Federal agencies are increasingly turning to DevOps as they look for new ways to retire legacy applications and embrace innovation, according to a recent survey by MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT.
The survey, sponsored by Red Hat, revealed that 78 percent of the federal IT decision makers believe DevOps will help their agency innovate faster. DevOps is a software development method that brings software engineering and IT operations together to collaboratively manage the app life cycle.
According to the results of the survey, respondents say 80 percent of their agency’s budget goes toward supporting legacy systems. Overcoming the barriers associated with retiring legacy systems at federal agencies has been a major issue in recent years, with several Government Accountability Office reports asserting that cultural resistance and inertia have prevented modernization.
The continued investment in legacy systems has hindered application development. Consequently, agencies are turning to DevOps asa potential solutions. 38 percent of those surveyed say they have adopted DevOps to help manage app life cycles, and 48 percent say they plan to use DevOps within the next five years.
And they are seeing results. The respondents cite improved efficiency, faster app delivery, and reduced cost and risk of project failure as the most significant benefits. Despite these benefits, some agencies are held back by IT budget restraints, security concerns, and lack of agile infrastructure needed for DevOps.
The benefits of DevOps are not limited to application development. The survey’s findings echo a similar report from last year revealing the crucial role DevOps can play in accelerating federal cloud adoption. As Homeland Security Today previously reported two-thirds of the survey respondents said DevOps could help agencies overcome some of the challenges preventing migration to the cloud.
“We’ve heard a lot about cloud barriers, and we’ve all seen the lackluster GAO cloud spending data,” said MeriTalk founder Steve O’Keeffe. “This study highlights a viable path forward. DevOps can help agencies change lanes and shift from inefficient silos to a dynamic, collaborative environment. It’s about people and how they work together, as well as the technology they use.”