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DevOps: Implementation Promises A Lot Of Potential In Software Development

As a new study by LeanIX shows, companies are wasting software development potential because fewer than half implement DevOps. Development teams report obstacles in their work processes.

  • A new study by LeanIX shows that less than half of the companies surveyed currently use DevOps in software development.
  • Respondents from development teams report on obstacles in their work processes.
  • Developers have little insight into the direct customer benefits of their work because the corresponding parameters are hardly recorded.
  • Only 42 percent of respondents state that IT and business-speak a common language. The delivery of software is becoming increasingly important for achieving business goals.

Modern software development thrives on the implementation of DevOps and agile working methods. However, as the current study” State of Developer Experience Survey 2022″ by LeanIX shows, this potential is far from being fully exploited in international companies. Less than half of the developer teams surveyed are already extensively using the appropriate working methods. And also shows a correspondingly high degree of maturity in DevOps. Instead, most only occasionally apply the techniques characteristic of DevOps. And they often complain that obstacles in their daily work become a challenge.

Considering the importance of software development to achieving business goals, it’s alarming that most development teams have little insight into the immediate customer value of their work. Only a few parameters are available, and the efficiency of software development is not measured adequately. A quarter of respondents do not determine any of the four recognized DORA metrics. Communication is more difficult if such critical customer benefit and efficiency figures are missing. Only 42 percent of those surveyed state that IT and business speak the same language in their company.

The LeanIX State of Developer Experience Survey, first conducted in 2022, clarifies that a bit of DevOps is not enough. A stronger focus on DevOps can significantly improve software development. For the present study, 172 specialists from software development teams at international companies were surveyed online in spring 2022. Around half of these respondents come from Europe and another quarter from the USA.

The Potential Of DevOps Has Not Been Fully Exploited In Practice

The study participants were asked about using five usual working methods for DevOps – with sobering results. Almost 60 percent of those surveyed stated they could react flexibly to changing customer needs and had CI/CD pipelines at their disposal. However, the flexibility concerning the customer and the possibility of having changes to the code executed and tested automatically via CI/CD pipelines is central to DevOps initiatives. It is, therefore, remarkable that more than 40 percent of the teams only partially or do not fulfil this requirement. The picture is even worse regarding the “build-ship-own your code” principle typical of DevOps, team organisation based on team topologies, or the free choice of tech stack.

Maturity Of DevOps Influences Perception Of Obstacles

A look at the five working methods surveyed shows that at 53 percent, most developer teams only use up to three of these methods. This low DevOps maturity level influences the assessment of obstacles in daily work. Respondents of such groups consistently rate them as a more significant challenge. Reducing the manual effort due to a lack of automation is at the top of the list of obstacles described as a “big challenge” by all respondents. However, teams with a lower DevOps maturity level perceive this much more strongly, with 41 percent versus 25 percent.

Whether breaking down silos or the difficulty or focus on your tasks due to frequent context changes. Or whether it’s uncovering bottlenecks, the challenge of prioritising projects, or the efficient allocation of resources. In theory, agile working methods eliminate or significantly reduce these obstacles. The majority of respondents describe these issues as challenging. This is another indication that DevOps teams are still on the journey. This is where those responsible can start to improve further and accelerate software development in the company.

There Is No Common Language Between IT And Business

Gartner analysts point out that successful DevOps initiatives require collaboration with all stakeholders in the company. They note that many initiatives fail because the expectations associated with them are not clearly defined within the company. To control these expectations, IT and business should agree on common goals and metrics – and thus on a common language – the experts demand.

However, this common language is precisely missing in companies: Only 42 percent of those surveyed in this study state that IT and business understand each other. If you look at which metrics are recorded and examined more closely, the lack of a basis for understanding becomes obvious.

Little Insight Into The Efficiency Of Software Development

Around 70 percent of the development teams look at two key figures concerning the customer and their work: the open support tickets and the monthly active users – i.e., easily accessible metrics that hold the most significant potential for frustration and have no direct relation to the delivered software and its Creating value for the customer. Whether feature adoption, churn rate, return on investment, or Net Promoter Score as an expression of satisfaction: Each of these key figures is considered by less than half of the software development teams. Most teams, therefore, have little insight into their specific work performance’s success and customer benefits – and cannot share this with the business.

The possibility of measuring the performance of software development using the four recognized DORA metrics (Deployment Frequency, Failure Rate, Lead Time for Changes, Mean Time to Recovery) is not fully taken advantage of either. A quarter of those surveyed does not even look at one of these parameters. Such an assessment of performance would also contribute to a common language that makes mutual appreciation possible in the first place.

Various Data Sources Make It Difficult To Get An Overview

The necessary information for relevant customer parameters or the DORA metrics is often spread across different sources. Their recording is usually done with great manual effort – and in almost 40 percent of the cases, even with Excel spreadsheets. Modern value stream management platforms could help. However, only 20 percent of those surveyed already use them to automatically link data streams and create a direct link to business results.

Expand Agile Working Methods Despite Positive Developer Experience

No comprehensive DevOps implementation, hurdles in daily work, and little insight into the immediate customer benefits of the software developed. Despite this situation in the developer teams, the narrow majority of those surveyed rate the developer experience as generally positive. A closer look shows that almost half of the respondents cannot make up their minds about a positive assessment. Against the background of the massive shortage of skilled workers in IT and the increasing importance of software as a differentiator in the market, companies should do everything in their power to retain their software development teams.

“The study shows that most developers face challenges in their daily work. DevOps methodologies were created to address these challenges. But most companies have not yet fully implemented it,” notes LeanIX CEO André Christ. “Companies need to get better at developing and delivering the software they depend on today. Firms that aim to reach DevOps maturity levels and adopt metrics tied to business outcomes – such as DORA – gain a clear competitive advantage. Everyone else will have to spend a lot of time and money to catch up in the future.” Those who invest in DevOps will benefit. It is, therefore, time for companies to think through agile working methods to the end.

LeanIX’s Continuous Transformation Platform is used by IT for comprehensive transparency and better governance in the company. Customers organise, plan and control their IT landscapes worldwide with LeanIX’s automated and data-driven approach. The SaaS solutions for enterprise architecture, SaaS management, and value stream management help companies make informed decisions.

Also Read: In-House Vs. Outsourcing Software Development: 6 Questions To Ask

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