Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Top 10 Challenges to DevOps Implementation

Posted by Gedi Kalinauskas on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 @ 19:04 PM

I recently came across an intriguing article on 'Top 10 Challenges to DevOps Implementation'. Written by Alison DeNisco from TechRepublic, it focuses on a new survey from cloud sandbox software provider Quali. The article emphasises that the survey points to company culture, test automation and legacy insfrastructure as the largest barriers to DevOps implementation.

It looks like as more companies adopt DevOps to improve their workflow and productivity, a number of challenges related to infrastructure and legacy systems have arisen. 

In a survey of more than 2,000 IT industry executives, 54% of respondents said they had no access to self-service infrastructure—instead, they take a ticket-based approach to infrastructure delivery, which impacts productivity and increases time to market, the survey notes. And only 23% of executives said infrastructure could be delivered in less than 24 hours, while 33% said it takes up to a month to do so. Some 26% said it takes one month or more.

"Despite the immense popularity of DevOps today, research data shows a general lack of central governance and automation when it comes to creating new application environments," said Torsten Volk, managing research director of hybrid cloud and infrastructure management at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). "This leads to pockets of developers using their favorite, often not well-integrated, DevOps tools."

"DevOps managers are deploying several different tools to support their DevOps efforts, the survey found, which include a mix of open source and packaged products. The most popular tools used were Jenkins (used by 21% of respondents), Docker (16%), Puppet (14%), and Chef (13%)."

The following are the top 10 barriers to DevOps implementation that IT executives identified, and solutions for enterprises from Quali:

1. Culture 

Solution: Enterprises should focus on building a collaborative culture with shared goals. This also includes finding employees who are DevOps champions in the organization.

2. Test automation

Solution: Many companies neglect test automation while focusing on CI/CD deployments, the survey said. Continuous testing is key for DevOps success, and security must be considered from the outset.

3. Legacy systems

Solution: Include modeling for legacy infrastructure and applications in your DevOps plans. Installing new hardware or software to coexist with older systems is always difficult.

4. App complexity

Solution: Consider application architecture changes based on on-premises, cloud, and containers early on in the process.

5. No DevOps plan 

Solution: Create a clear plan that includes milestones, project owners, and well-defined deliverables.

6. Managing environments

Solution: Your business can standardize and automate complex DevOps environments with cloud sandboxes and other tools.

7. Skillset 

Solution: Teams need training on DevOps. Enterprises should standardized processes and establish common operational procedures.

8. Budget

Solution: Remember that open source does not mean free, and factor in integration and operational complexity in your costs.

9. Tools

Solution: Avoid fragmented toolset adoption, which can add to your costs.

10. Executive support

Solution: Educate executives at your company about the benefits of DevOps, in order to gain resource and budget support.

I want to put extra attention on points 5, 7 and 9. At Ranger4, we focus on solving the non existent DevOps plan in enterprises by offering training and assessment solutions on creating a clear vision that involves milestones, project owners and well-defined deliverables. In addition, we put a lot of emphasis on DevOps skillsets, which enterprise teams need and that enterprises should standardize processes, whilst establishing mutual operational procedures. On the other hand, we also focus on helping you avoid splinter DevOps toolset adoptions. 

This survey helps to clearly understand the main challenges in a DevOps implementation. It's well known that culture is the number one barrier in adopting DevOps. Test automation and legacy systems are the next top challenges. From my own short experience in learning about DevOps, I know that without a strong enterprise commitment to change in culture, you will not have a rich and successful DevOps journey. 


Topics: DevOps, Lean, Agile, DevOps 2017