How a DevOps culture fits within popular Culture Models

How a DevOps culture fits within popular Culture Models

One of my favourite definitions of culture was coined way back in 1994 by William E. Schnieder:

“How we do things around here in order to succeed”.

Company culture is made up of the way that companies do the things they do.

Academics have been attempting to define the different types of organisational cultures since the early 1970s. There are a number of organisational “culture models”, which segment cultures based on different aspects of behaviour and values.

Some of the most widely acknowledged of these culture models include:

  • Harrison (1972): How processes and decisions are made within organisations.
  • Deal and Kennedy (2000): What kinds of decisions are made by organisations.
  • Schneider (1999): The general way of thinking in the decision process.
  • Cameron and Quinn (2011): Values that are important to an organisation.

You may or may not have heard of all of them, but what they all have in common is that they divide organisations into four distinct cultures – based on a differing set of axes.

In reality, of course, organisational culture is not found as one pure type. Researchers suggest, however, that most companies will focus on and aim for one distinct “principal” culture.

If this is true, we wondered which culture type those companies working towards DevOps would achieve.

Where does DevOps fit in the Cameron and Quinn culture model?

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I’ve chosen to use the most recently acknowledged culture model, proposed by Cameron and Quinn (2011). This model categorises cultures through their values.

We can quickly discount hierarchy, since DevOps does not promote a “formalised and structured” environment. And, whilst many organisations are looking for increased profitability as an output of DevOps, evidence suggests that innovation and flexibility (coupled with alignment) are key to achieving and sustaining such benefits.  For that reason, we also discount market.

It’s easy to see and jump on the word “collaboration” under Quinn and Cameron’s clan culture, and associate it with DevOps.  A clan culture places teamwork and employee satisfaction at the centre of organisational culture, and, much like the clan, DevOps promotes shared responsibilities, cross-functional teams and the breakdown of silos.

However, we must remember the overall goal of DevOps. When placing DevOps within one of these cultures, the question we need to ask is:

Why do organisations adopt DevOps?

The answer, of course, is not that organisations want DevOps – but that they need the results of DevOps: the ability to deliver software and software services faster, cheaper and with greater quality.

DevOps culture, whilst promoting collaboration, does not place collaboration as the ultimate goal. Collaboration through DevOps is simply a “means to an end” that allows organisations to maximize their efficiency in rapidly changing environments.

It was Deal and Kennedy (2000) who stated that:

“The environment in which a company operates determines what it must do to be a success”.

DevOps is being increasingly adopted as part of digital transformation – not just by organisations wishing to disrupt competition – but also those that don’t want to be left behind.

If this is the case, then it makes sense to place DevOps within the adhocracy culture: a culture that promotes adaptability, flexibility, and creativity in turbulent (or disrupted) environments.

Much like DevOps, characteristics of organisations operating within an adhocracy culture include: frequently and rapidly changing structure, temporary roles and responsibilities depending on changing client problems alongside the values of experimentation, creativity, innovation and risk-taking. Business leaders implement DevOps for the long-term goal of gaining traction in their market by increasing the speed and flexibility of their software processes, allowing them to keep up with competition (see our recent whitepaper).

Supporting an Adhocracy Culture

Quinn and Cameron (2011) discovered that successful organisations developed elements of other quadrants to “soften weaknesses[es]” of existing in one fixed culture. Where companies are unlikely to be a mixture of all four cultures, many companies do have a “strong secondary component”.

I therefore suggest that DevOps promotes an adhocracy culture, with a strong secondary clancomponent. Within DevOps, the collaborative clan culture introduces practices such as shared responsibilities and blameless post-mortems to soften the experimentation and risk-oriented focus of the adhocracy-led workplace.

DevOps Culture: Case Study

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A fantastic real-life example of DevOps culture within a culture model comes from Spotify.

Much like Quinn and Cameron, Spotify places their own culture model upon the values that they hold to be important: alignment and autonomy.

Within their Agile and DevOps culture, the target Spotify culture includes one where employees are able to work with little guidance (autonomy), but do so with the same goals in mind (alignment).

