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New Puppet report reveals key to DevOps success

Organisations that embrace platform models are more likely to succeed at scaling DevOps, according to Puppet's 2020 State of DevOps Report.

This year, more than 2,400 IT, development, and information security professionals took the survey.

The results show different approaches that can help organisations scale DevOps principles and practices through providing more self-service capabilities and modernising change management practices.

Taking DevOps from isolated teams to scaling across an enterprise is a significant challenge for any business, the researchers state.

However, according to the report, establishing a platform approach to software delivery helps organisations standardise and scale DevOps practices across more application development teams.

While the platform model is a fairly new approach for enabling application teams, it can help achieve overarching DevOps goals. That is, faster and easier delivery of better-quality, and more secure software.

Even more revealing in the report was that self-service capabilities were seen at higher levels of DevOps evolution, when companies’ DevOps practices are more mature.

More evolved organisations are almost twice as likely as mid-level organisations to have high usage of internal platforms with self-service capabilities, the report shows.

Linked to findings in Puppet’s 2018 State of DevOps report, the DevOps evolution model consists of five stages of DevOps adoption which show critical practices at each stage and the 'how' to get from one stage to the next.

The report also revealed four common approaches to change management based on approval processes, degree of automation and risk mitigation techniques.

The four approaches - operationally mature, engineering-driven, governance focused and ad hoc - result in different levels of effectiveness and different performance outcomes, according to the researchers.

Orthodox approvals make the change management process less efficient. In fact, firms with high orthodox approvals are nine times more likely to have high levels of inefficiency than firms with low orthodox approvals.

Teams that automate and practice advanced risk mitigation believe that their change management process reduces risk and downtime while facilitating the rate of change the business needs.

Furthermore, firms whose employees believe their change management is effective are three times more likely to automate testing and deployment than firms where confidence in change management performance is low.

Overall, top challenges were identified as: lack of time, lack of standardisation and lack of technical skills within the team.

Finally, among respondents with full security integration, 45% can remediate critical vulnerabilities within a day, while just 25% of those with low security integration can remediate within a day.

Puppet senior director of developer relations and author of the State of DevOps report, Alanna Brown, says, “The underlying structural changes that have occurred to get to the highest level of DevOps evolution have reduced complexity in the technology stack, automated away a lot of toil, and reduced handoffs between teams - all while building a high degree of trust.

"These are all the necessary components for building an internal platform that can deliver higher value for the organisation."

She says, “For organisations that are not ready to make the leap to a self-service platform approach, addressing change management processes within your company can also help eliminate toil and speed up software delivery.”