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Inside DevOps success stories: Quality, stability and velocity for all

Successful DevOps adoption is as much about changing institutionalized culture as embracing new tools and technologies. DevOps isn't just for the unicorns anymore.

DevOps is a growing phenomenon among all types of businesses, but its continued growth still faces obstacles. Some dismiss DevOps success stories as the result of trendy tools embraced by unicorns and practices of the Silicon Valley faithful that are not fit for the rest of the world. Others worry that they'll lose quality and stability in an effort to increase velocity with DevOps. But for many successful and established companies, it simply boils down to the fact that the familiar has worked.

"The prevailing notion is that DevOps is for startups and the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks of this world and not for large, complex companies that have been around for decades or even centuries -- but that is really not the case," Gene Kim, co-author of The DevOps Handbook, recently told Computer Weekly.

Selling DevOps

The way in which DevOps enthusiasts and product marketers pitch DevOps to CIOs and other business leaders has a lot to do with this resistance, says John Willis, another co-author of The DevOps Handbook. CIOs have seen more than their fair share of tech product pitches and have learned that most are more sizzle than steak.

The prevailing notion is that DevOps is for startups and the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks of this world, and not for large, complex companies that have been around for decades or even centuries -- but that is really not the case.
Gene Kimco-author of The DevOps Handbook

"I've watched a lot of salespeople over the years, on calls I've done, and they'll go into enterprises and say -- after just 10 minutes of meeting them -- you're doing it all wrong and you need to stop now and do it this way instead," Willis told Computer Weekly. "Some of the resistance that enterprises feel towards DevOps can be put down to how the concept is marketed to CIOs by scaremongering sales people and overenthusiastic evangelists."

What's a DevOps success story?

That DevOps is unique also makes it a tough sell. It's as much about changing institutionalized culture as much as embracing new tools and technologies. On top of that, there's never a point where you've "done DevOps." DevOps is a continuous effort. There's no DevOps endpoint. According to Kim, even the DevOps success stories aren't operating at a 100% adoption rate. He states that in successful DevOps enterprises, he sees DevOps leaders "being given more responsibility and being asked to elevate the practices across a more material portion of the enterprise."

For more reading

For insight into the tester's changing role in DevOps, read SearchSoftwareQuality's "Will automated software testing eliminate my job soon?"

Along with a culture shift and a move to cloud-based tools, Elinor Klavens from Forrester says that automated testing plays an outsized role in determining the success of a DevOps adoption. She says, "Forrester research identifies that only 29% of organizations have automated the complete pipeline. Transformational leaders are addressing the pipeline issue, acknowledging that the removal of manual, unautomated or unintegrated pipelines opens up the opportunity for human error or delays between stages or both."

In terms of automation, DevOps organizations have a great deal of room to grown. Increased automation can also assuage a CIO's fears that adopting DevOps and moving faster will lead to a drop in quality and stability. When human error and delays both decrease, then an enterprise can enjoy the benefits of increased velocity along with increased stability and quality.

This was last published in July 2017

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