The Puppet State of DevOps Report 2016: What’s new?

ecs-admin 6th July 2016

If you’re aware of what’s been going on in the DevOps space, chances are, you’ll know that Puppet have just released this years’ State of DevOps report.

There’s been a lot going on in the past year, and some of the statistics that we’ve all been faithfully reciting have changed (for the better), as high-performing organisations continue to reap the benefits of adopting DevOps. We’ve also learnt some new things.

If you’ve been busy, chances are you haven’t had a chance to fully read the report (it is a whole 18 pages longer this year!).

Here’s what we learned this year:

High-performing organisations continue to decisively outperform their lower-performing peers in terms of throughput. 

What’s up? Last year, high-performers deployed 30 times more frequently than low-performers, with 200 times faster lead times. This year, they’re deploying an incredible 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times.

Anything down? Now, according to last year’s report, high-performers were beating low-performers with recovery times that were 186 times faster. This year, whilst still outperforming, the low-performers have significantly caught up. Mean time to recovery for high-performers is today 24 times faster than low.

What’s new? This years’ report chooses not to focus on change success rate, but change failure rate, which is 3 times lower for high-performers in 2016. What was the reason for this? Have low-performers caught up to the high-performers? Or are we now more interested in avoiding issues in the first place… it is (after all) kind of the whole point of DevOps!

High performers have better employee loyalty, as measured by employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

This is completely new for the 2016 report. Whilst last year’s report looked into employee burnout, this year’s goes a step beyond to uncover the happiness of DevOps employees – measured by their loyalty to their organisations.

Apparently, employees in high-performing organisations are 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organisation to a friend as a great place to work, and 1.8 times more likely to recommend their team to a friend as a great working environment.

Why is this important? As the report notes, a number of other studies have shown how high employee loyalty is correlated with better business outcomes. We have, in fact, presented multiple times the fact that a happy employee is an engaged, loyal and more productive employee.

This finding brings Adam Jacob, Chef CTO’s quote: “happy people make happy products” full circle. As happy people make happy products, high-performing organisations are producing happy employees. This all comes down to feeling benefit from the work that employees are doing. As Simon Sinek said: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion”.

Improving quality is everyone’s job.

What did we know? The 2015 report highlighted the fact that within high-performing organisations, quality control and testing were shifted further to the left in the development cycle, becoming the responsibility of everyone in the team and improving speed, reliability and quality.

What do we know now? This year, the report takes this one step further, providing us with tangible outcomes of building quality into production. High-performing organisations are spending 22% less time on unplanned work and rework, and as a result are able to spend 29% more time on new work, such as new features or code.

Why is this important? This is hugely significant in the drive for agility: enabling companies to deliver new products, services or enhancements to customers, quicker. We all know that planned work is often hindered by unplanned work. Being able to save saved on unplanned work and rework means that companies have more time to effectively deliver planned work, making the organisation more agile.

High performers spend 50% less time remediating security issues than low performers.

We like this one. We know at Forest Technologies that DevOps can help improve and tackle security issues, but it’s nice to put a stat to it.

How does this work? The general gist is that by better integrating information security objectives into daily work, teams achieve higher levels of IT performance and build more secure systems. What’s more, they save significant time retrofitting security at the end, and addressing security issues.

According to the report, the integration of security objectives is just as important as the integration of other business objectives. Security must be integrated into the daily work of delivery teams to see improvements. We actually go into this in more detail in our recent whitepaper, which you can download here.

Taking an experimental approach to product development can improve IT and organisational performance.

What did we know? Last years’ report executed a deep dive into employee culture for successful DevOps implementation. The outcomes being that a collaborative DevOps culture improves employee performance through its characteristics of cross-functional teams, blameless post-mortems, shared responsibilities, breaking down silos and experimentation time.

What’s new? This year, the report strives to find out the extent to which employees identified with the organisations they worked for. The results: that the use of continuous delivery and lean product management increases the extent to which employees identify with their organisation and, in turn, perform higher. Employees that are less scared of failure are more likely to innovate.

Should this surprise us? Honestly, no. That shouldn’t surprise us. People are a company’s greatest asset, and having employees who strongly identify with a company provides a competitive advantage.  Employees that are less scared of failure are more likely to innovate.

Undertaking a technology transformation initiative can produce sizeable cost savings for any organisation.

As a DevOps consultancy, we can verify that EVERY technology leader wants to know exactly what return to expect on investing in a technology transformation.

The 2016 report becomes the first State of DevOps Report to take organisations part of the way towards understanding potential return from adopting DevOps practices.

Using key metrics from the report, as well as industry benchmarks, they’ve provided formulas for organisations to quantify potential cost savings for example, using metrics from your own organisation.

What can we expect? There’s a lot of stats listed, depending on what you’re looking to find out. The report estimates yearly cost savings from cost of excess rework and reducing downtime for high, medium and low-performers of various sized organisations. The general point of view being that DevOps saves organisations a lot of money (more often than not, in the millions).

If you’re interested in finding out more about the latest Puppet research, you can download the full report here. 

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