To achieve this, Spotify teams work in squads: loosely coupled and tightly aligned teams that hold community over structure and trust over control. In this setup, the more aligned a team is, the more autonomy they obtain.

Achieving a DevOps Culture

So, now we know where DevOps sits in a culture model, we can implement the culture directly into an organisation, right? Cameron and Quinn (2011) found that “new organisations tend to progress through a predictable pattern of organisation culture changes”.

 Organisational culture tends to begin in the adhocracy quadrant. That’s because being creative and innovative is much easier for early-starters – those that are still small and flexible enough to take risks.

For these early starters, achieving the next step – collaboration – can be more difficult.  Here we might find, conflicting interests and power that impede collaboration. However, with any cultural adoption, there are small steps towards achieving collaboration that can be taken in any organisation. These steps include anything from team tech-sharing sessions to questioning existing processes. You can read more about small steps that you can take in our blog, 5 DevOps quick wins.

Quinn and Cameron’s process of organisational culture explains why companies in the early startup phase find adopting DevOps processes much easier than larger, legacy organisations. For organisations that have already passed through the adhocracy and collaboration cultures and settled into hierarchy and market cultures, it is a question of taking steps backwards to think more like a startup in order to promote flexibility and innovation.

This can be a difficult task. It requires organisational-wide understanding and adoption of new processes and ways of thinking – which is why DevOps uptake in these organisations has been slow – until now. Gartner has predicted 2016 to be the year that DevOps goes mainstream, adopted by one in four organisations. As culture is shaped by outside influencers, digital transformation within the industry means that the ability to be flexible – through DevOps adoption – is now becoming a necessity.

This dramatic increase in demand for DevOps transformation expertise led to the acquisition of Forest Technologies by ECS, to become ECS Digital. The combination of our 12 years of DevOps expertise, and the ECS experience working with FTSE100 organisations allows us to ensure large organisations realise the maximum benefits from beginning or accelerating their DevOps transformation initiatives. You can read more about the acquisition here.

 

If you’re looking to start or accelerate the adoption of DevOps in your organisation, why not organise a “DevOps maturity assessment”? We’ll assess your current DevOps readiness or maturity, and advise you on how and what ROI you could achieve from taking the next steps to fully adopt DevOps practices.

Andy CuretonHow a DevOps culture fits within popular Culture Models
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We are official Government G-Cloud Suppliers!

We are official Government G-Cloud Suppliers!

We are proud to announce our place on the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace, as a supplier of the renewed “G-Cloud 8” framework.

This means that we are now able to offer our DevOps training and DevOps Assessment services to public bodies in the cloud-computing sector.

With 12 years of DevOps experience helping businesses turn “should work” into “does work’, we are delighted that those in the public sector are now able to access our services, and that we can work together on their digital transformation journey.

To find out more about the UK Government Digital Marketplace, visit https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/.

Andy CuretonWe are official Government G-Cloud Suppliers!
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Whitepaper Chapter 6: Innovation and Digital Transformation

Whitepaper Chapter 6: Innovation and Digital Transformation

Innovation and digital transformation stand out as the top 2016 CIO concern, across publications. CIO and IDC research1 specifically rank innovation as the top CIO concern in 2016 (up 19% since 2015). Gartner research highlights digital transformation is a top priority.

Whilst not entirely the same thing, innovation and transformation projects are undertaken by businesses looking to respond to demand, whether from internal employees or external consumers.

These projects could be around launching new products faster, for a lower cost, and of a higher quality. This is key as the consumerisation of IT and accessibility of services is eroding customer loyalty, and making dissatisfied customers more likely to switch to competitors.

Why is this a CIO priority?

Since innovation and transformation projects are being driven by technology and digital, the CIO is ideally placed to facilitate and lead. However, some CIOs report struggling to be perceived as the home of innovation by their seniors.

Innovation and transformation projects are at the top of the agenda for organisations, because of the business benefits on offer. This makes it a pivotal moment for the modern CIO.

Do they want to stand up and lead the charge, or are they happy to let others take the mantel: perhaps the CDO?

