Diving into DevOps

DevOps Adoption Barriers Persist, Survey Finds

Enterprises seeking competitive differentiation battle ongoing organizational and technical challenges.

DevOps has evolved quickly from a buzzword of the moment to a must-adopt set of practices for competitive differentiation. But the results of a newly published survey underscore persistent organizational and technical barriers to the adoption of these practices in many enterprises.

Survey respondents reported a range of barriers to DevOps adoption in their organizations, including: company culture (14 percent); testing automation (13 percent); legacy systems (12 percent); application complexity (11 percent); and budget constraints (11 percent). They also cited limited IT skills; difficulty managing multiple environments; a lack of DevOps plans and tools; and a lack of executive buy-in.

Quali, an enterprise software maker focused on cloud and DevOps automation, conducted the survey. The year-long project, the company's second, drew from the responses of more than 2,000 IT industry executives in the U.S., who participated online and during several tech industry events in 2016, including Cisco Live, VMWorld, DevOps Summit, AWS re:Invent, Delivery of Things and Jenkins World.

"One of the things that stood out for me in this survey is the fact that more than half of the respondents said they had no access to self-service infrastructure," said Shashi Kiran, Quali's chief marketing officer. "We looked at the dependency of infrastructure as either an enabler or a bottleneck for application development and delivery. These responses indicate that it continues to be a bottleneck impacting productivity and increasing time to market."

Only 23 percent of those surveyed said they are currently able to deliver infrastructure in less than one day. More than 33 percent said it takes up to a month, and 26 percent said it takes a month or more.

Survey respondents also reported deploying multiple tools within their organizations to support their DevOps efforts. The current DevOps toolchain ecosystem is fragmented with a mixture of open-source and packaged offerings, the survey revealed. The most popular tools cited by respondents included Jenkins (21 percent), Docker (16 percent), Puppet (14 percent) and Chef (13 percent).

The number of applications the survey respondents reported running currently in hybrid cloud environments varied widely. Organizations adopting hybrid clouds reported running only 23 percent of their apps on a hybrid cloud platform, with 65 percent of respondents running less than 24 applications in hybrid environments, and only 8 percent running more than 75 applications. These percentages can be attributed largely to the complexities of a hybrid IT environment, Kiran said, because several enterprises favor hybrid clouds.

The respondents also seem to be burdened by complex applications that make the transition to cloud and DevOps challenging, the survey found. More than 44 percent of applications in traditional environments were considered complex for cloud, they reported. This indicates that brownfield and hybrid deployments with legacy integration will continue to be important, Kiran explained.

"Among many of the organizations we deal with on a day-to-day basis who want to adopt DevOps there continues to be significant inertia and cultural biases," Kiran said. "Overcoming these cultural issues will be an important challenge going forward."

Kiran's company specializes in providing cloud sandbox environments for enterprise application development and deployment. Cloud Sandboxes automate the creation of production configurations on-demand for development and testing, he explained, providing developers, testers, and architects with access to replicas of complex production environments that work on private, public, and hybrid cloud deployments.

Quali expanded its 2017 Cloud and DevOps Survey, currently underway.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].