This post was originally authored by Scott Johnston, vice president of strategy & marketing at Puppet Labs.
DevOps has achieved a high enough profile that people are attempting to measure the outcomes for organizations that adopt it. Writing for InformationWeek, Charles Babcock discusses the findings of a new survey of 1,300 IT professionals about DevOps practices in their organizations.
DevOps is a cultural shift in how software development and IT operations work together. It’s about focusing everyone’s attention on the business goals of software, and enabling ongoing, active collaboration between developers and IT operations people to achieve those goals. Part of that collaboration, naturally, includes using the same tools.
Respondents to the survey, commissioned by software firm CA, said that adopting DevOps practices led to a speedup in the deployment of new services, cutting time to market by 20 percent. This led to a 22-percent increase in customers and increased revenue 19 percent. With benefits like these reported here and there in the tech press over the last couple of years, it’s not surprising that 39 percent of respondents had already adopted DevOps practices, and 27 percent had plans to do so in the future. These findings are similar to some of what we learned when we surveyed 4,000 technology professionals in December 2012.
Continuous Delivery Is the Why, and DevOps is the How
While Babcock correctly says that DevOps is a natural development from Agile software methods, we take issue with him conflating DevOps with continuous delivery. DevOps is a cultural shift and a set of practices, while continuous delivery is a set of practices, enabled by a toolset, that facilitates faster release of deployment-ready code. Think of it this way: Continuous delivery is what companies want to achieve, and DevOps is the path for getting there.
The DevOps toolchain and the continuous delivery toolchain are very similar, and include tools for version control, automated provisioning, orchestration and continuous integration, among others.
It’s important to note that you can get the benefits of DevOps practices just by starting to put them into place. It can take a year or more to arrive at continuous delivery, the state where every piece of code that’s checked into the code base is deployment-ready. But you can still realize the benefits of reduced errors and software delivery times - plus a calmer, more enjoyable work environment - simply by putting one or two DevOps practices into place.