“While CIOs and business technology leaders believe their CEO see the IT function as an enabler for improved business processes, they face a struggle to be perceived as the home of innovation by their seniors.”

Mark Chillingworth, CIO Editor, ICON Business Media

How can DevOps help?

By implementing DevOps, the CIO can establish a new way of working, and begin to focus more upon business outcomes and competitiveness.

DevOps transforms IT to deliver innovation and agility.

Just a quick glance at recent Rackspace research13 statistics (50% of organisations feel that DevOps gives them the freedom to focus on innovation, 43% of organisations have seen a noticeable increase in innovation since taking up DevOps) supports this view.

But what is it about DevOps that facilitates innovation and transformation?

Innovation: Optimising business processes

63% of CIOs are driving innovation by focusing first on improving business processes and operations.

DevOps is all about optimising processes: improving the speed, quality and consistency of processes This is not simply within IT, but organisation-wide (see chapter 4 on aligning IT and business needs). Processes are optimised through DevOps when continuous deployment of IT services through is achieved using automation.

Digital Transformation: Collaboration

A recent Raconteur article highlighted collaboration as the most important tool for business transformation. 40% of organisations agree that you need collaboration in order to innovate.

Benefits of collaboration in terms of transformation and innovation are:

CIOs are being allocated the task to transform the way employees work and communicate with each other. The DevOps culture encourages collaboration, ensuring:

  1. Cross-functional, aligned teams across IT and business, able to share responsibilities and break down communication silos.
  2. Risks and responsibilities are shared, meaning that fear of failure is no longer a barrier to innovation.
  3. Innovation is encouraged through activities such as “experiment days” that are often carried out under a DevOps culture.

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 6: Innovation and Digital Transformation
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Whitepaper Chapter 5: Leading Change Efforts

Whitepaper Chapter 5: Leading Change Efforts

Leading change efforts takes a spot as the second highest CIO priority for 2016. Whilst noted as less of a priority for CIOs than innovation, CIOs believe that their board sees them as the enabler of change, more so than innovation.

Why is this a CIO priority?

Change is the new norm in organisations. Change allows organisations to respond easily to problems after they happen, but, more importantly, to leverage change within the organisation, allowing quick and efficient response to customer needs.

Technology and the CIO role are increasingly seen as the primary enablers of business change.

In 2016, the CIO needs to completely understand upcoming industry changes, in order to stay ahead. They need to be scanning the horizon at all times: not just for new technologies, but also for business opportunities.

How can DevOps help?

DevOps culture itself is a large cultural change that needs to be facilitated by the CIO in many organisations.

In order for developers and operations teams to collaborate, the two need to embrace change at a behavioural level. Once adopted, DevOps culture embraces change as a way to iteratively improve upon processes.

Responding to and influencing change is a given once an organisation has mastered moving forward with speed and result-focus using DevOps. The DevOps approach requires a detailed understanding of your culture and learned behaviours. This enables the CIO to influence changes they want to see in the organisation, as well as allowing for 3 times fewer failures when implementing change.

Automated processes and improved time-to market offered by DevOps further demonstrate an effective department, which can then free up time for the CIO to be more outward-focused. DevOps allows the CIO to master change, so that they can focus upon business innovation projects and begin establishing themselves as the lead for innovation in their organisation.

“CIOs should be horizon-scanning at all times, not only for new technologies, but also for business opportunities as CIOs become increasingly central to business change.”

Mark Chillingworth, CIO Editor, ICON Business Media

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 5: Leading Change Efforts
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Whitepaper Chapter 4: Increasing Productivity

Whitepaper Chapter 4: Increasing Productivity

Although increasing productivity takes a spot on the annual SIM trends report, “its relative importance has dropped a bit over the last four years”. Organisations are currently concentrating on other issues such as embracing innovation, digital transformation and speed to market.

Why is this a CIO priority?

For many CIOs, productivity is a ‘nice to have’ rather than a key concern. It may be sacrificed in the short term to achieve speed and innovation.

