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Why DevOps needs protection from becoming the next IT buzzword

The term DevOps is banded about a lot these days – tired of large and lengthy software development and tiresome testing cycles, an increasing number of businesses are turning to DevOps practices.

DevOps promises more collaborative software creation, easier testing, smooth updates and the ability to do all of this at a faster rate than ever before. In fact, Gartner predicts that DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25 per cent of Global 2000 organisations.

Despite this drive towards DevOps practices, it is clear that the UK’s IT industry needs some further education on the topic, to avoid a genuinely innovative practice becoming just another ‘buzzword’ for IT. What does it really mean if an IT professional claims to ‘do’ DevOps? Is a formal accreditation required to sort the experts from the novices? Most importantly, are businesses implementing DevOps practices without being totally clear on the business challenges they address?

IP EXPO Europe is Europe’s number one IT event and has announced the launch of a dedicated sub-event for DevOps, DevOps Europe, at this year’s event. To commemorate the transition of DevOps into mainstream IT, we conducted some research into how organisations are currently employing the technologies available.

DevOps on the rise, needs industry certification to help businesses make sense of the benefits

The research, which examined the technology habits of 500 UK IT professionals, found that over a third (36 per cent) of businesses are now deploying DevOps practices. 22 per cent said that they planned to in the near future but were currently not using them. 20 per cent were not familiar with the term DevOps at all, highlighting that DevOps has a long way to go before truly becoming a mainstream strategy.

Despite the fact that DevOps implementation is on the rise, there is an issue emerging around whether or not some form of accreditation is needed. Plenty of technology professionals claim to have DevOps practices in place, but without any formal certification, businesses are potentially wasting thousands hiring personnel who aren’t trained in DevOps implementation. According to our research, 70 per cent of UK IT professionals believe that formal DevOps certification schemes are required to ensure they are hiring the pros they need to get the job done properly.

Many recruiters are now advertising for ‘DevOps Engineers’, although a large proportion of the companies they are hiring for have no idea what this means. The simple definition is that DevOps is the ultimate business cycle – from business requirements, to customer, to business requirements. By implementing tools like Chef or Puppet, companies are not ‘doing’ DevOps, they are enabling DevOps. Therefore, those running the programmes are not necessarily as experienced as they would have their employers believe. To ‘do’ DevOps, you need to be able to ‘do’ everything across the IT spectrum, from development to implementation.

What’s in store for businesses in the future?

It’s not just DevOps that is taking centre stage as we explore the future of enterprise IT. Our research also examined the future of cloud and infrastructure, security, data centre and data analytics. Research into future trends found that the majority of UK IT professionals consider private cloud to be the future (47 per cent in total).

When it comes to the security of company data, over half of businesses believe that the threat to cyber security has increased over the past year, with 56 per cent believing that threat comes from cloud-based systems. There is also a general consensus that the future of the office is one of flexibility – 66 per cent of UK IT professionals see flexible working as becoming the norm in the next five years.

DevOps Europe – a new platform for the digital enterprise

This year’s IP EXPO Europe marks ten years of Europe’s number one IT event. Taking place on 7-8 October at the ExCel Centre, 2015’s event will feature key DevOps industry bods from across the community.

Speakers include Benjamin Wootton, co-founder at Contino, Helen Beal, head of DevOps at Ranger4 and Jes Breslaw, EMEA Marketing Director at Delphix, sharing key insights into how businesses can bring development and operations teams together to eliminate duplicated effort, increase efficiency and speed up key processes.

In addition, a host of keynote speakers will discuss changes across the IT spectrum. This year’s keynote programmed will be opened by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who will discuss the current state of Internet privacy and online censorship.

For further information, or to register for FREE, visit the IP EXPO website.

Bradley Maule-ffinch, director of strategy, IP EXPO Europe