The secret to DevOps, it's all about 'automation' after all

Open source (and enterprise commercial) software operations company Puppet has rolled out its 2017 ‘state of DevOps report’ resulting from a survey of some 3,200 technical professionals.

The ‘findings’ this year suggest that, as we have hinted more than once recently, the crucial bridge to the new efficiencies in software application development shops come from automation.

Puppet says that the highest performing organisations have automated as much as 72 percent of all configuration management processes.

Manual configuration sucks

Manual configuration, it appears, really does suck, mostly.

Low performers are spending almost half of their time (46 percent) on manual configuration.

“Splunk’s participation in Puppet’s 2017 State of DevOps Report reflects our close alliance with Puppet and our shared commitment to delivering real-time visibility across the continuous delivery pipeline through the Puppet Enterprise App for Splunk,” said Andi Mann, chief technology advocate, Splunk. “The report findings validate the importance and impact of automation across DevOps for faster delivery, higher quality and rapid recovery – all of which are fundamental to what Splunk and Puppet deliver to customers.”

The report also considered leadership types and how they impact performance. The five characteristic behaviours that benefit developers are:

  1. Vision
  2. Inspirational communication
  3. Intellectual stimulation
  4. Supportive leadership
  5. Personal recognition.

For the second year in a row, the report looked at lean product management practices to see if changes upstream in the product management process affect business outcomes downstream. Lean product management practices supposedly help teams ship features that customers want, more frequently. This faster delivery cycle lets teams experiment, creating a feedback loop with customers, benefiting the entire organisation.

“The results of the 2017 State of DevOps Report show that high-performing IT teams are deploying more frequently and recovering faster than ever before, yet the automation gap between high and low performing teams continues to grow. The report will help organisations understand how to identify their own inhibitors and embrace change on their DevOps journey,” said Nigel Kersten, chief technical strategist, Puppet.

Automation again

Electric Cloud CEO Steve Brodie also zones in on automation and says that the key takeaways here emphasise the power of automation and the critical importance of helping teams connect the dots between business metrics and the underlying tools and processes.

“At the heart of successful businesses are high-performing teams that evolve and incorporate modern, high-performing applications and processes to drive consistent growth,” said Ashish Kuthiala, senior director for DevOps and Agile and Portfolio Offerings, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The full 2017 State of DevOps Report is available for download here.

The report was written in partnership with DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Atlassian, Deloitte, Electric-cloud, HPE, Splunk and Wavefront.