IT Growing Pains with DevOps: Research

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 04:07 PM gHale

Public sector organizations undergoing digital transformation are losing confidence in IT operations’ ability to manage the influx of new technologies and expectations, new research found.

Despite the rising complexity of IT, respondents see promise in DevOps to help achieve future success, according to a Ponemon Institute survey of nearly 1,250 global public sector IT decision makers and managers.

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The survey reached out to a wide range of public sector IT professionals from national and local government agencies, national security, emergency services, higher education institutions, and aerospace and defense.

A converging host of factors and trends including constantly shifting budgets, changing regulatory compliance and modernization initiatives have contributed to declining confidence, but emerging technologies focused on automation and increased visibility help.

Among the key findings, at least 60 percent of respondents felt as confident or less confident in carrying out their responsibilities in the following areas than they did 12 months ago:
• Handling the scale and complexity of IT operations
• Assuring performance and availability to consistently meet service-level agreements
• Pinpointing root-causes and sources of failure quickly
• Ensuring efficiency of IT operations
• Migrating workloads and applications to the cloud

“The confidence gap we are seeing maps to other industry and government technology trends including growing public scrutiny, ever-present resource limitations and rapidly increasing expectations of technology by end-users,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “There’s never been a more important time for public sector organizations to embrace analytics to help them face and overcome these challenges with data. It’s not surprising public sector IT leaders are looking to analytics, cloud and DevOps to help accelerate IT performance and management.”

The survey also highlighted reasons for the overall loss of confidence across the public sector.

Respondents felt siloed IT systems and technologies, and an inability to integrate those systems (72 percent), were keeping them in a constant reactive state rather than being able to proactively plan for the future.

Seventy-three percent of IT managers also cited the lack of end-to-end visibility and too many alerts and false-positives (55 percent) among the biggest threats to service delivery along with a lack of skills, expertise and resources to effectively accomplish their jobs. Even where analytics tools were in place, most respondents felt they were ineffective at helping quickly pinpoint issues and determine root causes (78 percent).

As a result of limited visibility, overly manual processes and alert fatigue, the survey also found the average system outage took 44 hours to resolve, while requiring 12.5 staff members to restore operational status to IT systems. This extended length of time and confusion often puts IT operators further underwater as they struggle to find the balance of executing day-to-day operations while setting long-term proactive IT strategy.

Despite a current lack of confidence, public sector IT operators see an optimistic future for increased adoption of DevOps, with roughly half of respondents anticipating increased spending devoted to it (46 percent) over the next 12 months. Additionally, respondents were encouraged by new network visibility and machine learning technologies and capabilities, saying they could have a major impact on improving and strengthening IT operations in the future.

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