Enterprises around the world are embracing DevOps for the promises it brings including more rapid releases, increased productivity, enhanced quality, and financial returns.
Despite this enthusiasm, there’s one question that continues to vex many DevOps adopters—can the ROI of DevOps really be measured?
CloudBees explored this specific topic in a blog. We’ve highlighted some of their findings and also added our own insights into tactics you can use to calculate the impact DevOps has on your enterprise.
Is DevOps Measurable?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. For some like Michael Cote, the verdict is no. In a blog post, Cote observed that: “[DevOps] has value, to be sure, but is nearly impossible to measure independently and precisely.”
The flipside of this coin is not only can DevOps be measured, but it should be. A recent CloudBees study of more than 100 enterprises revealed that continuous delivery powers an average efficiency gain of 66 hours per developer each year. For teams of 100, this means 6,600 additional hours that can be put towards innovation with an annual financial value estimated around $350,000.
Although measuring DevOps can be challenging, understanding the impacts it has on your enterprise is a crucial step to take in understanding its true value.
How Do You Measure the Impact of DevOps on Your Enterprise?
Perhaps DevOps’ biggest promise is increased speed—faster deployment, more rapid time to market, and more. But what does that really mean?
Think of it this way. Traditionally, sales spike following the initial release of a product or service, and then slow down until your next launch. Revenues come to follow this same pattern of rise-fall-rise-fall. If you interrupt this trend with more frequent releases, what will happen? There might still be peaks and valleys, but revenue overall will increase and be more consistent over time.
Whereas time is often measured alongside revenue, quality is seen more from a cost-avoidance standpoint.
Consider this example. The average developer salary at an enterprise is $60/hour, and a failed build takes three hours to fix. If quality can be improved and deployments made more consistently successful, that’s a savings of $360 per week per developer.
Efficiency is one of the hardest pieces to quantify, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means you have to get creative.
Pay attention to measurable metrics like:
- Deployment time and release frequency
- Lead time to deploy
- Restore times
- Infrastructure recovery and resiliency
- Automated processes
Though productivity is not as exact a science as time or quality, there is typically a strong correlation between an enterprise’s organizational performance and their financial results.
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Focus on Your Core Business, Not Your DevOps Tools
Learn how you can support application development and operations without distracting your team from core business goals.