 percent); risk and security, either through perceptions or actual concerns (12 percent); and other factors including management buy-in, lack of skillsets, and fear of cloud lock-in (9 percent).
More than two-thirds of survey respondents (68 percent) cited a strong need to budget for a dedicated Cloud and DevOps Competence Centre of Excellence (CoE) lab, either on-premise or in the cloud, to handle cloud migrations, application modernization efforts, and DevOps automation use cases. Just less than one-third (32 percent) have not budgeted funds for an R&D competency center as part of their immediate plans.
Businesses were roughly split on the need for self-service capabilities to build DevOps environments, perform cloud migrations and conduct continuous testing. One-third of respondents already had some self-service access set up with cloud management platforms. One-third were strongly inclined to adopt on-demand, self-service automation platforms to improve productivity and agility, while one-third had no immediate plans to do so.
“We’re pleased to release the results of our third annual survey. The survey shows that automation and self-service mechanisms provide a tremendous boost to productivity and cost-savings. These elements cannot be an afterthought,” said Kiran. “We see managing environment complexity will be critical to speed up DevOps and cloud adoption. Platforms that foster better collaboration between Dev/Test, Security, Ops as well as IT organizations would be key to digitization efforts for enterprises and service providers.”
Here are some more high-level observations and comparisons with the results from Quali’s prior survey:
- In the 2017 survey, Amazon Web Services (AWS) picked up a sizeable lead as the default public cloud of choice. This year’s survey revealed a more varied field as Microsoft, Google, Oracle and Alibaba put more of an impetus on cloud offerings and adoption. Far more respondents indicated they were on a path to adopting hybrid clouds (39 percent) in 2018 compared to 2017 (23 percent).
- People who didn’t recognize the value of self-service environments dropped significantly from 54 percent in the 2017 survey to just 33 percent in 2018, as organizations started to scale up their DevOps processes and recognized a lack of self-service to be a bottleneck to agility and productivity.
- Cultural issues increased as the top barrier for DevOps as this concern registered a significant increase among respondents this year (22 percent) compared to 2017 (14 percent). This trend shows that DevOps processes are going mainstream with larger groups being pulled into the innovation culture for DevOps projects. Managing culture better must become a top-down responsibility and managing culture can help manage change better.
- Existing infrastructure and legacy investments are not going away anytime soon. Choosing tools and platforms that allow integration of existing processes while preserving existing investments can allow for non-disruptive insertion of the new with the old, minimizing resistance and cultural backlash.
The findings in this research are consistent with what I have learned speaking with IT executives about both subjects. Successful adoption and implementation of DevOps is 80% culture, 10% process, and 10% technology. It also takes years, not months to implement.
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