Whilst increased productivity does bring subsequent benefits in operating expense and speed to market, at the end of the day it all goes back to deepening engagement with customers, by creating increasingly useful applications in a more responsive manner.

Where increase in productivity is a business objective, DevOps holds the keys to being able to achieve.

How can DevOps help?

One of the main aims of DevOps is to increase productivity within IT teams. This is engrained in the overall goal of increased agility and efficiency of DevOps.

A 2014 study that compared productivity using the hours spent on activities by traditional and DevOps IT teams, found that traditional IT teams are an average of 0.8 days less productive than DevOps teams, each week.

Whilst DevOps teams spend more time automating tasks, noticeable time reductions are seen in communicating, firefighting and support.

“In the age of consumerisation of IT and IoT, its critical for organisations to respond to customer demand quickly. We believe that DevOps practices, underpinned by automation software, are key enablers for businesses in becoming more agile and ultimately more successful”

Todd DeLaughter, CEO, Automic Software

The more recent 2016 Puppet State of DevOps report supported this study by highlighting the cooperative, risk-sharing, blameless, and quality-focused nature of DevOps practices. High-performing DevOps organisations actually spend 22% less time on unplanned work and rework, allowing 29% more time to be spent on “new work such as new features or code”. With quality built in each step, time is saved correcting issues at the end of the development cycle.

Forest Technologies’ customers have experienced the following improvements, due to increased employee productivity:

  1. A leading European mobile provider completed customer facing business processes 140 times faster
  2. A leading online gambling company saw an 80% reduction in deployment time
  3. A global supermarket chain saw a 73% reduction time in deployments (from weeks to days!)

In order to truly achieve business productivity, CIOs need to understand the business models and processes that they support with technology well enough to be able to improve them. This is something that a limited number of CIOs are able to do. Whilst DevOps is by no means a quick fix, the DevOps culture aims to shed light on IT and business processes, so that all teams can work together with transparency.

Productivity is achieved at a lower level using DevOps, but allows high-level response to customer demands. As today’s technology users increasingly expect software to meet their constantly evolving needs, IT teams need to respond to change and release updates quickly and efficiently, without compromising on quality.

Fail to do so, and they risk driving users to competitors or other alternatives.

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 4: Increasing Productivity
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Whitepaper Chapter 3: Aligning IT and Technology with Business Needs

Whitepaper Chapter 3: Aligning IT and Technology with Business Needs

Aligning IT initiatives with business needs sits as a third highest CIO priority in 20161, despite a 19% decrease in priority compared to 2015. The decrease, most likely driven by the fact that a good percentage of companies have already made strides in the space.

Why is this a CIO priority?

As digital transformation takes hold of enterprises, the role of the CIO is changing. Businesses are now expecting CIOs to lead digital innovation and directly impact how the organisation meets customer demand.

We are beginning to see a trend for a less technical CIO. This CIO has a strong understanding of how technology can be used to meet more strategic business goals.

In today’s digital world, it is not just enabling IT to become a ‘revenue generating’ part of a company that the CIO must focus on. IT needs to become a key part, and an enabler of the business. This shift of IT is about generating top line growth rather than bottom-line saving. IT has become less of an obstruction to business than the opportunities lost by delivering services with less quality, speed or consistency than competitors.

In fact, companies able to master IT are becoming today’s market leaders: Sainsbury’s has implemented a digital lab to help them solve customer experience problems and stay ahead of competitors.

How can DevOps help?

DevOps was born out of the rise of IT within organisations. It was created as a way to encourage IT teams (in this case, developers) and business teams (here, operations) to work together.

The pinnacle of efficiency, it incorporates agile, lean, continuous delivery and more, to get just about everyone – within IT and business – rowing in the same direction, and delivering with speed, quality and consistency.

DevOps is a means to an end: it is not adopted for IT benefit, but for the business.

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The way DevOps can help a business depends upon specific business goals. DevOps puts a set of tools at a company’s disposal, to solve whatever their main issues may be.

