DevOps Benefits and Cost Advantages

In an internet-centric era, businesses are striving hard to find an edge and come up with new opportunities or practices that drive innovation, and collaboration. They target to break out of traditional models of working in silos and be more interactive, and innovative in their approach while creating a differentiating factor for their potential customers.

The key here is to understand end-to-end processes of delivering business value and ensuring that all core operations are working together to deliver solid business outcomes, to optimize the cycle, and to shorten the time to market. This is where DevOps is most likely to make a positive impact. As per a global survey, business and technology booms are the key drivers for conceptualizing DevOps.

What is DevOps?

At its core, DevOps aids in coupling a tighter alignment between business and IT Operations. It is a vital practice for any business struggling to achieve faster delivery in an environment that demands frequent scope changes with higher efficiency, and uncompromised quality. Typically, majority of projects and initiatives are plagued with release failures and last minute bug fixes prior to go-live dates. DevOps can support IT programs in overcoming these hurdles. It facilitates better coordination among operations, development and testing functions by automating and streamlining the integration & deployment processes.

 

 

DevOps Business Value

According to a recent survey by Rackspace.com, organizations worldwide are realizing tangible value and significant business benefits by embracing DevOps practices.

During the poll, around 700 technology decision makers across the US, UK and Australia shared their views about DevOps adoption. There was no element of surprise when the survey results displayed that 86% respondents were increasingly focused on implementing DevOps practices. 51% respondents have already implemented DevOps and 35% of them are likely to adopt this practice shortly.

The survey results confirmed the mutual belief of organizations regarding the business value of implementing DevOps practices. The key findings were as follows:

  • 52% of DevOps users confirmed to see an increase in customer conversion and satisfaction.
  • 43% users witnessed improved customer engagement and 38% experienced a sales increase.

DevOps Journey within IBM: A Case Study

IBM Rational (IBM Software Group) started their agile journey around 2006 with a mission to deliver world-class application delivery capabilities. Although they achieved considerable success, they still lacked in terms of delivery speed, and containing development costs in accordance with business objectives.

The elements missing were the core tenets of DevOps like:

  • Continuous delivery needed in a cloud world
  • Integrated customer feedback loops required with mobile apps and systems of engagement

While initiating the second phase of their journey, IBM identified certain patterns across their software delivery lifecycle and collaborated with partners to understand its complexity.  The team facilitated automation that resulted in acquisitions of GreenHat (test automation, service virtualization), and UrbanCode (release and deploy automation). The patterns were repeated in other practices and codified into a portfolio of award-winning tools.  

Subsequently, DevOps witnessed an unprecedented success rate in IBM. This internal DevOps journey helped IBM in accelerating their delivery cycles to a great extent. The key highlights or results from the recent 2 – 3 years include:

DevOps, clearly an extension of lean and agile principles, was as much, in IBM, born of necessity to respond to a pervasive industry mandate to “do more with less” and has evolved to “quality software faster.”

- Kristof Kloeckner, General Manager, IBM Software Group – Rational

 DevOps Cost Perspective

DevOps is often described in terms of collaboration between the development and operations teams. However, it also has a major contribution in cutting costs.

Research states that:

  • More than half of the people who have adopted DevOps practices experienced faster delivery of new features and 46% reported a more stable operating environment.
  • Simultaneously, innovation increased while IT costs decreased for 43% and 32% of DevOps users, respectively.
  • 59% of the organizations that currently use DevOps realized the cost-effectiveness of this practice.
  • DevOps drives better productivity from less staff, thereby curtailing the expenditure on development and operations personnel.
  • This continuous delivery model enhances the process or product quality, thereby resulting in less application / infrastructure / production failures and subsequent cost reduction.

 

As evident from the above details, DevOps is capable of reducing time-to-market of new and enhancing capabilities while ensuring high quality and financial benefits from both revenue increase and cost savings. The State of DevOps Survey highlights two major ways in which DevOps is most likely to contribute better cost savings.

I. Cost reduction of application / infrastructure failures

The survey found that high-performing organizations experience 50% fewer failures and restore service 12 times faster than their peers with the help of DevOps.

The average number of failures per month reported by the same survey is 2.13 with the median being 1 failure per month or a total of 12 failures causing outages per year. The savings from the tangible application quality increase can, therefore, result in average savings of between $489K and $1.04M per year. These savings are attributed to the reduction of the application downtime and improved time to recovery.

II. Cost reduction of IT headcount waste

If we take the example of an organization with 20 developers and 5 IT operations staff, the savings could be in the range of $360K for the developers and $80K for the IT operations team per year.

The continuous delivery model drives improved productivity, thereby gaining better results from fewer resources

Conclusion

DevOps has enormous potential. The speed and flexibility that DevOps provides is a competitive differentiator for any organization and its clients. Challenges aside, numerous survey results show that DevOps is truly empowering organizations and making real, positive impacts on the business, while also creating cost efficiencies and saving time. However, this is just the beginning of a journey. The majority of organizations are yet to recognize the true value of DevOps from business and technical perspective. 

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