To advance in a technology-focused career, it’s important to embrace the practice of DevOps, which takes collaboration and automation to a whole new level. However, despite years of work and hype, most DevOps practitioners are unhappy with its state within their organization.
DevOps is an important career choice on its own. A recent look at Dice’s tech jobs listing shows over 7,000 open positions for DevOps engineers and specialists. Companies are looking for professionals who can drive “automation and containerization strategies,” as well as “collaborate with product owners, developers, cloud engineers, DevOps engineers, and operations to plan, design, test and deliver pipelines and infrastructure using the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) model”.
Considerable room for improvement
As you can see, the scope of DevOps actually extends beyond the core work of DevOps engineers, to everyone in the software pipeline. “Everyone” needs to become a DevOps practitioner to some degree. Let’s just say what it is: agile IT, enhanced by automation and cloud services.
Alas, there is still a lot of work to be done, and since it involves many players in the business, it raises cultural questions. This is where things get interesting, and companies would definitely need talent who can help them solve lingering organizational issues.
In other words, anything related to the DevOps implementation or flow requires both technical and business know-how.
A recent Progress Software survey of 600 IT managers and professionals reveals that those on the front lines of software design and deployment are unhappy with the progress of DevOps. No fewer than 73% of respondents agree that “more could be done” to improve DevOps practices. DevOps and its extended variant DevSecOps – where security is considered early in the flow of software between developers and operations teams – have been on the minds of many for years, but its integration into shop floor work of software remains difficult.
At least 76% agree they need to be more strategic in how they manage these processes, and 17% even consider themselves still in an exploratory and proof-of-concept stage.
Security and culture, persistent sticking points
Security is the main driver of most DevOps and DevSecOps implementations. Yet only 30% feel confident in the level of collaboration between security and development. A majority, 86%, struggle with their current approach to security, and 51% admit they don’t fully understand how security fits into the bigger picture.
Culture is the biggest barrier to DevOps success, recognized by more than seven in ten respondents (71%). Yet changing corporate culture is often beyond the purview of IT managers and professionals. Only 16% are able to prioritize culture as an area to optimize to move forward with increased collaboration and automation.
The study authors profiled the successful DevOps practitioner:
- He/She learns to overcome obstacles to collaboration: “There was still a lack of trust in the ability of different teams, such as security and app development, to successfully communicate and collaborate with each other,” they explain. “Leadership prioritizing the importance of cross-functional communication can go a long way to addressing this issue. »
- He/She balances new technology implementations with processes and culture: “Cloud-native development, AI, and policy as code have begun to influence DevSecOps strategy. But organizations must be careful to balance the modernization of technology, process, and culture, because focusing on just one area won’t be enough. »
- He/She brings together the teams: There are many conflicting areas of focus when it comes to embedding DevOps into corporate culture. “Priorization needs to start with leadership, yet many senior management teams weren’t placing enough emphasis or investment in the key areas that will drive DevSecOps success. This included taking a holistic approach to DevSecOps that engaged teams across the organization. »
- He/She understands how to build trust in securing cloud native adoption: “While organizations are making progress in properly securing container/Kubernetes-based workloads, there is still work to be done. In addition to fully implementing and leveraging the benefits of cloud-first technologies, it is critical for organizations to think about cloud security. »
- He/She constantly seeks to refresh their skills: DevOps proponents “recognize the importance of security training and development. This helps them achieve a higher level of long-term, ongoing collaboration between security and development teams.” According to respondents, the top business drivers driving the adoption and evolution of DevOps within their organization are the focus on agility, reducing business risks related to quality, security, downtime or performance issues, as well as the need to implement DevOps to support a cloud mandate or their migration to the cloud.”