DevOps in its nature is granular: it can (and most likely will in the future) be used by all companies in some way or another. It is the translation of DevOps metrics to business benefits that CIOs must highlight, in order to create empathy throughout organisational teams.

Successful DevOps will enable IT to understand the needs and priorities of their business, so that technology may be used to help.

It enables IT to really drive forward business success in a way that is not otherwise possible. DevOps adoption does not only mean that you can deploy code faster: it then allows you to release functionality quicker, to jump into market faster, and to increase period time turnover.

“Modern software delivery increasingly re- quires higher velocity, quicker iteration, and much shorter time from inception to user value. This requires strong partnerships between the business, development, and IT operations, much more so than in the past. DevOps practices and policies, along with modern tooling to provide automated Continuous Delivery, provide the required foundation for digital agility and success.”

John Purrier, CTO, Automic Software and Co-Founder, OpenStack

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 3: Aligning IT and Technology with Business Needs
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Whitepaper Chapter 2: Security

Whitepaper Chapter 2: Security

Security has been listed as a top CIO concern for the last decade. It became a top 5 concern in 2015. Nearly one-third of CIOs in the SIM annual report selected security as a priority for 2016.

Why is this a CIO priority?

Security is a must have in 2016. In an age of social media and digital payments, where the number of internet-connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by 20209, who doesn’t believe that all of this data needs to be secure?

Security issues have been at the forefront of the news in recent years. Companies from TalkTalk to Facebook have suffered privacy leaks. Hackers are getting cleverer too: there’s an ever-increasing number of different types of security threats that companies need to be aware of, and the total cost of a data breach is up 23% since 2013.

How can DevOps help?

DevOps cannot completely eliminate cyber risk. Nonetheless, high performing DevOps organisations spend 50% less time remediating security issues than low performers. These three characteristics of allow companies to actively respond to, and combat threats:

1.    DevOps is fast

Security has become a critical issue as companies across industries have sped up their processes to keep up with digitalisation and disruption. Using DevOps allows companies to take advantage of speed for extra security. Because, to go fast (and maintain the same or higher levels of quality), DevOps teams have to understand the entire ecosystem that they are working in – from code to config to deployment.

That’s because an organisation is only as fast as its slowest point: and misunderstanding in individual processes hinders the process as a whole.

DevOps helps to ensure that this understanding is engrained in company culture, which leads to a reduction in the number of gaps to system access, and improved security.

“[DevOps’] shorter cycle rate means not only new features but also quality and security improvements delivered in an impactful way for customers.”

James DeLuccia, Director, Cybersecurity and Privacy at PwC

2.    DevOps is collaborative

The DevOps culture of collaboration and shared responsibility means that cross-functional teams share security responsibilities: “quality and security are everyone’s responsibility”.

In other words, software developers work closely with the teams that will be testing for security issues, minimising room for error through increased transparency.

3.    DevOps is automated

DevOps puts into place automated processes. These processes minimise human error and enable problems to be fixed more quickly.

Within a DevOps environment, computers monitor and maintain vast infrastructures. They continually check and update config to correct any inconsistencies and potential vulnerabilities, seamlessly.

In fact, the DevOps testing regime is so rigorous that the mean time to recovery after discovering an issue is sped up by 24 times.

Specific DevOps tools such as the Black Duck Hub provide specific automation around security. Black Duck checks code before it even reaches testing or production stages – so that apps with any form of vulnerability such as Heartbleed have little chance of getting out.

“A large proportion of testing is now performed automatically every night on the integrated code base, providing fast feedback for developers and significantly reducing the likelihood of errors getting to production.”

Andy Cureton, Founder & CEO, Forest Technologies

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 2: Security
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The Puppet State of DevOps Report 2016: What’s new?

The Puppet State of DevOps Report 2016: What’s new?

If you’re aware of what’s been going on in the DevOps space, chances are, you’ll know that Puppet have just released this years’ State of DevOps report.

There’s been a lot going on in the past year, and some of the statistics that we’ve all been faithfully reciting have changed (for the better), as high-performing organisations continue to reap the benefits of adopting DevOps. We’ve also learnt some new things.

