Dynatrace, the provider of unified observability and security, has announced the findings of an independent global survey of 450 IT practitioners responsible for DevOps and security automation in large organisations.
The research reveals that organisations’ investments in DevOps automation are delivering significant benefits, including a 61% improvement in software quality, a 57% reduction in deployment failures, and a 55% decrease in IT costs.
The report is based on a global survey of 450 IT practitioners responsible for DevOps and security automation in large organisations, including 150 in the US, 150 across EMEA, and 150 in Asia Pacific. The research was conducted by Coleman Parkes and commissioned by Dynatrace.
In most organisations, however, DevOps automation practices remain in the early stages of maturity. The absence of a clearly defined strategy for DevOps automation, the prevalence of toolchain complexity, and the challenges of analysing observability and security data are holding them back from realising the full impact of their investments. This research underscores the need for data-driven and AI-powered automation practices that enable organisations to respond more to business needs.
The complimentary Dynatrace 2023 DevOps Automation Pulse Report is available for download. In addition, organisations are invited to take the Dynatrace DevOps automation assessment to understand the maturity of their practices.
Some of the findings from the research are as follows.
In the next 12 months, organisations are investing in DevOps automation to support security and compliance management (55%), infrastructure provisioning and management (52%), and performance optimisation (51%). However, only 38% of organisations have a clearly defined DevOps automation strategy to inform these investments.
On average, organisations have succeeded in automating just over half (56%) of their end-to-end DevOps lifecycle.
The average organisation relies on more than seven different tools for DevOps automation.
The most significant barriers preventing organisations from automating new DevOps use cases are security concerns (54%), difficulty operationalising data (54%), and toolchain complexity (53%).
“As more organisations embrace cloud-native software delivery, DevOps automation has evolved to become a strategic imperative,” says Bernd Greifeneder, chief technology officer at Dynatrace.
“The prevalence of Kubernetes architectures and technology stacks that have surpassed human ability to manage are driving the need for automated ecosystem orchestration and protection. Organisations are attempting to meet this need by building and managing automation scripts using a growing array of open source tooling bolted together with DIY approaches and manual effort.”
“However, the cracks are starting to show in this fragmented approach. Teams are entrenched in data silos, isolated pockets of automation, and reactive and manually intensive operations and security efforts. They urgently need a unified, AI-backed approach to DevOps automation, or it will be impossible to accelerate innovation while maintaining software quality and security.”
The research also indicated that 71% of organisations use observability data and insights to drive automation decisions and improve DevOps workflows. However, 85% of organisations face challenges using observability and security data to drive DevOps automation.
The top three challenges facing organisations include inaccessible data (51%), siloed data (43%), and the need for data to flow through many systems to be analysed (41%).
54% of organisations are investing in platforms to enable easier integration of tools and collaboration between teams involved in automation projects.
59% of organisations expect large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT and Bard, to have a significant impact on their DevOps automation capabilities, with the top three benefits including increased productivity and reduced manual effort (57%), improved development, security, and operations collaboration (56%), and enabling teams to generate code automatically (48%).
“Data-driven automation is the key to unlocking innovation and meeting customer expectations in the cloud-native era,” continues Greifeneder.
“This requires a platform that can handle the huge volume and variety of data generated by cloud-native stacks and uses AI to provide accurate and actionable insights for DevOps automation. Unlike traditional AI techniques that are limited in scope and applicability, platforms that combine predictive, causal, and generative techniques can excel in specific capabilities to address different DevOps automation use cases. This way, teams maximise the value of their data, eliminate data silos, and can automate DevOps processes with confidence."