Challenges of DevOps
There are many challenges in a DevOps initiative. Your organization must reimagine its structure to improve the way things get done. Companies often underestimate the amount of work required in a DevOps transformation, though. According to a recent Gartner study, 75% of DevOps initiatives through 2020 will fail to meet their goals due to issues around organizational learning and change.
“Organizational learning and change are key to allowing DevOps to flourish. In other words, people-related factors tend to be the greatest challenges — not technology, ” says Gartner senior analyst George Spafford.
Choosing the Right Metrics is Hard
Enterprises transitioning to DevOps practices need to use metrics to recognize progress, document success, and uncover areas that need improvement, Forrester notes. For example, an acceleration in deployment velocity without a corresponding improvement in quality is not a success. An effective DevOps effort needs metrics that drive smart automation decisions—and yet organizations often struggle with DevOps metrics.
So where to start? Find metrics that align with velocity and throughput success.
DevOps initiatives face other obstacles as well. Given the significant organizational and IT changes involved—with previously siloed teams joining forces, changing job roles, and encountering other transitions— adjustments will take time. According to a survey of IT executives from software company Pensa, the top challenges to DevOps success are:
Limited budgets (cited by 19.7% of respondents)
Legacy systems (17.2%)
Application complexity (12.8%)
Difficulty managing multiple environments (11.3%)
Company culture (9.4%)
DevOps efforts can be mired in complexity. IT leaders may have difficulty articulating the business value of their work to key executives. In terms of governance, will centralization and standardization lead to better results, or just more layers of innovation-killing bureaucracy? And then there's organizational change: Can your teams overcome resistance to change and inertia, unlearning many years of doing things a certain way, share their practices and learn from others, and integrate and orchestrate the right tools?
Unrealistic Goals, Bad Metrics Can Wreck DevOps
DevOps efforts can fail for many reasons, such as setting unrealistic expectations, tracking metrics that don't align with business goals, or implementing a half-baked DevOps effort that embraces agile methodologies while keeping IT ops and engineering/development teams in traditional silos.