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Exploring the Top Barriers to IT DevOps Adoption

Yet another market study has explored the challenges that IT organizations encounter, as they pursue the adoption of DevOps practices. More than 2,000 IT industry executives participated in a survey online and at tech industry events during 2016.

The survey was completed in the United States, with respondents drawn from engineering, managerial, architect and C-level executive roles. Here's the key findings from this DevOps survey results:

  • Fully 54 percent of respondents indicated they had no access to self-service infrastructure. This meant that more than half of respondents took a ticket-based approach to infrastructure delivery, impacting productivity and increasing time to market.
  • Of those surveyed, only 23 percent said infrastructure can be delivered in less than one day. Over 33 percent of respondents said it takes up to a month to deliver infrastructure with 26 percent saying it takes up to one month or more to deliver infrastructure. Lack of access to the right infrastructure and environment slows application delivery.
  • DevOps managers are deploying multiple tools to support their DevOps efforts. The current DevOps tool chain ecosystem is quite fragmented with a mixture of open source and packaged offerings. The most popular tools cited by respondents included Jenkins (21 percent), Docker (16 percent), Puppet (14 percent) and Chef (13 percent).
  • Top barriers to DevOps success included the respondent’s company culture (14 percent); challenges of testing automation (13 percent); legacy systems (12 percent); application complexity (11 percent); and budget constraints (11 percent). Other barriers to achieving DevOps included limited IT skills; difficulty managing multiple environments; a lack of DevOps plans and tools; and a lack of executive buy-in.
  • Respondents varied widely on the number of applications they now run in hybrid cloud environments. On average, of those adopting hybrid clouds, the respondents run only 23 percent of their apps on a hybrid cloud platform, with 65 percent of respondents running less than 24 applications in hybrid environments and only 8 percent running more than 75 applications. This can largely be attributed to the complexities of a hybrid IT environment, as several enterprises favor hybrid clouds.
  • Respondents are still burdened by complex applications that make the transition to cloud and DevOps challenging. Over 44 percent of applications in traditional environments were considered complex for cloud. This indicates that brownfield and hybrid deployments with legacy integration will continue to be important.

Stemming from the survey results, Quali (sponsor of the market research) noted several industry analyst comments regarding DevOps and the challenges it addresses in the IT infrastructure marketplace.

"While the term DevOps is often associated with leading-edge projects, mastering DevOps isn't only about innovating on the 'cool' technologies faster; it's also about building the capabilities to perform modern application development across the board," wrote Diego Lo Giudice, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

"Despite the immense popularity of DevOps today, EMA research data shows a general lack of central governance and automation when it comes to creating new application environments. This leads to pockets of developers using their favorite, often not well integrated, DevOps tools," said Torsten Volk, managing research director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

"Infrastructure technology is allowing enterprises to compete at the business level in a way that we don’t think has ever happened before – at least not to this extent. The better collaboration between technology groups and the rest of the business, whether it’s internally perceived as expansion of DevOps or as digital transformation, will continue to drive a stronger role for technology as the next wave of companies looks to become software-defined," according to Donnie Berkholz, research director at 451 Research.

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