Defining DevOps Maturity

For more than a decade, enterprises have been bringing their development and operations teams together. How well are you faring?

Ralf Paschen
Ralf Paschen, December 1, 2017 11:45 am
Blog > DevOps | Continuous Delivery | Digital Transformation > Defining DevOps Maturity

For over ten years, DevOps has been taking the world by storm. It has made organizations step back, evaluate their processes and implement enterprise-wide cultural and infrastructural change. Vendors have followed suite, introducing an abundance of continuous delivery tools to facilitate this step-change. L.P Hartley famously quipped, ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ – words which resound more than ever as we more further into the digital age.

Agility and digital transformation is now the name of the game. DevOps seeks to enable both. It’s fueling innovation, allowing companies to do more with less and enabling enterprises to become built-for-change businesses; traits required of the application economy. As the digital era has bloomed, we have seen organizations begin their digital transformation initiatives – with DevOps at the heart of those journeys. As such, its practices have taken root within organizations of all sizes.

However, we’re all at different stages of our digital transformations. Even purpose built-for-change business – industry disruptors and unicorns – are maturing. It makes sense then, that we are all at varying stages of DevOps maturity.

DevOps Maturity: What Is It?

Becoming a built-for-change business doesn’t just happen overnight. Organizations have realized that digital transformation programs aren’t quick win solutions. They take time to properly implement. As such, businesses and enterprises of all sizes are today at varying levels of ‘completion’ on their journeys and are keen to discover how well they are doing DevOps.

Successful implementation is often referred to as DevOps maturity – but how is it measured?

DevOps maturity can be measured in four distinct areas:

  • Culture and strategy
  • Automation
  • Structure and processes
  • Collaboration and sharing

Culture and Strategy

DevOps is a culmination of a cultural shift. It’s removes boundaries, bringing development and operations teams closer together so that they work in harmony. To get to such a level requires a thorough strategy. Those attempting to make such cultural changes ad hoc are, more likely than not, destined to fail.

Automation

Automation may be the secret sauce in the DevOps recipe. It allows various tools to be unified and shared among teams. Crucially, however, it facilitates the innovation the enterprise requires. It frees teams from a host of repeatable tasks, allowing them to be creative and work closely. Without a proper automation solution, DevOps wouldn’t be possible. It enables both continuous delivery and continuous deployment practices, pivotal to the application economy.

Structure and Processes

In the digital age, processes are everything. We constantly monitor the habits of our consumers, applications, infrastructure and services. We have incident management systems and procedures, automation solutions, communication tools. Without processes and structure behind each of these, the business wouldn’t be able to function effectively. This isn’t an issue for the mature DevOps team.

Collaboration and sharing

Collaboration is an essential component of mature DevOps teams. The traditional office structure is gone; teams are often spread out over the city, the country, even the planet. They must still be able to work alongside one another. Team members must be able to communicate freely and share the same tools. Truly mature DevOps enterprises don’t simply share tools: they align and share information as well.

Coming of Age

Although we’re all likely to be at different stages of our transformation journeys, there is a recurring theme within the industry. Those who ‘do’ DevOps report the practices add the expected value. These companies are faster to market, provide better user experiences, experience fewer user-facing incidents and resolve issues quickly. On top of all this, they’re faster to innovate.

There’s a mantra within the IT world, ‘it’s DevOps or die’ but nowadays DevOps is the norm. Not long ago, it was a huge differentiator, but in today’s market it’s simply another battleground. Now, we must ensure we’re not only doing DevOps properly, but better than the competition.

As such, it can be hard to know precisely if we’re ‘doing’ DevOps correctly. That’s where our DevOps Maturity Assessment comes in. You can benchmark yourself against the CA Technologies, industry and global standards to find out how well you’re performing and it only takes five minutes. 

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Ralf Paschen

Ralf Paschen

Ralf Paschen is CA Automic’s Vice President of Application Release Automation. Based in the Frankfurt office, Ralf’s main strengths lie in building solutions to customers' problems and developing tools to showcase how these problems can be solved.