Nicole Forsgren and her DORA team at Google have published the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps report.

DevOps has crossed the Chasm

That’s a pretty bold statement. It’s the major conclusion by the DevOps Research & Assessment (DORA) team in this year’s Report; the proportion of elite performers has tripled to around 20% of organizations using DevOps at the highest levels of performance.

DORA Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019: elite performers
Source: DORA

These elite performers outperform low performers across the board: from number of deployments (208x more), lower lead times (106x faster), failed deployments (7x less) and recovery from failure (2604x faster). Impressive!

It also shows DevOps is no longer an experiment driven by a group of developers in your organization. Instead, it’s the de-facto way of developing and delivering software in the enterprise. Let’s look at some of the key findings from this year’s report.

Cloud is paramount, but getting cloud right is hard, even for elite performers

Cloud Computing and cloud-native services give DevOps teams a scalable, innovative, broad and cost-effective platform for creating, deploying and running software. While elite performers are more likely to fully embracing the five characteristics of cloud (as defined by NIST: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service), only 29% of cloud users are leveraging all five characteristics. This exemplifies that ‘doing Cloud’ is hard, even in 2019, and even for high-performing teams.

DevOps in the enterprise – not always an obvious fit

The research found evidence that large organizations (more than 5,000 employees) are more often low performers than smaller organizations. Slow and bulky change processes and controls, as well as dated and tightly-coupled architectures are common reasons for lagging behind. Larger organizations that are successful are consistently working on structural cultural and organizational patterns to decrease the weight and inertia of change processes.

Chip away at improvements on all CALMS aspects drives success

When increasing software delivery performance, there is no one size fits all approach. To be successful, organisations should focus on all aspects of CALMS (Culture, Automation, Lean, Measuring, Sharing) on both team-level, as well as organization-level.

A great example of working on all aspects concurrently is Jason Lee’s Defining the Shape of DevOps, an Ignite Talk at this year’s DevOpsDays Amsterdam.

The DORA Report includes two practical models to drive DevOps improvements across all five CALMS aspects. The Performance model gives insights into how cloud, continuous delivery, disaster recovery testing, clear change management and a culture of psychological safety can positively impact software delivery performance.

DORA performance research model
Source: DORA

The second model looks at developer productivity; showing that organizations can improve engineer productivity by investing in easy-to-use tools and information search, a culture of psychological safety, and by reducing technical debt. Improved productivity also helps drive better employee work/life balance and reduces burnout.

DORA productivity research model
Source: DORA

One Direction: DevOps

DORA’s Report is clear: it’s impossible to imagine high-performing software development and delivery teams without full commitment to DevOps. While DevOps tools and practices may not guarantee elite performance, it’s impossible to imagine achieving elite performance without them.

Download the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report over at https://cloud.google.com/devops/state-of-devops/.