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DevOps culture change creates staggering gains

High-performing DevOps organizations deploy 200 times more frequently than low-performing competitors, according to Puppet’s most recent State of DevOps Report.

DevOps requires a shift in both an enterprise’s technology infrastructure as well as its corporate culture, and barriers exist on both fronts. The challenges one organization faces in implementing DevOps will differ from those at another organization, resulting in varying degrees of success. Puppet’s 2016 State of DevOps Report shows the staggering gains high-performing DevOps organizations can experience compared with outfits that are less successful in changing its technological and cultural underpinnings.

According to the report, in which Puppet surveyed 4,600 technical professionals, a wide chasm separates high-performing organizations who’ve fully adopted DevOps culture and low-performing outfits either early in the process or still yet to commit to a DevOps culture change. For example, high-performing organizations deploy 200 times more frequently with 2,555-times faster lead times, recover 24-times faster, and have change failure rates three times lower than low-performing organizations.

Breaking down the deployment cycle, Puppet asked, "For the primary application or service you work on, how often does your organization deploy code?" High performers reported multiple deployments per day that amounted to an on-demand deployment frequency, while medium performers deployed code between once a week and once a month. Low performers deployed code between once a month and once every six months.

To determine a possible disparity in lead times, Puppet asked, "For the primary application or service you work on, what is your lead time for changes (i.e., how long does it take to go from code commit to code successfully running in production)?" High performers reported less than one hour; it was between one a week and one month for medium performers and between one a month and six months for low performers.

The differences in mean time to recover were less dramatic but still meaningful. High performers reported an MTTR of less than one hour while low and medium performers had an MTTR of less than one day.

Lastly, for failure rate, Puppet calculated high performers having three-time lower change failure rates by averaging the rate of failure high performers report (0-15%) as 7.5% and that of low performers (16-30%) as 23%. Perhaps counterintuitively, medium performers reported a higher failure rate with a range of 31% to 45%, perhaps suggesting that the leap to high DevOps performance requires a willingness to try new ideas and a willingness to fail.

Puppet has proven that building a DevOps culture is a demonstrative competitive advantage for enterprises over those who have yet to adapt to a continuous development and production model.

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