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​DevOps, the billion dollar strategy, goes mainstream

By 2016, DevOps will be a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of Global 2,000 organisations, and will no longer be a niche strategy employed primarily by large cloud providers, says Gartner.

In 2015, the total for DevOps tools will reach $2.3 billion, up 21.1% from $1.9 billion in 2014, Gartner predicts.

DevOps focuses on people and culture over tools and processes, but implementation utilitses technology and therefore DevOps has strong growth opportunities, Gartners says.

The analysts say DevOps is not necessarily its own market and instead describes a cultural shift within an orgnanisation with the merging of operations with development.

This creates a demand for a linked toolchain of technologies to facilitate collaborative change, Gartner says.

These tools help to provide continuous delivery, continuous improvement, infrastructure and configuration as code, and are DevOps-ready, -enabled and -capable.

DevOps-ready tools are specifically designed and built with out-of-the-box functionality to support the described DevOps characteristics and traits and have, predictably, the largest growth potential, says Gartner.

Most DevOps-enabled and -capable tools currently exist as part of the larger IT operation and development toolbox.

However, with time to value as a critical demand factor from clients, emphasis in support of DevOps has transformed how these tools are positioned and perceived in the marketplace, says Gartner.

Even so, it is important to note the DevOps trend goes beyond implementation and technology as it focuses on people, process, technology and information, Gartner says.

Laurie Wurster, Gartner research director, says DevOps seeks to change the dynamics which operations and development teams interact.

The goal is to enable each organisation to see the perspective of the other and to modify behavior accordingly, while motivating autonomy, she says. 

People are at the very core of the DevOps philosophy, but continual improvement of processes and retrieval of information are necessary to optimise value, says Gartner. 

As a virtual market, Gartner says DevOps is likely also a ‘temporal’ one, and there will be various challenges that arise for organisations.

Those with agile development will be slower to embrace DevOps across the entire application life cycle, says Gartner.

Furthermore, cultural resistance and low levels of process discipline will create significant failure rates for DevOps initiatives, particularly when waterfall processes are still a dominant portion of the development portfolio.

However, Gartner says a majority of enterprises attempting to scale agile over the next five years will recognise the need for DevOps initiatives. 

Wurster says, “There are still several gaps that prevent implementation of DevOps as a comprehensive methodology.

"Enterprises have acknowledged these gaps and have begun assessing how the DevOps mindset might apply to their own environments.

“However, culture is not easily or quickly changed. And key to the culture within DevOps is the notion of becoming more agile and changing behavior to support it — a perspective that has not been widely pursued within classical IT operations."