DevOps Adoption is Creating Chaos|
January 10, 2019
OverOps released the results of the first annual “Dev vs. Ops: The State of Accountability” survey report, which found that adoption of DevOps workflows and shared accountability is contributing to chaos and confusion when dealing with application reliability and downtime. The report, based on a survey of 2,400 development and IT professionals, revealed that as more organizations embark on their DevOps journey, defining roles and processes becomes increasingly difficult, and startups and enterprises alike are facing obstacles when it comes to environment visibility and defining who is responsible when something breaks.
“Digital business leaders now realize that customers don’t care whether production problems are caused by development or operations. In order for DevOps to be successful, organizations are shifting to a culture of shared accountability across both teams,” said Jason English, Principal Analyst at IT advisory firm Intellyx. “Beyond just having empathy for the other team, each side needs data and visibility to define clear ownership and engage the right people when something breaks.”
Key findings from the “Dev vs. Ops: The State of Accountability” report include:
DevOps is no longer just a buzzword, but still not a household practice: The majority of respondents said that DevOps is on their roadmap. However, over 82 percent of organizations have only partially adopted DevOps practices (or not at all), in contrast to the 17 percent of respondents that claim to have fully adopted DevOps.
Organizations are delivering software faster than ever – a key reason applications keep breaking: More than 90% of companies deploy code at least once a month, and over 60% release at least once every two weeks. However, moving fast has a downside – nearly 40 percent of all respondents indicated that moving too quickly is a primary reason that errors make it into production. As part of this agile approach, over 60 percent of all respondents reported they use automated tooling for error notification and to ensure application quality. But despite automation adoption, an alarming number of respondents – more than 50 percent – said they rely on customers to tell them about errors in production.
People are wasting more than a day per week troubleshooting errors: Though more than 50 percent of respondents named productivity as the primary way they measure team effectiveness, over a quarter said they still spend roughly one full work day per week (or more) troubleshooting errors. Another 42 percent of respondents spend 10-20 percent of their time troubleshooting.
When everyone feels accountable, no one is really accountable: A shared responsibility for the delivery of reliable software is a hallmark of DevOps. Despite the common notion that developers and operations teams are locked in a constant blame game when their application breaks, the survey revealed that most IT professionals across the software delivery supply chain feel the entire team is responsible for reliability. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they believe that their entire team is to blame when an application breaks or has an error, and 73 percent said that both Dev and Ops are equally accountable for ensuring the overall quality of an application. However, when everyone is an owner, it can be difficult to actually hold someone responsible. Having multiple or unclear owners was cited as the second biggest obstacle to ensuring application reliability, and nearly a quarter of respondents noted that a lack of clarity around who is responsible for code quality is the second leading cause for errors making it into production.
The road to reliability is paved with chaos: Solving the accountability challenge and defining clear ownership for software quality is impossible without application visibility and the right processes and tooling. But with most organizations in the midst of DevOps adoption, environments are increasingly complex and workflows are in flux. As a result, when asked about the top challenges that impact the reliability and quality of their applications, survey participants cited a lack of formal process as the number one obstacle for them, followed by multiple or unclear owners and a lack of visibility/data/metrics. Survey participants also noted that a lack of resources in pre-production, including tools and/or people, was the primary reason for errors making it into production.
“It is encouraging to see more organizations taking a collaborative approach to accountability, but without proper visibility, this sense of shared responsibility can do more harm than good,” said Tal Weiss, CTO and co-founder of OverOps. “Successful DevOps isn’t just about moving fast and eliminating barriers between teams. It’s about unifying the right people, processes and tools to gain a complete understanding of your system and ensure the delivery of reliable software. Without clearly defined workflows and insight into what’s happening at the deepest level of your environment, more accountability ultimately means more problems.”