Implementing DevOps practices during digital transformations pays off in terms of organizational performance and quality outcomes, according to a Wednesday report from DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and Google Cloud.

The survey of nearly 1,900 technical professionals worldwide examined software delivery performance practices, and classified respondents into elite, high, medium, and low categories. The proportion of high performers has grown each of the five years the report has been published, demonstrating that industries are improving in DevOps practices, it noted.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to making DevOps work (Tech Pro Research)

The following chart shows how each group was categorized:

The performance gap between the elite group and the low performers is huge, the report found. Elite performers have 46x more frequent code deployments, and 2,555x faster lead time from commit to deploy. These elite performers also have 7x lower change failure rate, and 2,604x faster time to recover from incidents.

The gap for all performance metrics between the lowest and highest performers either increased or stayed the same from 2017 to 2018, the report found. This indicates a drop in performance among low performers, possibly due to increasing complexity in their environments and more difficulty delivering software.

The way teams implement cloud infrastructure impacts their performance, the report found. Teams that leverage all of the cloud’s benefits–such as on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, and rapid elasticity–are 23x more likely to be elite performers, according to the report. Teams adopting Platform as a Service models were 1.5x more likely to be in this top group.

Open source software was also more likely to be used (1.75x) by the highest performers than the lowest, the report found. Higher performers said they were 1.5x more likely to expand open source usage in the future as well.

Software delivery and operational performance unlocks several competitive advantages, according to the report, including increased profitability, productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, and the ability to achieve organization and mission goals.

When it comes to digital transformation, certain technical practices drive high performance, the report found. These include monitoring and observability, continuous testing, database change management, and integrating security earlier in the software development process.

These findings reinforce the importance of learning how technology is delivered differently in the modern world, and that incorporating DevOps is essentially required to improve a team’s performance, productivity, and value, Bill Briggs, global CTO of Deloitte Consulting, said in a press release.

“Our research provides compelling evidence that smart investments in technology, process, and culture drive profit, quality, and customer outcomes are important for organizations to stay competitive and relevant–both today and as we look to the future,” Nicole Forsgren, co-founder and CEO of DORA, said in the release.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Elite DevOps teams have 46x more frequent code deployments, and 2,555x faster lead time from commit to deploy. — DORA, 2018
  • Teams that leverage all of the cloud’s benefits are 23x more likely to be elite DevOps performers. — DORA, 2018