RightScale State of the Cloud 2013: A Look Ahead

I’ve already introduced our RightScale State of the Cloud 2013 industry survey and talked about how the results show that the greater the level of maturity an organization has with cloud, the more benefits it gets from it. Another interesting finding is the link between DevOps and the cloud.

Organizations are increasing cloud adoption at the same time DevOps is taking hold in many organizations. DevOps is a software development philosophy and practice that involves collaboration between operations teams and developers to increase agility and deliver applications to market more quickly. More than half (54 percent) of all respondents to our survey have adopted DevOps. The findings also reveal that higher levels of cloud maturity in an organization correlate with adoption of DevOps. In the figure below, we ranked organizations by their level of experience with cloud. Seventy-five percent of Cloud Focused organizations are leveraging DevOps, versus 41 percent of Cloud Watchers.

The obvious explanation for this connection is that both initiatives, cloud and DevOps, focus on enabling IT agility. By leveraging both together, organizations can multiply the impact and deliver products to market more quickly.

One key practice of DevOps is to test the requirements of production environments from the very early phases of application development. This practice requires that organizations quickly create environments for developers that mimic the target production setup. To meet this goal, more and more organizations are replacing traditional scripting with more flexible configuration management tools, such as Chef and Puppet, to set up and maintain production-like technology stacks for their developers.

The survey found that 33 percent of organizations are using Chef or Puppet. Among those adopting DevOps, the number is higher at 48 percent. The survey found several interesting factors that impact the relative adoption of Chef and Puppet. Chef is more popular than Puppet with SMBs — 23 to 15 percent adoption. But that difference is reversed in enterprises — Puppet leads 28 to 21 percent. Among developer respondents, Chef has the edge on Puppet 24 to 14 percent, but among operations respondents, Puppet leads 24 to 20 percent. It appears that both solutions are making inroads to adoption, but each appeals more strongly to slightly different types of organizations and users.

The Bottom Line

The RightScale State of the Cloud 2013 survey offers interesting insights for any organization considering or already implementing cloud computing. One of the most important takeaways is that more cloud adoption unlocks more cloud value. As cloud usage increases within an organization, organizations report more benefits and fewer challenges. Each organization’s journey to realize the full value of cloud will take many steps and will evolve over months and years, but cloud adoption will deliver more value at each step along the way. RightScale aims to be there to help customers unlock that value.