If you’ve been busy, chances are you haven’t had a chance to fully read the report (it is a whole 18 pages longer this year!).

Here’s what we learned this year:

High-performing organisations continue to decisively outperform their lower-performing peers in terms of throughput. 

What’s up? Last year, high-performers deployed 30 times more frequently than low-performers, with 200 times faster lead times. This year, they’re deploying an incredible 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times.

Anything down? Now, according to last year’s report, high-performers were beating low-performers with recovery times that were 186 times faster. This year, whilst still outperforming, the low-performers have significantly caught up. Mean time to recovery for high-performers is today 24 times faster than low.

What’s new? This years’ report chooses not to focus on change success rate, but change failure rate, which is 3 times lower for high-performers in 2016. What was the reason for this? Have low-performers caught up to the high-performers? Or are we now more interested in avoiding issues in the first place… it is (after all) kind of the whole point of DevOps!

High performers have better employee loyalty, as measured by employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

This is completely new for the 2016 report. Whilst last year’s report looked into employee burnout, this year’s goes a step beyond to uncover the happiness of DevOps employees – measured by their loyalty to their organisations.

Apparently, employees in high-performing organisations are 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organisation to a friend as a great place to work, and 1.8 times more likely to recommend their team to a friend as a great working environment.

Why is this important? As the report notes, a number of other studies have shown how high employee loyalty is correlated with better business outcomes. We have, in fact, presented multiple times the fact that a happy employee is an engaged, loyal and more productive employee.

This finding brings Adam Jacob, Chef CTO’s quote: “happy people make happy products” full circle. As happy people make happy products, high-performing organisations are producing happy employees. This all comes down to feeling benefit from the work that employees are doing. As Simon Sinek said: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion”.

Improving quality is everyone’s job.

What did we know? The 2015 report highlighted the fact that within high-performing organisations, quality control and testing were shifted further to the left in the development cycle, becoming the responsibility of everyone in the team and improving speed, reliability and quality.

What do we know now? This year, the report takes this one step further, providing us with tangible outcomes of building quality into production. High-performing organisations are spending 22% less time on unplanned work and rework, and as a result are able to spend 29% more time on new work, such as new features or code.

Why is this important? This is hugely significant in the drive for agility: enabling companies to deliver new products, services or enhancements to customers, quicker. We all know that planned work is often hindered by unplanned work. Being able to save saved on unplanned work and rework means that companies have more time to effectively deliver planned work, making the organisation more agile.

High performers spend 50% less time remediating security issues than low performers.

We like this one. We know at Forest Technologies that DevOps can help improve and tackle security issues, but it’s nice to put a stat to it.

How does this work? The general gist is that by better integrating information security objectives into daily work, teams achieve higher levels of IT performance and build more secure systems. What’s more, they save significant time retrofitting security at the end, and addressing security issues.

According to the report, the integration of security objectives is just as important as the integration of other business objectives. Security must be integrated into the daily work of delivery teams to see improvements. We actually go into this in more detail in our recent whitepaper, which you can download here.

Taking an experimental approach to product development can improve IT and organisational performance.

What did we know? Last years’ report executed a deep dive into employee culture for successful DevOps implementation. The outcomes being that a collaborative DevOps culture improves employee performance through its characteristics of cross-functional teams, blameless post-mortems, shared responsibilities, breaking down silos and experimentation time.

What’s new? This year, the report strives to find out the extent to which employees identified with the organisations they worked for. The results: that the use of continuous delivery and lean product management increases the extent to which employees identify with their organisation and, in turn, perform higher. Employees that are less scared of failure are more likely to innovate.

Should this surprise us? Honestly, no. That shouldn’t surprise us. People are a company’s greatest asset, and having employees who strongly identify with a company provides a competitive advantage.  Employees that are less scared of failure are more likely to innovate.

Undertaking a technology transformation initiative can produce sizeable cost savings for any organisation.

As a DevOps consultancy, we can verify that EVERY technology leader wants to know exactly what return to expect on investing in a technology transformation.

