DevOps – is it really as good as everyone expected?

DevOps – is it really as good as everyone expected? 04.12.2017 - A combination of development and operations is intended to be an approach that improves the processes involved in system administration and software development. The following article will examine more closely whether changing a company’s culture to DevOps actually delivers this goal.

Since its introduction, DevOps has been celebrated as an important issue of the future which is likely to bring certain benefits, however, it does not seem to be living up to these promises. According to one survey, 87% of respondents are not convinced about DevOps because this approach to process improvement is not living up to expectations.

Critics have always suspected that DevOps is a hype and that it has not achieved the levels of success that were expected. However, increasing numbers of companies are still choosing to adopt this approach. The survey revealed that 27% of all IT experts work in DevOps teams in 2017.

This clearly indicates that this upward trend is not showing any signs of slowing down because the methods in themselves offer added value for a business. However, why are 87% of users not convinced of the benefits of using this method? This is due to implementation which can prove to be challenging for teams. The various principles that are applied to DevOps and the German work culture are problematical, along with the fact that the team must initially welcome the new approach because it involves a comprehensive restructuring process.
Although there are some very good reasons that justify a change, a number of difficulties can, however, arise during the changeover period.

Advantages of DevOps

From a technical perspective, DevOps offers a number of advantages such as combining Continuous Delivery and Agile development methods and a reduction in the complexity of the software development life cycle which means that problems that arise can be solved more quickly. DevOps also offers advantages on a cultural level; employees are more satisfied and productive, and teams can work in a more individual way and can continue to develop.

The most significant factor for companies is obviously the financial advantages that DevOps can provide. New types of functionality, more stable applications and more efficient processes are particularly advantageous. In addition, DevOps provides more scope for innovation. Companies which changeover to DevOps can therefore implement new product features and can set themselves apart from their competitors who work in conventional ways.

Difficulties arising from DevOps

There is no denying that companies and employees are generally very interested in DevOps, however, critics believe that it is more difficult to establish this type of corporate culture in Germany than any other country due to the German mindset.
In Germany, the objective of training is to become an expert in your field. However, this is problematical in DevOps because every member of the team has to work on different tasks in a sprint and cannot operate as an expert.

A further difficulty that arises when changing over to DevOps may be the changes to the hierarchical structure. Strict hierarchies usually prevail in traditional companies. These structures become obsolete when companies move over to DevOps and managers inevitably have to come to terms with a new style of management and a flat hierarchical structure.

Bureaucracy is the third potential obstacle which, as clichéd as it is, can often be a feature of the German way of working. If this bias towards bureaucracy affects a company that is moving towards DevOps, it is important to avoid too much bureaucracy in the organisation as it can stand in the way of an agile way of working through Scrum.

The final potential issue can be caused by perfectionism that is seen in many companies. The product that has been ordered must be absolutely perfect upon delivery, even if the order process takes longer. However, this contradicts the fundamental principles of DevOps because the product is continually delivered in a way to ensure that customers can receive the products they have ordered as quickly as possible. If the customer notices errors or defects during this process, these can be rectified without any issues.

A smooth changeover

Difficulties that occur when implementing DevOps demonstrate that many German companies place a great deal of importance on having streamlined processes which they do not want to give up very readily and which need to be reconciled with the more flexible approach offered by DevOps.
If companies can manage to achieve this, the advantages of DevOps become very compelling. Companies experiencing difficulties in the early stages should not become discouraged and should continue implementing the changes.

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