DevOps isn't about automation

Regadless of how much automation you have (or don't have), if you have hand-offs, you're not doing DevOps.

Automation gets a lot of attention these days. In many circles, automation, or at least automation of software delivery, it’s even treated as a synonym for DevOps.

But it’s not.

The 2021 State of DevOps Report says:

For every team “doing DevOps” well, there are far too many organizations that have been stuck in the middle of their DevOps journey for far too long.

Despite all their DevOps talk, these companies have failed to address or understand the cultural, organizational, and process changes required to dadopt a new way of working with technology. They may have invested in automation—67 percent of mid-evolution respondents say their team has automated most repetitive tasks—but as an organization, they haven’t addressed the organizational silos and misaligned incentives around deploying software to production that gave rise to the DevOps movement.

If 67 percent of survey respondents can have automation, but not be doing successful DevOps, what gives? What makes DevOps successful? The report goes on:

A majority 58 percent report multiple handoffs between teams are required for deployment of products and services.

Does your project require one or more hand-offs to get your software deployed? From developers to operations? Or perhaps from developers to QA? Or to a security audit group?

Regardless of how much automation you have (or don’t have), if you have hand-offs, you’re not doing DevOps.

I believe that you can do 100% manual DevOps. And in fact, if you have silos, you should look for manual solutions first, and only worry about automation later.

How many hand-offs does your software go through before it can be deployed? Hit reply and let me know.

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