The Science of DevOps Decoded

Strike a balance between developer and operations teams for rapid delivery.

Global organizations have a constant quest to churn out the most current products to meet customer demand. The DevOps approach is increasingly becoming the answer for achieving the goal of continual product roll-outs designed to outpace competitors with unmatched offerings.

Gartner defines DevOps as a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture), and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.

With DevOps adoption rates on the rise, it takes a proven formula to get the process right. A recent Gartner survey of 367 IT and business leaders, of which 113 were using DevOps, found that people issues was the primary concern among respondents, while process, technology and IT were lesser issues to manage.


Define DevOps based on the business goals customized to your organization’s needs

George Spafford, research director at Gartner, said that organizations need to define what DevOps means to them, and why this matters to them. Mr. Spafford noted that DevOps is essentially, “identifying every specific pain point that needs improvement and adjusting the existing process, followed by a plan to do things differently to take the company into the future.”

Identifying every specific pain point that needs improvement and adjusting the existing process, followed by a plan to do things differently to take the company into the future.

Select the right team members

Assemble a team of ideally suited, smart and motivated people who value collaboration to pursue the business objectives set with sufficient latitude in terms of organization, processes and technology.

Identify initial area of improvement

Mr. Spafford said teams should opt for a project with an acceptable level of value and risk in an effort to prove the DevOps concept to leaders and fellow team members. Time is of the essence, with teams moving quickly on their DevOps plans, typically 90 days or less from project start to finish.

Accept ideas from a range of expert sources

Having an open-door policy is essential to the DevOps approach, as organizations should leverage new concepts from different sources on the road to improved output. DevOps teams can reference leading industry research, take-away points at events and ideas garnered from peer networks, among other sources.

Measure team success

Traditionally, a DevOps core team consists of five to nine development and operations members. In some cases, teams also include members with a focus on architecture, IT, information security and testing. When teams are united around shared concepts of business value, metrics and objectives at the speed the business needs, the business outcome and performance measures are much more attainable.

Quickly identify and fix process constraints

Because speed, agility and improvement are at the core of the DevOps method, teams need to look for, and expeditiously break, bottlenecks that slow down the process of improved product delivery. Breaking constraints as they surface during the entire DevOps phase is crucial to reaching business objectives.

Utilize a DevOps toolchain

The toolchain supports the DevOps approach with continuous integration, deployment, and delivery and operations initiatives. The ”links” in toolchains consist of planning, creation, verification, pre-production, release, configuration and monitoring. A toolchain strategy enables IT organizations to utilize tools aligned in parallel to the activities required for a successful DevOps outcome.

Gartner clients can learn more about proving DevOps value to leadership in Leverage Three Attributes of DevOps to Demonstrate the Business Value of I&O.

DevOps strategies will be further discussed at the Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit, taking place May 10 – 12 in National Harbor, Maryland, and at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit, June 14 – 15 in Berlin. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerIOM.

The topic will also be discussed at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summits in Mumbai, India, Sydney, Australia, Mexico City, London and Las Vegas. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerDC.

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