CA Technologies probes DevOps intentions

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Two out of three companies have implemented DevOps in their organisation or plan to do so, according to a survey of 1,300 senior IT decision-makers, released last week by systems management software company CA Technologies.

Only 16 percent of those surveyed said they’d never heard of DevOps - so for them and others in the same position, it’s a strategy for introducing and refining new applications, faster and more frequently.

To put it another way, in a world where more frequent software releases and shorter deadlines have become facts of life in many organisations, the gap that exists between developers and IT operations staff - in working styles and in priorities - can be a roadblock. On the one hand, software developers want to work quickly, creatively and iteratively. On the other, what counts for IT operations is stability and control - not the disruption that frequent updates bring

DevOps is a methodology designed to get the two camps working well together - and it’s clearly proving popular, with its wide range of promised benefits. The most important is time-to-market for new software, regardless of whether that’s an in-house application or a commercial product. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed on CA Technologies’ behalf by research company Vanson Bourne see this as the leading benefit of moving to DevOps - and those who have already adopted it are already reporting a 30 percent reduction in time-to-market, according to the report.

It’s a particularly big hit in the UK, apparently: more than four out of five (82 percent) of UK respondents to the survey plan to invest in new tools and training for development and operations staff in order to get DevOps working in their organisation.

Adam Maskatiya at CA Technologies says he isn’t surprised by the amount of buzz in the market: “What got my attention is that the number of online searches for “DevOps” in the last six to eight months apparently exceeds all of the searches for that topic in 2011 and 2012,” he says. “That’s quite a validation - and I’m hearing stuff anecdotally from colleagues that several customers of CA Technologies already have a ‘head of DevOps’ installed in their organisation.”

Conveniently, that’s good news for CA Technologies,, which supplies many of the types of tools that companies looking to adopt DevOps will need to get things started. In particular, the company’s acquisition of Nolio earlier this year gives it the release automation capabilities that developers and operations staff will use to introduce new pieces of code into IT environments in a ‘continuous delivery’ model

But what other tools will DevOps-hungry IT teams need? According to the survey, almost three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) anticipate investing in new tools due to their DevOps implementations. On the list of priorities, are tools for:

IT automation - 52% of respondents

Agile development - 47%

Collaborative teaming between dev and ops staff - 45%

Service virtualisation - 42%

Accelerated apps testing - 32%

Continuous release cycles - 32%

Aligned DevOps processes - 25%

Pre-production performance testing - 4%

At the same time, it’s not all about the tools. More than 70 percent expect to commit more budget to training both development and operations staff on the key tenets of DevOps, while more than half (53 percent) predict they’ll need to hire new personnel with the necessary skills to support DevOps adoption.

More advice on adopting DevOps is available in CA Technologies’ report, What Smart Businesses Know About DevOps.

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