The 2016 report becomes the first State of DevOps Report to take organisations part of the way towards understanding potential return from adopting DevOps practices.

Using key metrics from the report, as well as industry benchmarks, they’ve provided formulas for organisations to quantify potential cost savings for example, using metrics from your own organisation.

What can we expect? There’s a lot of stats listed, depending on what you’re looking to find out. The report estimates yearly cost savings from cost of excess rework and reducing downtime for high, medium and low-performers of various sized organisations. The general point of view being that DevOps saves organisations a lot of money (more often than not, in the millions).

If you’re interested in finding out more about the latest Puppet research, you can download the full report here. 

Andy CuretonThe Puppet State of DevOps Report 2016: What’s new?
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Whitepaper Chapter 1: Speed of IT Delivery and Time to Market

Whitepaper Chapter 1: Speed of IT Delivery and Time to Market

Since IT is nowadays part of just about every business process and product, there’s little surprise that speed of IT delivery and time to market ranks as the SIM third top CIO concern.

Why is this a CIO priority?

IT time-to-market can significantly impact an organisation’s revenue, market share, customer acquisition and retention, employee satisfaction and loyalty, brand image, profit margins, and more”.

Speed of delivery has always been a concern, but in this digital age, those who can’t significantly decrease the time it takes to deliver software and applications, are falling behind those that can offer more choice to their customers, faster.

Today, companies like Amazon, Etsy, Facebook and Google all use speed as a way to meet customer demand.

How can DevOps help?

Speed is one of the key reasons that DevOps is adopted into organisations. Without a doubt, if you implement DevOps correctly, your IT team will deliver software quicker. It’s a bene t that we discuss time and time again in our blogs.

It’s all supported by research. A 2014 study by Gene Kim, and more recently the Puppet 2016 State of DevOps report, show that among those who have successfully implemented DevOps:

  • Lead times are an average of 2,555 times shorter
  • Deployments 200 times more frequent
  • Speed-to-recovery 24 times faster than those that hadn’t.

However, it is not speed alone that makes the DevOps culture stand out for many organisations. It is speed along with quality and direction that CIOs need to achieve.

This effect is attained through cross-functional and collaborative employee relationships. It is particularly clear when teams reach continuous delivery: an effect that pushes quality “to the left” in the development cycle, and divides responsibility of quality control across teams. The result is that quality can be built into each stage of the development process.

DevOps influencers: Jez Humble, Nicole Forsgren, and Gene Kim have all presented findings showing how DevOps organisations are typically around twice as likely to exceed their profitability and market share goals than organisations not using DevOps.

Moving at speed without direction is unsustainable in any organisation.

It is the combination of speed and quality provided by DevOps that enables organisations to compete and thrive in today’s economy.

“The goal of DevOps is to create better quality software, faster and more repeatably. What I’ve learned is that you can’t build quality in at the end – it has to be part of the entire development cycle from initial design all the way through to production.”

“Organisations that are able to build quality into the system through DevOps practices like automating manual processes, version control and small batch sizes, are able to eliminate constraints on innovation and maximize the business potential of their investments.

“In today’s software-driven world, DevOps is no longer optional.”

Sanjay Mirchandani, President and COO of Puppet

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

Andy CuretonWhitepaper Chapter 1: Speed of IT Delivery and Time to Market
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To the CIOs afraid of DevOps: You’re missing out

To the CIOs afraid of DevOps: You’re missing out

IT is all about innovation. 

Just five years ago, DevOps was virtually unknown. Yet, in the last two years, it has become possibly the hottest area in enterprise technology. You only have to look at the number of DevOps tools and conferences that have emerged to see just how big the interest around it is.

But DevOps is not just a buzzword. Today, a growing number ofmajor enterprises use DevOps, and some of the biggest International conferences (take DockerCon – now in its 3rd year and due to attract 4000+ delegates) are centred around DevOps.

The only reason it’s been able to grow to such scale, is because there really are tangible business benefits.

So why then, are there so many CIOs afraid of implementing DevOps?

