DevOps Maturity Model: Stages, Key factors, Maturity Assessment

DevOps Maturity Model

DevOps maturity is the process of evaluating and establishing the standing of an organization and its transition to a DevOps culture. As far as such a model is concerned it helps an organization to fill in the gaps that enables it to ensure its successful transition to DevOps and thus achieve its intended objectives.

According to Gitlab’s 2021 Global DevSecOps Survey, the three main reasons why organizations were striving for a DevOps maturity model are code quality, quicker time to market, and enhanced security. The survey also stated that testing served as the biggest roadblock as well as one of the most common reasons for the delayed-release. The survey also stated that more and more teams are using AI/ML to revolutionize the process of software testing.

To ensure the success of the DevOps maturity model it is important to fundamentally analyze and identify the business use cases and how DevOps can effectively address them. The DevOps maturity model thus enables an organization to accomplish higher levels of DevOps maturity as well as enhance its overall performance and efficiency. The higher the levels of maturity accomplished by an organization, the better will be its capability to effectively address issues that are of higher magnanimity and complexity.

There are various levels of DevOps maturity. DevOps maturity by infrastructure assesses the maturity by easing the infrastructure and using capabilities associated with automation and self-provisioning. DevOps maturity for applications estimates the maturity by estimating the ease with which application code moves from the development stage to the production stage. It thus measures the code and tests coverage and monitors and scans the various elements in the pipeline.

Stages of DevOps Maturity

1)Nascent Stage

The initial stage is the nascent phase of DevOps transformation. As far as this stage is concerned it marks the transformation of an organization from its traditional development approach to DevOps. The limited understanding of DevOps makes an organization write off DevOps. This can also be due to fear of change from what is prevalent as is a normal situation. So this lack of understanding about DevOps often acts as a roadblock as far as an organization’s transit to DevOps is concerned.

2) Managed Stage
In this phase, the need to implement the change is manifested among the various levels within the organization. So in the endeavor to accomplish this change, an organization adopts associated DevOps practices like automation, CI/CD practices, continuous testing, and continuous monitoring and emphasizes processes like continuous feedback, collaboration, and communication transfer among the various cross-functional teams.

3) Measured Stage
In this stage, the success of the adopted strategies is measured and it is improvised further by adopting continuous improvement methods. A number of parameters are deployed that can help an organization evaluate the success of its DevOps maturity model. As far as this stage is concerned, the DevOps teams create dashboards to view and share their insights as well as track how these changes affect an application, its performance, and health.

Key Factors of DevOps Maturity Model

1) Automation

Automation is the buzzword of DevOps culture. DevOps places a high reliance on automation. Automation involves the deployment of several technologies to facilitate faster execution of the various functionalities that are a part of the software development cycle.

The deployment of automation also accelerates the transmission of updates and feedback among the multi-functional teams. Automation thus emphasizes minimizing the need for human beings to manually intervene in the operations associated with software development.

In fact, major DevOps processes like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and log analytics can be accomplished manually. But it will be at the expense of additional overheads in terms of communication, coordination, and time consumption. Automation facilitates faster execution of several operations as well as thereby guaranteeing better efficiency and time savings.

2) Collaboration

Collaboration is what enables the transformation of business ideas that are in their nascent stage into reality. DevOps collaboration is all about enhancing the quality and efficiency of the software development life cycle (SDLC) by ensuring that all the multi-functional teams and their members are efficiently kept in the loop as far as the transfer of information is concerned.

Information handoffs enable an organization to quickly act on any critical issues like bugs, errors, and other glitches.

3) Culture and Organization

DevOps is viewed as a cultural shift. To ensure the success of DevOps it is important to get the entire organization, from the top-level management leaders to the employees to be on the same page.

Culture and organizational change is the biggest roadblock to DevOps transformation as per a 2022 report by Gartner. Once everyone in an organization is convinced of the need to adopt a DevOps culture, the transformation to it will be more smooth and more successful.

4) CI/CD

Continuous integration and continuous delivery/ deployment emphasize delivering higher quality software and facilitating bugs to be identified in the early stages of the development cycle by testing them earlier on. CI/CD is identified as a linchpin component of the DevOps strategy. It is good to consider deploying these practices that help in faster identification of issues as compared to deploying manual techniques and resulting in wastage of time. A scalable pipeline enables new requirements and features to be added easily.

5)Processes

Most organizations have now become largely process-oriented with functionalities being available for accomplishing A to Z of the multitude of processes in an organization. Unlike in the past when many processes were often required to rely on some specific sets of tools, today we have dedicated tools for accomplishing multiple processes and operations. Hence it is important to identify an apt tool depending on the nature of a process to ensure the success of the DevOps strategy.

DevOps Maturity Assessment Factors

1) Deployment Frequency

Deployment frequency is one of the most often used ways to estimate the success of the DevOps maturity model by evaluating agility and efficiency. It is a measure of the frequency with which teams deploy the code.

2) Mean Time to Recovery

The mean time to recovery or repair is the time required to recover from a production failure. As far as teams with high DevOps maturity are concerned, MTTR will be considerably less and it is bound to become a minimum on acquiring a greater scale of DevOps maturity.

3) Lead time

Lead time is identified as the period that an organization takes when committing a code change to its very deployment. A successful DevOps approach enables teams to more frequently release their products and thus ensure that the lead time is kept minimized.

4) Percentage of Successful Deployments

The deployment success rate can be easily estimated by taking the ratio of the total number of successful deployments by the total number of deployments as far as a particular period of time is concerned.

5) Change Failure Rate

It is the percentage of code changes to be incorporated after the production and is a measure of the percentage of deployments that causes a failure in production. Analyzing the change failure rate helps an organization minimize the overall lead time and accelerate the velocity of software delivery.

The Merits of the DevOps Maturity Model

1) Agility
Business agility is one of the key benefits of the DevOps maturity model. An organization that has transcended higher levels of DevOps maturity can easily respond to the changing requirements of a business on the fly and thus ship their products at a faster pace and also incorporate new features by enabling easier product upgrades. Also, the deployment of automation solutions ensures that an organization can effectively get around the complexities associated with manual processes and operations.

2) Enhanced Scalability
Scalability is an uncompromising requirement in today’s business scenario. Organizations that have acquired a higher level of DevOps maturity are easily able to scale their operations based on business needs. Also, it enables an organization to make multiple deployments in a day and also accelerates the release of applications and products. It is not only the operations that become scalable by acquiring DevOps maturity but the teams also acquire better scalability to easily scale up or down based on the business needs.

3) Identify Opportunities
DevOps teams that have acquired a sufficient level of maturity will be in a position to better identify the threats and opportunities and can effectively make the best use of the latest set of technologies and toolings. DevOps tools are compatible with most of the latest technologies that are available in the market. A significant level of DevOps maturity enables an enterprise to effectively adapt to the changes and get reviews in a fast-paced manner.

Conclusion

DevOps maturity is all about acquiring an efficient DevOps strategy that enables an organization to acquire better business agility and scalability thus enabling them to effectively address the business requirements. It is important to evaluate the levels of DevOps maturity by monitoring the parameters that we have seen in this article and thus ensure that they are being refined to pave the way to better success.

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