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State of DevOps 2017 report and findings from puppet sponsored by HPE


Recently, puppet published their annual “State of DevOps” report for 2017. And yes, it continues to provide evidence of the positive impact of DevOps practices on organizations. HPE sponsors this report, and we’re sharing our “take” on the findings and some of the highlights here-in.

With 3200 participants from around the world, the trend of people working in DevOps departments or on DevOps teams continued to rise:

  • 2014 = 16%          o 2015 = 19%      o 2016 = 22%      o 2017 = 27%
    • Based on these numbers, it appears we have passed the “innovator” phase and firmly into the “early adopters.” 

Throughput and stability increases: 

  • The gap between high and low IT performers narrowed for throughput from 2016 to this year, but the gap for stability increased.
  • High IT performers were able to deploy more frequently (often multiple times a day) and with 5 times lower change rate failures than low IT performers. 
  • This year, although low IT performers improved deployment frequency and lead time for changes, they showed slower mean time to recover and higher failure rates than the prior year.

 Leadership matters!  A new focus area this year was on transformational leadership and traits that contribute to higher IT performance:

  • The report examined five areas:  Vision, inspirational communication, intellectual stimulation, supportive leadership and personal recognition (from research done by Rafferty and Griffin in 2004)1.
    You can read the study here:
    • High performing teams reported leaders that had the strongest behaviors in these transformational leadership areas.  Teams with the least transformative leaders, were far less likely to be high IT performers.  The report’s added point was although grassroots is good, effective leadership qualities and support make the job of success a whole lot easier. And, oh by the way, transformational leadership is highly correlated with happy and engaged workers!
    • So, leadership matters and is necessary. But leadership by itself isn’t sufficient.  DevOps success also depends on technical practices and other factors.

Automation matters, too.  This year’s study showed that high performers automate more than low performer: 

  • 33 % more of their configuration management,
  • 27% more of their testing,
  • 30% more of their deployments, and
  • 27% more of their change approval process. 

Increasing automation frees staff to work on new products and features that deliver value. 

It’s not just about the money.  Earlier studies showed high performers were twice as likely to exceed their profitability and market share goals.  This year’s study revealed that high performers were more than two times as likely to achieve or exceed their broader organizational goals such as quality, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, quantity of products or services and achievement of mission goals. 

 Interested in DevOps but encountering challenges in adoption? 

If you and your team are experiencing challenges with DevOps, you are not alone. Many teams if not most, report significant challenges in the cultural shifts and process changes – even role changes – which DevOps requires. To help our customers with their successful adoption of DevOps we encourage you to check out our DevOps training portfolio.

Specifically, you might want to check out our business simulation workshop based on the iconic book “The Phoenix Project”, which is designed to take a team of people through the most common problems associated with DevOps adoption. The simulation helps teams work together to find answers, and can help short-cut the process of encountering these problems in your real-life adoption process. 

You might also be interested in the tools training offered, such as on Chef and Docker. As the Puppet report points out, automation is also a key success factor. Learning how to apply and use these types of tools with better effect and efficiency needs to be part of your recipe for success. 

Finally, shifts in culture, teamwork and functional roles are always among the hardest parts of effecting real change in organizations. Our HPE Management of Change (MoC) service can help your organization by evaluating the impact of change, performing skills gap analysis, and then prescribing the most urgent methods for helping your team.


1 Rafferty, A. E., & Griffin, M. A. (2004). Dimensions of transformational leadership: Conceptual and empirical extensions. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(3), 329-354.

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About the Author


25+ years in high tech in various roles that include Consulting, Channel Mgmt, Product Mgmt and Marketing. Technology areas include storage and data management, high availability, cloud and hosting, networking, and mobility/wearable technology for enterprise, SMB , and channel business. Industries include healthcare, financial services, ISVs, Service Providers and telecos.

Josh Bollar

Seeing that kind of growth in the industry is really exciting. It sounds difficult to transition to be more successful in terms of automation, but I think the rewards really speak for themselves.