Making the case for DevOps in your organization
Time is money. This little axiom may seem trite, but it has never been more relevant than in the digital age. Customers expect a steady stream of improvements to whatever digital products they use. How quickly leaders can deliver improvements has a big impact on customer acquisition and retention.
Take automakers for instance. A recent McKinsey study on consumer preferences showed that, year over year, there was an 85% increase in the number of automobile consumers who were willing to switch brands provided their digital needs (automation and connectivity) were met. When the pace of digital advancement becomes as important to auto manufacturers as it is to Google and Netflix, every business should be looking at their digital portfolio and how they can transform it faster.
So how do you explain the purpose of DevOps in all this? First and foremost, you can point out that DevOps will:
dramatically shorten the time it takes to build a delightful digital experience.
keep code up to date and keep experience relevant to end users.
drive customer acquisition and retention.
In fact, IT teams who have successfully adopted DevOps principles routinely outperform those that haven’t—as published in the 2017 State of DevOps report by Puppet.
A similar 2018 report published by Interop ITX and InformationWeek provides further insight. Of 128 IT professionals surveyed, 69% said implementing DevOps within their organizations increased the deployment frequency of software and services. Within the same sample group, 59% credited DevOps with improving the quality and performance of their applications. Speed and quality weren’t the only benefits cited. One in three respondents also reported lower development, testing, and operating costs.
ROI of DevOps
So how do you measure gains? For process improvement calculations, the potential gains include both tangible and intangible elements. The tangible elements are derived from revenue growth, head count and infrastructure costs, and reduced cost of failures. The more intangible elements manifest in areas such as team efficiency, productivity, and risk reduction. They can be divided into these categories:
Revenue gains from accelerated time to market of the new product or new product features
Productivity gains and cost reduction in IT head count waste
Cost reduction from fewer application failures due to increased product quality
Increase in flexibility and ability to pivot in the IT environment
Empirically, the research from Puppet proved that teams with DevOps CI/CD experienced:
50% fewer failures and better- quality products
12x faster to recover when a failure occurs
2x more likely to recover from a failure in less than 10 minutes vs. 28.3 minutes from a non-DevOps-enabled team
7.2 hours saved per person per week returned to do actual product development rather than on repeatable tasks, such as time spent by IT on building and maintaining environments, developers on diagnostics and problem resolution, developers on system integration, and testers on manual testing
Making the case for DevOps is a lot easier than putting it into practice. Much like climbing Everest for the first time, it helps to have experienced guidance from those who have made the trek before.