Takeaways From 2021 State of DevOps

If you were trying to get a gist of the overall maturity level of an IT Ops and Infrastructure organization by asking only one question, I think you’d be hard pressed to beat the question, “How mature is your DevOps?”  I’d prefer that to “How do you use the cloud?” or “How fast can you provision a server?”.  The reason is that DevOps is the only industry buzz word that has a built-in “why”.  We get better at DevOps for a specific reason… to lower the friction for agile development teams.  There’s lots of reasons to go to cloud and a lot of reasons to automate things… some of them are good and some of them are bad, but if you’re always seeking to make dev teams more agile, you’re likely on the right track.

That’s why I’m always so enthusiastic to read the “State of DevOps” each year (a report commissioned by Puppet).  It helps you see where high-performing DevOps organizations (ones that can deploy to production regularly) are differentiating themselves from lower performers.  This can help prioritize your strategic goals and initiatives.

This year I had three key takeaways from the report:

  1. Automation and cloud are key to DevOps, but definitely not the only keys.  62% of companies stuck in “mid-evolution” on their DevOps Journey say that they have high levels of automation.  65% of those “mid-evolution” companies are on public cloud, but only 20% using it effectively.
  2. The DevOps Journey is something we’ll be focusing on for a while.  From 2018 to 2021 only 8% of companies graduated to high performing DevOps teams (going from 10% to 18% of all companies).
  3. Platform Teams are becoming key.  This is something that I’ve been working with my customers at Kyndryl on for the last couple years.  Platform teams are highly correlated not only with high performance on the devops scale, but also with employees feeling like they know their role.

Check out the report here and let me know if you think I missed something.