State of Application Services 2019: Cloud and DevOps influencing NetOps


It has been noted, by yours truly, that cloud is not finished disrupting the data center. That is particularly true within IT, for roles across all four operational concerns: network, security, storage, and infrastructure.

In our dive into the State of Application Services 2019 we can see the direct influence of cloud quite clearly. That’s in part thanks to you, NetOps, who responded and provided us with insights into your world, where cloud and DevOps are clearly having an impact.

For those still uncertain about the influence of cloud, I present exhibit A. We asked this year about efforts in your organization to provide self-service outside IT. That means to line of business and development stakeholders, as well as technical application owners who have a desire to dig into the dirt, as it were, when it comes to managing their applications.

What we discovered is just how deep the disruption of cloud really runs. Overall, about one-third (34%) are not considering self-service outside IT at all. Almost another third (31%) are talking about, but not doing anything about it.

But more than one third (35%) are either piloting or fully functional with self-service provisioning of infrastructure outside IT.

That’s the influence of cloud, where self-servicing of everything from infrastructure to application service provisioning and management is available to anyone with a credit card and the desire.

To further cement cloud’s continuing influence, we found that amongst those who told us they have ZERO cloud providers – that’s none, not even on-premises – a mere 19% are piloting or providing self-service infrastructure provisioning outside IT.

DevOps has an Impact on NetOps Too

Not to be outdone, DevOps practices are beginning to have an impact on NetOps and IT. To understand why, we can look at the changes being wrought in the very structure of IT. While traditional, single-function teams are still the norm with 46% of respondents, more collaborative and business-centered structures are beginning to grow.

More than one third (37%) of respondents are operating on combined operations teams. Fifteen (15%) percent are working on small, cross-functional teams that report in to business or product line management.

The shift from traditional, single function teams to the more collaborative, combined operations structure is the result of DevOps influences on IT. The term DevOps comes from the notion of combining development with operations, and it should be no surprise to see its influence seeping further into the recesses of IT. A collaborative, comprehensive set of skills and expertise is necessary in IT to deliver on the promise of continuous deployment and self-service offerings.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding or in our case, in the data.

Organizations that align with more modern operational team structures are further ahead in efforts to provide self-serving provisioning of infrastructure outside IT.

But it’s more than just self-service capabilities that prove out the influence of DevOps on IT. We also see it in the tools and technologies being adopted to automate and orchestrate the network.

While focused offerings from network vendors like Cisco (ACI) and VMware (NSX) continue to maintain mindshare for NetOps roles, DevOps aligned tools like Jenkins, GitHub Enterprise, and cloud provider options are growing. Amongst NetOps, Jenkins is used by nearly one in five (18%) while more than one in ten (13%) of NetOps are turning to GitHub Enterprise.

While VMware is popular across all roles, don’t count out OpenStack. The open source darling continues to be gaining ground with NetOps (25%) as well as operations (29%) and security professionals (31%). Even developers (38%) and executives (32%) are on-board with OpenStack for network automation in their environments.

Cloud – and I suspect DevOps – isn’t finished influencing IT.

For more insights and data related to cloud, digital transformation, security, and of course, application services, dig in to our interactive experience where you can also download the full report.

Published Jan 23, 2019
Version 1.0

Was this article helpful?

No CommentsBe the first to comment