“This study reveals that UK organisations are missing out on the opportunities heralded by the application economy, because they are failing to adopt a fluid and experimental approach to product and service development,” says Ritu Mahandru, VP Solution Sales, CA Technologies. “Digital interaction with customers, partners and suppliers increasingly takes place through applications, apps and online services. To innovate new customer experiences, be more agile and grow revenues, UK organisations require a much more rapid and continuous delivery of value to create competitive advantage, while simultaneously allowing IT to become more responsive and efficient.”
The study, which comprised 1,442 senior IT and business executives (including 506 respondents in Europe) highlights the DevOps methodology as the means to achieving that competitive advantage. Implementing DevOps breaks down the traditional barriers between development and operations teams, allowing new applications and enhancements to be deployed more quickly. Together with continuous feedback and optimisation, this helps organisations create better customer experiences, reduce time to value and enable IT to contribute more proactively.
UK organisations fall short in attributes required for DevOps success
The study highlights the essential attributes for DevOps success, grouped in three main areas: a business-led approach, skilled and collaborative IT resources and the adoption of key controls. UK organisations fall short in all these areas.
For example, 84% of UK organisations agree it is important to ensure adequate knowledge of business priorities within IT, but only 36% have this in place. Some 86% agree it is important to have the relevant IT skills in place, but only 24% currently do so. And in terms of having the right controls in place, 85% agree it is important to deal with the security and compliance challenges surrounding the DevOps methodology, but only 20% have already achieved this.
Part of the reason for this capability gap may be explained by the lack of cultural harmony in IT. Some 67% of UK organisations agree it is important to break down cultural barriers between Dev and Ops teams, but only 38% have fully dealt with cultural transformation. Getting past traditional lines of demarcation, ingrained mind-sets and long-established turf wars takes time and patience.
The study also reveals a group of ‘Advanced DevOps Adopters’: organisations with DevOps implementation activity in all parts of the ‘jigsaw’, or full implementation of at least six pieces. Only 11% of UK organisations are in this advanced adoption category, behind Switzerland (23%), Spain (13%), France and Italy (12%), but ahead of Germany (10%).
Two-thirds of UK organisations using DevOps
However, there is no question about the insatiable demand for the DevOps methodology among UK organisations. More than two-thirds (67%) have broadly implemented DevOps or done so in selected areas of the business, compared to 65% in France and Italy*. DevOps is important now because digital initiatives highlight the role of software delivery in today’s app economy: 77% agree/strongly agree they must streamline IT to free up resources for digital investment, while 72% agree/strongly agree they must be prepared to experiment and fail quickly on the road to success.
DevOps is delivering a significant advantage to organisations’ market performance across Europe. According to the study for example, 65% of Advanced DevOps Adopters at a pan-European level believe digital initiatives make a major contribution to allowing them to act quickly on opportunities, compared with 17% of organisations with no DevOps adoption. By contrast, 37% of all UK organisations—users and non-users of the DevOps methodology—believe digital initiatives make a major contribution to allowing them to act quickly on opportunities.
Advanced DevOps users report strong business results
Advanced DevOps Adopters also achieve better business scorecard results. Across Europe, 85% of these organisations have achieved ‘significant measurable benefits’ in customer retention, 76% have achieved similar results in customer acquisition and 68% have achieved ‘significant measurable benefits’ in new income streams.
Furthermore, two-thirds (66%) of UK organisations are using containerization as part of their DevOps initiative. Containerization improves their application portability, increases productivity among both developers and operations staff and allows these teams to work more collaboratively.
Benjamin Wootton, Co-Founder, Contino adds, “The DevOps methodology can deliver rapid and continuous delivery of business value, while simultaneously allowing IT to become more responsive and efficient. However, European organisations need to exercise caution, ensuring they adopt DevOps best practices. Taking a business-centric approach, making sure IT is properly skilled and working collaboratively, and putting the necessary enablers and controls in place will accelerate success in the application economy.”
The global online survey of 1,442 senior IT and business executives was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by industry analyst firm Freeform Dynamics in July, 2015. It included 506 respondents in Europe, from the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. The study’s respondents assume senior business and IT positions at public and private enterprises across nine industry sectors with revenues of $250 million or more. The study was augmented by in-depth telephone interviews with key industry executives. * Note that DevOps adoption rates may skew higher due to self-selection bias in the sample. For full survey methodology details, see the report “Assembling the DevOps Jigsaw”.
About Freeform Dynamics
Freeform Dynamics is an IT industry analyst firm. Through research and insights, the company aims to help busy IT and business professionals get up to speed on the latest technology developments, and make better-informed investment decisions. For more information, and access to Freeform Dynamics’ library of free research, please visit www.freeformdynamics.com.