DevOps is moving up in the food chain. A decision to invest in DevOps is likely to be made as far up as the CIO’s office: even when implementing DevOps from the bottom up, the C-level need to be on board to ensure it fits with the direction of the organisation.

The CIO role is perhaps the most rapidly evolving of all C-level positions. A glance at this year’s CIO 100 will tell you that for many, agile and digital are now the foundations upon which the role is built.

But there are still many who have a more traditional view. For these CIOs, a view based on a lifetime of carefulrisk-averse decision-making and maintaining the status quo is hard to shift. Such a distinct change in approach towards a focus on speed and agility is a big leap to make.

For others, DevOps is less accessible because it lacks hard value of return. Unlike the tangible agile manifesto, DevOps is simply a word with provisional principles. There is no definitive way of doing DevOps, and this can be hard to relate to.

Why should a CIO implement DevOps?

I could wax lyrical about the numerous business benefits of DevOps (and a good place to start if you want to learn more is the Puppet State of DevOps report). Key business values are continuouslybroken down into the following three categories:

At ECS Digital, we like to build upon this.  Our methodology for extracting business benefit from DevOps is:

  • People

Collaboration. Breaking down of silos. Cross-functional teams. DevOps aims to get everyone in the organisation rowing in the same direction. Once achieved, this brings with it, the business benefit of speed (imagine the time that could be saved if Ops knew what was about to be thrown their way and could prepare by pre-writing test cases).

  • Processes

DevOps helps to streamline processes from beginning to end: to find and remove bottlenecks and quality gates in the name of improving time to market.

  • Tools

The use of tools to automate processes increases both consistency and quality, since the loss of manual tasks removes room for error.

How are the CIOs missing out?

If the business benefits of dramatically increased speedquality and consistency weren’t enough, CIOs that haven’t yet implemented DevOps are missing out in a big way when it comes to business innovation.

The ability to innovate and disrupt your industry is one of the main priorities for CIOs in 2016. Big, complicated companies that are slow to market are beginning to be disrupted by newer and more collaborative competitors who can react quicker to change.

The saying “If you’re not innovating, you’re falling behind” has never been more true.

Take Mondo: an aspiring “app-only bank”, founded in 2015, now valued at £30 million. Growth of this speed and scale has been made possible only through effective DevOps. And Mondo is just one fintech company that has given the Finance industry a well-needed kick-up-the-butt. Major banks such as Lloyds are suddenly beginning major DevOps initiatives in response to the threat of disruption.

Is DevOps for everyone?

Naturally, DevOps is easier for companies that are able build their culture from scratch.

Implementing DevOps in large, legacy organisations can be harder, but by no means impossible.  You may be surprised to know that some companies now truly succeeding at DevOps are large, pre-established companies.

Remember the business values that we covered earlier?

  • Speed: Amazon now deploys code every 11.7 seconds (on average)
  • Quality: Etsy deploys with far fewer disruptions than when the company used a waterfall approach
  • Consistency: Netflix engineers deploy code thousands of times per day

Whatever company size or structure, DevOps can be made to work: and it helps to have an experienced team to support the transition. Whilst a DevOps agency cannot remove the chance of failure (for failure in DevOps is guaranteed), a skilled agency will act as a parachute to minimise the damage. It is, after all, that successful DevOps culture that allows speedy detection of and recovery from failure.  Blameless post mortems ensure that fear of failure is no longer a barrier to innovation.

What does the future hold?

Organisations will forever look for ways to improve the speed, quality, consistency [and cost] of IT. DevOps is the latest trend, following on from agile, and five years from now there will be new methodologies that we haven’t yet thought of.

My guess is that, by then, most companies will have already adopted DevOps in one way or another: It will be part of the everyday life of running an organisation.

Companies that fail to implement DevOps, seriously risk missing out and being overtaken by those that are consistently quick at successfully responding to change.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how DevOps could help your organisation, our Maturity Assessment provides recommendations specific to your business on how to adopt and realise the benefits of DevOps and Continuous Delivery.

Andy CuretonTo the CIOs afraid of DevOps: You’re missing out
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