4/10/2019 3:02:05 AM
Developers place real-time DevOps visibility as high importance
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App Developer Magazine

Developers place real-time DevOps visibility as high importance



Richard Harris Richard Harris in DevOps Wednesday, April 10, 2019
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SmartDraw study finds DevOps Developers place real-time DevOps visibility as a top three goal to help produce better software.

A new study from SmartDraw Software highlights the importance DevOps teams place on the ability to provide real-time DevOps visibility across their DevOps ecosystem. For nearly all respondents (84 percent) real-time DevOps visibility is somewhat to an extremely important goal.  In fact, 100 percent are currently working to find a way to provide real-time DevOps visibility for three important reasons:

  • Improve DevOps efficiency
  • Improve the quality of their software releases
  • Make better decisions

“The growth of DevOps has generated a large DevOps ecosystem and most organizations face the challenge of how to provide visibility into their projects,” says Joshua Platt, Vice President, Product Marketing at SmartDraw Software. “To be successful, DevOps teams need a platform that provides visibility that is compatible with DevOps’ unique data structure.”

Top-Tier Organizations Achieve DevOps Goals

To determine which companies are top-tier performers, SmartDraw asked specific questions about DevOps issues and graded each answer based on adherence to industry best practices. Those with scores in the top 33 percent were placed in the “top” tier and those with scores in the bottom 33 percent were placed in the “bottom” tier. The survey then compared the relative differences between the top-tier organizations and the bottom-tier organizations to determine exactly how much better the best organizations are performing.

The study found that those DevOps shops doing the best at providing real-time DevOps visibility are much more likely to report success against common DevOps goals.  For example, 59 percent more top-tier respondents say they are doing somewhat to extremely well at achieving strategic and operational goals.  The top tier did much better in other areas as well:

  • DevOps efficiency (57 percent)
  • DevOps quality (i.e., the quality of our software releases) (49 percent)
  • DevOps productivity (47 percent)
  • Keeping key stakeholders satisfied with DevOps in general (43 percent)
  • DevOps pace (how quickly you deliver software) (41 percent)
  • Keeping upper management satisfied with DevOps in general (39 percent)

Real-Time Visibility is Key for DevOps

To further explain the need for real-time visibility, SmartDraw assembled a group of managers involved in implementing DevOps in their organizations. According to an IT process manager in the auto software industry, “It is important to identify problems in advance and eliminate problems proactively. Visibility helps with troubleshooting and detecting errors. Sometimes I’ve had to do a rollback.”

Across the board, top-tier organizations are also more accomplished at providing real-time DevOps visibility. As an example, 64 percent more top-tier respondents say they are doing somewhat to extremely well at providing a single operational view.  They also performed better at other real-time DevOps visibility goals:

  • Providing reports that pull information from various DevOps data sources (58 percent)
  • Contextualizing information to provide actionable insights (57 percent)
  • Producing real-time reports (55 percent)
  • Enabling upper management and others to request their own reports (52 percent)
  • Automatically monitoring DevOps projects and producing alerts when something goes wrong (41 percent)

While top-tier organizations’ respondents report more success at providing real-time DevOps visibility, it doesn’t come without challenges. The top challenges reported by the top tier include:

  • It takes skilled workers away from more important work
  • The reports we produce present information in ways that are difficult to read and understand
  • The reports are based on stale data

According to an IT project manager from a large telecommunications company, “It is very common to have different reports for different levels of management and it can become very excruciating for management to get an accurate report. But we still need visibility to proactively eliminate problems.  If you have higher visibility, you have higher reliability.”

Keys for Success

The study uncovers key insights to successfully delivering DevOps visibility:

  • Avoid manually built reports in spreadsheets to prevent decisions based on stale data
  • Present common DevOps information (such as issue dependencies, release schedules, product roadmaps) visually in a way that is easy to comprehend by wider audience
  • Adopt low or no-code solution for visualizing unique relational data produced by DevOps activities to free skilled workers for more important work
  • Create self-service reports that enable non-engineers to visual DevOps data without submitting change requests to engineering


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