Report reveals DevOps success secrets

A survey from two of the world’s leading cloud computing companies has found that those that embrace DevOps, see a significant increase in their company overall.

DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) teamed up with Google Cloud to carry out the survey where it was discovered that the top 20% of firms surveyed could be considered as “elite performers” in the field of DevOps.

Dr. Nicole Forsgren led the report that analysed an incredible 6 years of research in which 31,000 professionals were questioned worldwide.

How companies compare

It was found that the “elite performers” had 208 times more frequent software deployments than the rest of the organisations. Another reason for this group’s success is that they perform multiple deployments on a daily basis as well as regularly deploy on-demand.

It was reported that those coming out on the lower end of the scale reported only deploying around once a month maximum.

The investigators calculated that high performers, who deployed about 4 times a day,  are doing around 1,460 software deployments in a year. Compared to just 7 deployments for lower end performers.

“It’s worth noting that four deploys per day is a conservative estimate when comparing against companies such as CapitalOne that report deploying up to 50 times per day for a product, or companies such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix that deploy thousands of times per day, aggregated over the hundreds of services that comprise their production environments,” Forsgren’s team adds.

As well as this, top companies reported change lead times 106 times faster than low-end performers with lead times of less than a day. Lead times can take up to 6 months for underperformers.


Other parts of the research highlighted that smaller organisations are now starting to take a lead in DevOps. Those with 5,000 or more employees are behind those with less than that number in staff.

“Heavyweight process and controls, as well as tightly coupled architectures, are some of the reasons that result in slower speed and the associated instability,” the DORA/Google team states.

What firms can do to reach the top

In order to become successful, researchers in the report claim that companies should:  “Start with foundations: Basic automation (such as version control and automated testing), monitoring, clear change approval processes, and a healthy culture. Then identify your constraints to plan your path forward. This strategy works for those just beginning transformations as well as those who have been optimizing for years. Focus resources on what is currently holding you back, then iterate: Identify constraints and choose the next target.”

They added that companies were successful when the leaders “Empowered teams who make their own decisions about tools and implementations contribute to better software delivery performance,”

The investigators added, “In this year’s research, we see that given the opportunity, high performers choose useful and usable tools, and these kinds of tools improve productivity.”

Employing cloud

Additionally, those teams that employed cloud within their DevOps practices were 24 times more likely to execute cloud capabilities than low performing companies.

Google Cloud and DORA researchers discovered that “In our survey, 80 percent of respondents said the primary application or service they supported was hosted on some kind of cloud platform. Using the NIST framework, we investigated the impact of essential practices on software delivery performance and, for the second year in a row, found that what really matters is how teams implement their cloud services, not just that they are using a cloud technology.”