IT leaders continue to invest in DevOps, but where are they investing most? And what’s the next big thing within the sector? A new survey from OverOps shines a light on recent developments.
A recent survey conducted by OverOps has found that continuous integration and software development receive the most investment when it comes to DevOps.
This may come as little surprise to DevOps professionals, who turn to DevOps initiatives to bring continuous integration and delivery to their organisations. However, the survey also revealed that 70% of IT teams prioritise quality over speed – but that speed is a major distraction.
The survey went further, showing that automated code analysis is the next big thing in software quality. While IT leaders are continuing to invest in pipeline automation and containerised microservices, automated code analysis sees an uptick as an emerging technology in 2020 and beyond.
The Eternal Battle: Speed Vs Quality
Famously, one of Facebook’s core values was to “Move fast and break things.” For a while, this disruptive approach was the approach to have if you were to succeed in Silicon Valley. It brought about innovation for innovation’s sake, prioritising speed above all else in order to bring users the next best thing before someone else could.
But Zuckerberg’s (in)famous motto has become somewhat of a slur in recent years. Not only because when organisations ship products quickly, they run the risk of shipping a broken product; they’re also at risk of unintended consequences. (The Cambridge Analytica scandal following the 2016 US presidential election being one of the most cited examples.)
Organisations have now changed their tune, prioritising quality over speed. They are choosing to spend more time testing their products and features to eliminate critical errors and production issues, which could prove more costly in the long run.
IT leaders who are looking to keep their companies competitive in the coming year should take note. Customers expect high-quality products with few issues, even if that means waiting for them.
Delivering Quality Is a Challenge
Despite DevOps teams looking to embrace quality over speed, they are still finding it difficult to deliver that quality. Over half of respondents to the OverOps survey claimed that they encounter critical or customer-impacting issues in production at least one or more times a month.
What has made this worse is the fact that so many issues are slipping through and being discovered by customers themselves. Only 8% of respondents said that customers never detect issues because tooling or internal processes always catch the issue. But 45% of respondents said end-users found issues 1-20% of the time, 23% claimed end-users found issues 21-40% of the time, and a worrying 24% of respondents said that their end-users found product errors first over 40% of the time.
The challenges come from a lack of sufficient tooling/automated testing processes (48%), pressure to be faster (45%), multiple/unclear product owners (29%), and a lack of visibility/data metrics (25%).
As a result of these challenges, DevOps teams are spending too much time troubleshooting code-related issues – and their productivity is suffering. A staggering 66% of devs are spending at least a week troubleshooting issues, and a further 30% spend two days to a full week on it.
DevOps teams are spending too much time troubleshooting code-related issues – and their productivity is suffering. A staggering 66% of devs are spending at least a week troubleshooting issues, and a further 30% spend two days to a full week on it.
How Are DevOps Teams Overcoming Quality Challenges?
A 70% majority of respondents to the DevOps survey claim that they use manual testing to monitor pre-production quality. In addition, 65% use automated testing, 41% use static analysis, and 39% utilise log and event analysers/management. But 61% also use manual code reviews to monitor quality.
The results were clear: overwhelmingly, DevOps teams are still relying on manual processes to monitor quality, but it’s not enough. Too many organisations are finding product errors only once the product has gone live, and too many of those errors are flagged by end-users.
To overcome the quality challenge, DevOps investments are focusing on continuous integration (53%) and continuous delivery (42%). Coding (source code management), meanwhile, receives high investment in 47% of cases, and testing does so 34% of the time.
However, there is one area that is proving a bigger hit in DevOps circles, and that’s automated code analysis. Organisations must maintain competitiveness by experimenting with new technologies and increased automation in lower environments such as testing or staging, before replicating the successful use of automation in more environments.
Prepare Your Organisation with DevOps
Overall, product quality continues to be a major differentiator of top brands. Only those organisations who embrace a continuous integration and delivery DevOps approach, supported by automated code analysis and testing to limit product errors before they reach the end user, will maintain and grow their businesses in uncertain times.
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