Director–Intelligent Engineering Automation in Global Consulting & Technology Solutions
DevOps—you either master it or explore it. According to the 2021 State of DevOps Report by Puppet, 83% of the organizations surveyed use DevOps practices. Among them, only 18 percent fall into the “Master” category, reaching a high level of DevOps evolution. However, 78 percent tend toward the “Explore” category. They’re stuck in the middle range and have a long way to go in their DevOps journey.
Whether your enterprise is in the middle majority or struggling to reach the small elite, keep reading. This post examines DevOps maturity, starting with the basic principles and levels. Then, it guides you through the key steps to progress to the elite DevOps maturity level.
DevOps relies heavily on automation and established best practices to streamline the software development life cycle (SDLC). Its primary goals center on accelerating time-to-value and upholding product quality. It achieves these goals by breaking down silos and improving collaboration across all groups that have a stake in the development outcome.
By following these principles, companies develop technology faster to gain a competitive edge.
The DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) program—a part of Google Cloud—defines four DevOps maturity levels:
Low maturity. Teams use manual processes that come with a high risk of human error.
Medium maturity. Teams use scripting tools to automate configuration management and aid in reducing human error in manual configuration.
High maturity. Teams use fully automated deployment tools that reduce human error in the deployment process.
Elite maturity. Teams use continuous deployments (continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD)) and testing to drive changes into production without any human intervention.
Organizations that reach the elite DevOps maturity level continuously improve their applications, pivoting quickly in response to customer demands and competitive threats. The elite level also has the following advantages:
These advantages are worthy goals and achievable for enterprises in the middle of the DevOps maturity ladder.
To reach the elite DevOps maturity level, enterprises must follow three essential steps.
To achieve better results from DevOps, first, identify your current maturity level. Consider the following scenarios.
Then, define objectives to guide you in moving up each level. All efforts should drive toward elite status. Your enterprise can achieve elite DevOps maturity by continuously improving across the SDLC, adding features and capabilities while reducing bugs that affect quality.
Seek specific, data-driven goals in the following DevOps performance categories:
The following table, based on DORA metrics, shows the outcomes to target in each category when moving across maturity levels. For example, the deployment frequency metric for low maturity might be weekly or monthly, while the frequency at the elite level is multiple deployments in a day.
Source: “Are you an Elite DevOps performer? Find out with the Four Keys Project.” Google Cloud. October 2, 2020.
The elite DevOps maturity level might seem out of reach if your enterprise currently has low to medium DevOps maturity. However, you can achieve the elite level by moving up the maturity ladder one step at a time.
When working toward your DevOps goals, strive for the following outcomes as they correspond to each level:
DevOps is more than a methodology for accelerating software engineering. It’s a culture that removes silos and bottlenecks. Reaching the elite DevOps maturity level requires implementation of effective tactics that your organization can reference, scale, and repeat across people, processes, and technologies.
From the first level, you must establish clear goals and seek specific outcomes as you work your way to the elite level. As you complete each level, you’ll gain agility, speed, and a competitive advantage from your DevOps practices, leading you to earn the rewards of the elite maturity level. By following the approach in this post, you’ll go from just exploring DevOps to mastering it.
Don’t wait to get started on your journey to elite DevOps maturity. Count on DevOps experts who can set you on your way.
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Sujatha Sivaraman is a Director–Intelligent Engineering Automation in Global Consulting & Technology Solutions (GCTS) of Virtusa Consulting Services. She has over 20 years of experience in IT, banking and financial services, manufacturing, project and program management, testing and quality assurance, DevOps, automation, Agile, business analytics, and Lean and Six Sigma practices. Sujatha is a Certified Cloud Practitioner, Six Sigma Black Belt, Scrum Master, PMP, and CFPS Certified professional, and she holds other certifications in ITSM, Machine Learning, Python, and Design Thinking. She has published estimation articles and presented papers in International Software Estimation Colloquium (ISEC), Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN), and International Software and Measurement Analysis (ISMA) forums.
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