Part of the excitement of conducting a survey is that you never really know what you’re going to find out. So when we got the results back from our exclusive cloud-migration survey, “Achieving Serverless Success with Dynamic Cloud and DevOps,” we were thrilled to discover deep correlations between embracing advanced dynamic cloud environments and the adoption of DevOps practices.

All in on DevOps

We asked 500 IT decision makers in the United States, UK, Germany, and France about their use of the public cloud and DevOps adoption. The biggest surprise? What it really takes to achieve DevOps success: a commitment to going all in. The survey found the benefits of DevOps were primarily realized by the organizations that were most aggressive in their adoption approach. Even more strikingly, we found out that partial DevOps adoption might be not just ineffective—it might actually be counterproductive.

Organizations with high DevOps adoption were much more likely to report significant improvements in key metrics, more than doubling the ratings for communications, bug resolution, and app uptime, as shown in the chart below. Conversely, organizations with moderate adoption of DevOps sometimes appeared worse off than those that had limited adoption. The level of DevOps adoption was also highly correlated with the organization’s overall satisfaction with DevOps. The message is clear: “Effective DevOps requires an all-in approach.” (It also requires measurement, of course. To learn more, see the New Relic ebook DevOps Without Measurement Is a Fail.)

devops improvement chart

Biggest cloud benefits go to users of the “dynamic cloud”

The big DevOps reveal was only one part of the additional insights contained in the survey. The data also prompted us to divide respondents into three groups:

  1. Traditional data center users, with most strategic applications still running in a private data center
  2. Static cloud users in the initial lift-and-shift stage of cloud migration, essentially using the cloud as an additional data center
  3. Dynamic cloud users automatically allocating and de-allocating resources on the fly for maximum agility, using automatic scaling, dynamic routing, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), and other “serverless” technologies

Dynamic cloud users, we found, are exploiting the cloud in a dynamic way, automatically allocating and de-allocating resources on the fly for maximum agility to deal with spikes in demand and accelerate time to market. Examples of dynamic cloud use include automatic scaling, dynamic routing, automatic allocation of cloud resources, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), and other “serverless” technologies.

Not surprisingly perhaps, these more sophisticated cloud users were garnering the lion’s share of the cloud’s advantages in everything from application uptime to operating costs and faster dev cycles.

cloud users improvement chart

As noted in the survey report, the dynamic allocation of resources yields easier scaling to handle spikes in load. Easier and faster access to cloud services speeds development. Thus, dynamic cloud organizations say they are able to operate faster and use resources more efficiently.

Dynamic cloud and DevOps form a powerful duo

When the dynamic cloud and DevOps join forces, survey respondents said, things start to get really good. It turns out that dynamic cloud users are more likely to adopt DevOps, and more likely to be satisfied with DevOps. Here too, however, the middle ground is not the place to be. Static cloud users are more likely to adopt DevOps than are traditional data center users, but they report slightly less satisfaction with DevOps than do the traditionalists.

static cloud users satisfaction chart

This blog post merely scratches the surface of what you’ll find in the 23-page survey report, including insights into the limits of lift-and-shift cloud migrations, why the hybrid cloud may not be a good long-term strategy, the rise of multi-cloud strategies, and, of course, why performance monitoring is critical to cloud success.

To get the whole story, read the entire survey report—Achieving Serverless Success with Dynamic Cloud and DevOps—or download it as a PDF.

Want to see what the tech press had to say about our survey? Check out these articles:'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite,, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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