Report: DevOps adoption accelerates, creating a new bottleneck

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DevOps is growing popular with enterprises because it helps to speed up software development through its emphasis on cooperation between developers and IT operations. But despite this acceleration, many enterprises fail to get new software releases out of the door any faster because of a new problem called that “QA wall” that’s holding things back.

Unified test automation platform provider Appvance Inc. noted that the theory behind the DevOps approach is that it improves relationships between developers and operations teams by promoting better communication and collaboration. The goal of this increased collaboration is the continuous delivery and rapid iteration of new software versions.

But a recent survey commissioned by the company shows that this isn’t always the case. The survey of 200 information technology decision makers at U.S. companies with 1,000 or more employees, which was carried out by Vanson Bourne on Appvance’s behalf, shows that 73 percent of companies have already adopted DevOps processes to speed up development. But of those 54 percent report that automation of quality assurance, or QA, has since become a bottleneck in the development process.

Appvance cites the same study to argue just how important it is that companies learn to overcome that bottleneck. The study found that 79 percent of organizations say increasing the frequency of software releases is a top priority. The same percentage said they believed that by that boosting the frequency of software releases, they would be better able to achieve their business objectives.

“Enterprises have adopted agile and continuous-delivery processes to improve efficiency, productivity and to deliver business results, but they often maintain traditional thinking about software testing, which has not changed significantly in over twenty years,” said Appvance Chief Executive Kevin Surace. “As a result, companies still struggle to get past the QA Wall created by old test automation tools that can’t move as fast as DevOps moves. Until the silos created by those tools are eliminated, the QA Wall will continue to impede software release schedules.”

As a provider of test automation software, the survey findings are somewhat beneficial for Appvance. However, the company may still have trouble convincing enterprises that it’s the solution they’re looking for, because 60 percent of organizations indicated that security concerns have prevented them from accelerating their software testing processes. Still, 81 percent did agree that opportunities remain to further automate software testing.

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