Month: September 2015

DevOps adoption in the mid-market to soar over next two years, new research from Claranet suggests

The biggest uptake will be from larger mid-market enterprises as they seek to gain a competitive advantage

While the flat structure of DevOps has traditionally favoured the agility of small organisations, which are able to introduce new work cultures and reorganise roles, larger organisations are swiftly starting to take the lead, research from Claranet suggests. According to the managed services provider, the trend goes against conventional wisdom that larger mid-market firms lack the agility to on-board the approach and the change reflects the increased importance of the speed that companies release products to the market.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from across the UK and Europe from a range of organisations, found that DevOps adoption is set to grow significantly over the next two years. Today, around a quarter (26 per cent) of European mid-market businesses (100-2000) have taken a DevOps approach, though a further 42 per cent have plans to implement one in the next two years.

This growth will predominantly come from larger mid-market organisations as they look to take advantage of new development methods to counter the agility of smaller players; within the next two years, 64 per cent of businesses with more than 500 employees expect to have implemented DevOps, compared with just 45 per cent of those with fewer.

Neil Thomas, Product Director at Claranet explained: “With larger companies now leading the DevOps charge, the differentiation it previously brought to smaller organisations could drop significantly. Sizeable companies are firmly demonstrating the collaboration skills necessary for this way of working, including agile decision-making processes and the flexibility to incorporate new ideas quickly. Our research has shown that a dramatic shift is happening within the IT sector, with conventional wisdom about the lack of agility in large organisations being thrown out in favour of a new paradigm.”

Neil went on to say that companies looking to adopt this approach over the next two years need to make sure their organisations are fully prepared in terms of culture, technology, and partners for this new lean development approach to work.

“Larger organisations are finding implementation requires both a complete cultural shift, as well as the introduction of new IT tooling. Strong partnerships can be critical here. Working with a partner that has experience in various applications and strong DevOps expertise enables organisations to deliver on their DevOps promises” Neil concluded.

Skills uncertainty, not shortages, is the real issue across Europe, says Claranet

Partnerships are key to establishing business certainty and insulating against skills shortages

Recent research from Claranet has found that while IT leaders from across Europe report skills shortages as a challenge, they do so to differing degrees, and over the next five years, this divergence is set to increase. For the managed services provider (MSP), the results point to an uncertainty over the future of IT skills across Europe which can only be addressed by establishing trusted partnerships with third party suppliers.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, from a range of mid-market organisations, found that concerns about skills shortages across Europe are rife and are likely to worsen. Today, 21 per cent of European businesses cite skills shortages as one of their biggest IT challenges, and this is expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2020.

The UK, however, bucks this trend; 26 per cent of UK businesses are currently concerned about skills, though this is set to decline to 16 per cent in five years’ time. One possible explanation for this is the UK’s anticipated increase in the use of third party providers to support internal IT teams; third parties will manage 22 per cent of the average UK IT estate by 2020, up from 15 per cent today.

Commenting on the research, Andy Wilton, Claranet’s Group CIO, said: “It’s clear that the labour market is in flux and, in truth, it’s difficult to know with certainty what skills will be needed in five years’ time or where those skilled professionals will be – particularly as free movement in the European labour market continues to take hold and IT skills become more specialised.”

“For a long time businesses, particularly those in the mid-market, have tried to be masters of everything, and manage everything internally. But that kind of approach doesn’t make sense any more – nor is it possible as certain skills shortages start to bite. The key for European businesses wishing to move away from deepening uncertainty over skills is to develop beneficial partnerships, which will help to insulate against any skills shortages and allow them to up-skill staff to directly add value to their businesses,” Andy continued.

“Through our work as an MSP in the UK and Europe, we’ve helped our clients manage their IT, allowing them to add better value to their businesses rather then struggle with technical issues. Strong use and implementation of MSPs is key to reducing the uncertainty around the skills crisis. Ultimately, this will increase the confidence of mid-sized businesses through shouldering their IT skills risk, allowing for better focus on business growth in the modern world,” he concluded.