How to make DevOps emerge into Maturity


DevOps remains the rage throughout the technology industry. Companies look to its optimized organizational structure that – when combined with the leveraging of state of the art innovations in automation and virtualization – facilitates the production of software faster than ever before. This includes new application development as well as enhancements and bug fixes.

Still, DevOps is a relatively new movement in IT and, as such, it is still maturing. Let’s take a closer look at what’s hampering its adoption in the tech world, with an eye on whether implementing its concepts makes sense for your organization.

Organizations struggle with Change

Many large organizations attempting to embrace DevOps struggle with the large scope of change, spanning the technical, cultural, and structural. Separate teams that formerly ruled over a singular domain now have to work together as one group. This especially impacts the network administration and software engineering roles.

Technical hurdles involving the use of new automation tools as well as the latest in virtualization technology, like Docker, also need to be overcome. Companies already using these tools are more ready to take on the other changes required in a DevOps implementation. As we’ve noted in the past, already having Agile in place as a software development methodology makes it easier to add DevOps to the equation.

Corporate Culture and Legacy Systems hamper DevOps Adoption

A recent survey reported on in ZDNet revealed corporate culture remains the biggest barrier to DevOps at many organizations. In many cases, this “culture” includes a host of legacy systems still in use, in addition to a company structure defined by those singular domains mentioned earlier. Industry pundit, Shashi Kiran, commented on some of the issues hampering DevOps adoption in the IT world.

“Starting out with a clean slate is always relatively easy. Preserving or integrating legacy in brownfield environments is where it becomes both challenging and interesting. For the next several years that’s where the action is. Enterprises that have invested in technology over the past few decades suddenly find that they can now actually create tremendous legacy inertia to move forward. So, while many have adopted DevOps practices, it has begun in pockets across the organization,” said Kiran.

Fostering a Collaborative Spirit at Technology Companies

Getting past any cultural concerns adversely impacting DevOps implementation requires fostering collaboration and teamwork. Once again, this is one of the reasons DevOps works better at companies already familiar with Agile. Chris Cancialosi, Ph.D., a founder at gothamCulture, feels understanding the right metrics is another essential piece in convincing executives their investment in DevOps will pay dividends.

“First, measuring and understanding your current state baseline is critical. A valid and reliable assessment ensures you are in a position to change, assists in helping leaders understand the potential obstacles that currently exist in the system, and helps organize and prioritize the change activities that must happen in order to embed these new ways of working into the cultural fabric of your company,” said Cancialosi.

In short, once everyone realizes the positive difference DevOps, automation, and virtualization makes on the software delivery process, it becomes easier to make the necessary cultural and structural changes to fully embrace this new way of doing things.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the wide world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!