Friday, 13th December 2019

UK organisation risk being left behind in the application economy

UK organisations are failing to address the key requisites for revenue growth, according to a new global study, “Assembling the DevOps Jigsaw”, sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by Freeform Dynamics, an IT industry analyst firm.

The study highlights the essential attributes for DevOps success, grouped in three main areas: a business-led approach, skilled and collaborative IT resources and the adoption of key controls. UK organisations fall short in all these areas.

For example, 84% of UK organisations agree it is important to have IT and business alignment in relation to current or potential DevOps related activities, but only 36% have this in place. Some 87% agree it is important to have the relevant IT skills in place, but only 24% currently do so. And in terms of having the right controls in place, 85% agree it is important to deal with the security and compliance challenges surrounding the DevOps methodology, but only 20% have already achieved this.

Part of the reason for this capability gap may be explained by the lack of cultural harmony in IT. Some 68% of UK organisations agree it is important to break down cultural barriers between Dev and Ops teams, but only 38% have fully dealt with cultural transformation. Getting past traditional lines of demarcation, ingrained mind-sets and long-established turf wars takes time and patience.

UK organisations missing out on opportunities to grow

The study also reveals a group of ‘Advanced DevOps Adopters’: organisations which have implemented DevOps across at least six different business areas (e.g. security & compliance or infrastructure & tooling). Only 11% of UK organisations are in this advanced adoption category, behind Switzerland (23%), Spain (13%), France and Italy (12%), but ahead of Germany (10%).

“This study reveals that UK organisations are missing out on the opportunities heralded by the application economy, because they are failing to adopt a fluid and experimental approach to product and service development,” says Ritu Mahandru, VP Solution Sales, CA Technologies. “Digital interaction with customers, partners and suppliers increasingly takes place through applications, apps and online services. To innovate new customer experiences, be more agile and grow revenues, UK organisations require a much more rapid and continuous delivery of value to create competitive advantage, while simultaneously allowing IT to become more responsive and efficient.”

Two-thirds of UK organisations using DevOps

However, there is no question about the insatiable demand for the DevOps methodology among UK organisations. More than two-thirds (67%) have broadly implemented DevOps or done so in selected areas of the business, compared to 65% in France and Italy. DevOps is important now because digital initiatives highlight the role of software delivery in today’s app economy: 77% agree/strongly agree they must streamline IT to free up resources for digital investment, while 72% agree/strongly agree they must be prepared to experiment and fail quickly on the road to success.

DevOps is delivering a significant advantage to organisations’ market performance across Europe. According to the study for example, 65% of Advanced DevOps Adopters at a pan-European level believe digital initiatives make a major contribution to allowing them to act quickly on opportunities, compared with 17% of organisations with no DevOps adoption. By contrast, 37% of all UK organisations—users and non-users of the DevOps methodology—believe digital initiatives make a major contribution to allowing them to act quickly on opportunities.

Advanced DevOps users report strong business results

Advanced DevOps Adopters also achieve better business scorecard results. Across Europe, 85% of these organisations have achieved ‘significant measurable benefits’ in customer retention, 76% have achieved similar results in customer acquisition and 68% have achieved ‘significant measurable benefits’ in new income streams.

Furthermore, two-thirds (66%) of UK organisations are using containerization as part of their DevOps initiative. Containerization improves their application portability, increases productivity among both developers and operations staff and allows these teams to work more collaboratively.

Benjamin Wootton, Co-Founder, Contino adds, “The DevOps methodology can deliver rapid and continuous delivery of business value, while simultaneously allowing IT to become more responsive and efficient. However, European organisations need to exercise caution, ensuring they adopt DevOps best practices. Taking a business-centric approach, making sure IT is properly skilled and working collaboratively, and putting the necessary enablers and controls in place will accelerate success in the application economy.”

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