The Role of DevOps In Driving Business Outcomes
In this article, see an overview of DevOps and see how it is quantifying and driving business outcomes.
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As IT becomes an integral part of organizations, it is ever more important that companies improve their ability to innovate at scale and safely. DevOps aims to transform the way businesses deliver software, with an emphasis on delivering value to end users.
However, while solely focusing on implementing changes and improving complex processes, it’s easy to forget that your company's improvements must provide actual improvements. Establishing metrics to measure the impact of DevOps is the basic foundation on which you can assess the impact of changes. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked.
That's why we'll be quantifying the business outcomes of investing in DevOps.
DevOps: An Overview
Before quantifying DevOps outcomes, let’s take a brief overview of DevOps itself.
What is It?
DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools to increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high speed. It combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to create infrastructures and workflows that bring together tools, people, and practices to optimize business performance.
How Does it Work?
A typical DevOps model works by ensuring that development and operations teams are no longer partitioned. In fact, usually, these two teams are merged into one, where the engineers work across the entire lifecycle of the application, from development and test to deployment and operations.
What Are The Benefits?
- Increased speed
- Rapid delivery
- Scale operations and management of development processes
- Improved Collaboration
- Better security
Why Does DevOps Matter?
Software has become an integral component of every part of a business. Companies interact with their customers through software and use it to increase operational efficiencies by transforming all aspects of the value chain, like communications, logistics, and operations.
Quantifying DevOps Outcomes
When it comes to quantification, the numbers represent either business (clients + employees) or money. That’s why we can split DevOps outcomes into two parts: business and finance.
DevOps workflows deliver outstanding results for both the employees and clients - the fundamental constituents that form a business.
1. Satisfied Customer
A significant DevOps business outcome is the client experience. A survey conducted globally by CA Technologies has shown that 74% of the software/IT enterprises implementing DevOps have seen a significant boost in customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, DevOps-oriented businesses enjoy a three times lower product failure rate, and the recovery rated is boosted by 24 times.
The product is created within a shorter time with a higher quality that produces a great customer experience. If you’re investing in DevOps, you’re directly investing in substantially higher customer satisfaction!
That would result in more recurring customers, a better name in the industry, a greater flow of first-time clients, and all the goodies of a satisfied clientele. Quite an investment!
2. Focused and Efficient Employees
DevOps tools and work cycles make employees 43% more efficient (faster and reliable) than traditional infrastructures.
The software industry runs on a “do more in less time” agenda. Unfortunately, the traditional and monolithic work systems convert that into overtime, lack of planning, and sluggishness for the employees.
What’s the last time you’ve seen developers done with the code but stuck on converting software from development to production environments or wasting time doing compatibility checks?
On the other hand, DevOps brings automation and CI/CD infrastructure into place. That means developers are essentially cutting out the entire time they waste on making commits, pulls, tests, and dev to production environment conversions - it’s all done automatically!
The automation is so fast that the DevOps frequency of deployment is 200 times greater on average than traditional deployment methodologies.
The employees are focused on what matters, and automation makes the rest much faster and reliable.
3. Employee Retention
Employee engagement is a crucial factor in any company’s success. Engaged employees not only tend to stay longer, which is great for reducing turnover and helping attract new, but also create better experiences for customers and improve business results.
Implementing DevOps helps employee engagement, because it speeds workflow and breaks down barriers within your organization, which helps employees build better products and feel more connected to one another. In high-performing DevOps enterprises, teams can better validate their ideas, allowing employees feel they have more control over the work they produce and enhanced connection to the organization.
Studying highly engaged employees, Puppet’s report found that those working in high-performing DevOps organizations, were more than two times more likely to recommend their organization to a friend than those in low-performing DevOps companies. Also, successful DevOps organizations’ employees were almost two times as likely to recommend their team to a friend.
According to a Hay Group research, companies with such highly engaged employees grew revenues by two and a half times as much as those with low engagement levels.
While clients and employees are the key elements of forming an enterprise, money makes it all run.
Money provides value to your product and incentive to your employees. It gives the purpose to run the business and your enterprise’s ability to use the best tools and hire the best people.
DevOps is an outstanding investment that will bring you more money and phenomenal savings. Let’s look at some key outcomes that make the magic happen.
1. Monetary Savings
A penny saved is a penny earned. By that logic, DevOps is going to help you earn lots of money!
DevOps aims to reduce the time and effort put into unplanned work and rework. Both waste time, energy, and money of your business and its employees. It can also result in delayed submissions, which creates a ‘holistically horrible’ experience.
Research conducted by Puppet shows high achieving teams of tech companies of all sizes spend as little time as possible on unplanned work and rework.
Here’s an interesting figure: on average, a large tech company with high performing teams spends $693 million on unplanned work and rework, whereas low performers waste an average of $1.071 billion every single year!
The difference is equally pronounced irrespective of the size of the company.
Convert that into useful words: DevOps saves at least 40% of the money you’d otherwise waste by simply implementing automation and smart techniques to eradicate as much unplanned work and rework as possible!
It doesn’t stop there. With the continuous testing that DevOps enforces, the chances of a critical failure are reduced by less than a third.
Given that a mid-to-large tech company can end up spending about $1 million each hour at a product failure and upwards of $1 billion an hour in downtime costs, DevOps is a real godsend for what would otherwise be a massive hole down the pocket of your company.
The facts can go on and on, but it’s clear that a DevOps system is far more optimized, saving a great deal of time and money every year, allowing you to focus and invest in what matters.
2. Work Hour Savings
Cost savings and efficiency are common returns used to justify DevOps. While these are great, there's much more.
Cost savings give an early positive impact, but after the first year, no one gets credit for the savings. Instead, you have to show how the savings gained on employee time can be reallocated to other productive activities.
Implementing DevOps can save your company a minimum of 10% engineering time each yearly. This means you’re getting a minimum of 110% work done compared to a regular tech company, but within the same amount of time!
10% might seem small, but if you calculate how much work hours your employees spend in a year, you'd realize it's a huge amount of time saved. And that's just the minimum!
But what does this truly mean for your business?
Simple. With DevOps, you will be able to enhance reliable releases, increase the number of satisfied customers, and improve efficiency and productivity, all which contribute to more returns on investment.
3. New Business Growth
With increased revenue and customer support comes more opportunities. Organizations with improved growth have more capital to work with, and such revenue can be injected into the business to further enhance systems and operations. Also, improved efficiency and productivity means staff will have more time, which can be used to work on more successful, revenue-generating projects.
A study by CA Technologies showed that organizations that embraced DevOps saw a 40 percent improvement in revenue-based KPIs.
DevOps has facilitated groundbreaking results for clients, employees, and finances, and that is evident from the numerous quantification results of significant business outcomes.
The results show not just what, but by how much. It shows to what degree an organization can improve both its business and financial outcomes.
About the Author
Mir Y. Ali, Field CTO, 2NDWatch Inc
Mr. Ali is a widely recognized technology leader, strategy professional, and community welfare leader, who has held senior management positions in multiple organizations, including at Nokia-Here. When he is not delivering successful digital transformation projects to his clients, he offers his leadership skills for community welfare as the President of the Board of Directors at Careers of Light Inc.
Mir can be reached at
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