As of 2018, 17% of the companies worldwide have fully adopted DevOps while 14% are still in the consideration stage. Amazon, Netflix and Target are few of the companies that have attained success with DevOps.
Amazon’s move to Amazon Web Services resulted in their ability to scale their capacity up or down as needed for the servers, thus allowing their engineers to deploy their own code to the server whenever they wanted to. This resulted in continuous deployment, thus reducing the duration as well as number of outages experienced by the companies using AWS.
Netflix used DevOps to improve their cloud infrastructure and to ensure smooth streaming of videos online.
When you say “we have adopted DevOps in your Enterprise”, what do you really mean? It means you have adopted a software philosophy that integrates software development and operations, thus reducing the time to market your end product. The questions which come next are:
- How do you measure the true success of DevOps in your organization?
- Have you been working on the right metrics all along?
Let’s talk about first measuring DevOps in organizations. It is all about uptime, transactions per second, bugs fixed, the commits and other operational as well as productivity metrics. This is what most organizations tend to look at as metrics, when you talk about DevOps.
But are these the Right DevOps Metrics?
For a while, companies have been working on a set of metrics, discussed above, to determine the success of the DevOps. However, these are not the right metrics, and should not be considered. A metric is an indicator of the performance of the DevOps, and not every single indicator will determine the success.
Your metrics might differ based on the data you collect. You would end up collecting large volumes of data; however, not every data available can be converted into a metric. Here’s how you can determine the metrics for your DevOps.
Avoid using too many metrics
You should, at the most, use 10 metrics. We suggest using less than 10 in fact. The fewer the metrics used, the better your judgment would be. You should broaden your perspective when choosing the metrics. It is important to choose metrics that account for the overall organizational health, and don’t just take into consideration the operational and development data.
Metrics that connect with your organization
What is the ultimate aim for your organization? How would you determine your organization is successful? The answer to these questions will help you determine the metrics. Most organizations determine their success based on customer experience and the overall operational efficiency. You will need to choose metrics that help you determine these two values.
Tie the metrics to your goals
As a businessperson, you are more concerned with customer attrition, bad feedback and non-returning customers than the lines of code that goes into creating a successful software product. You will need to tie your DevOps success metrics to these goals. While you are concerned about the failure of your website or the downtime, the true concern is the customer’s abandonment of your website.
Causes that affect the DevOps
While the business metrics will help you measure the success to a certain extent, there are certain things that affect the operations and development teams. You will need to check these causes, and go to the root to understand how it affects the DevOps teams and what needs to be done to create a balance between the development and operational teams.
Next, we will talk about the actual DevOps metrics that you should take into consideration when deriving value for your organization and measuring the success.
With most of the enterprise elements being automated, velocity is one of the most important metrics that will determine the success of your DevOps. The idea is to get the updates out to the users in the quickest and fastest way possible, without compromising on security or reliability. You stay competitive, offer new features and boost customer retention. The two variables that help measure this tangible metric include deployment frequency and deployment lead time. The former measures the frequency of releases and the latter measures the speed at which the team commits a code and pushes forth the update.
Service quality directly impacts the goals set forth by the organization, and is intangible. The idea is to maintain the service quality throughout the releases and changes made to the application. The variables that determine this metric include change failure rate, number of support tickets and MTTR (Mean time to recovery).
- When you release an update, and that leads to an error or fault in the application, it is the change failure rate.
- In case there are bugs or performance issues in your releases, and these are being reported, then the variable number of support tickets or errors comes into existence.
- MTTR is the variable that measures the number of issues resolved and the time taken to solve them.
The idea is to be more responsive to the problems faced by the customers.
This is the final metric that impacts the success of your DevOps. You need to check if all the features and updates you have insisted upon are in sync with the user needs. The variables that are concerned with measuring this aspect include feature usage and business impact. You will need to check how many people from the target audience are using the new feature update you have released, and determine their personas. You can check the number of sessions, completed transactions and duration of the session to quantify the number of people. Check their profiles to get their personas..
Planning your DevOps strategy
It is not easy to roll out DevOps in your organization, and expect agility immediately. You need to have a perfect strategy, align it to your business goals, and determine the effective DevOps metrics to determine the success of your roll out. Planning is of essence for a thorough roll out of DevOps.
It is important to consider every data, when you have DevOps in your organization. Make sure you store and analyze every data, and use the data that suits the DevOps metrics you have determined for success. It is important that the DevOps metrics are aligned to your business goals and the objectives you have defined.
Vishal Virani is a Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, a mobile app development company. He enjoys writing about technology, mobile apps, custom web development and latest industry trends.