The Solinea DevOps Maturity Model

Overcoming Challenges Introducing DevOps into Enterprises

For large enterprises, implementing DevOps can be hard. From our perspective, the primary difficulty is in how you frame the conversation. Because DevOps transformations involve changes to many different parts of the enterprise, executives/managers often paralyze because they have no comprehensive framework to contextualize the changes that are required. This often leads to an exaggerated or inappropriate perception of the risk of change, resulting in no change at all.

To facilitate the discussion and adoption of DevOps in the enterprise, a comprehensive framework is required to empower executives/managers to not only understand the changes that are necessary, but manage change risk. Put simply, we need a roadmap that can guide organizations in the incremental adoption of DevOps.


The Four Pillars of DevOps Adoption 

At Solinea, we are fortunate to have guided the adoption of DevOps at many large enterprises. From these experiences, we’ve found commonalities in the implementation patterns that we believe are indicative of all organizations.

The first commonality is the scope of change. DevOps adoption requires changes to 4 primary aspects of the Enterprise: Culture, Process, People and Technology. We refer to these four aspects as the Four Pillars of DevOps adoption. While the four pillars represent separate aspects of an organization, changes to each pillar tend to influence the changes required in other pillars.

For example: To realize the business benefits of DevOps, enterprise Processes must adapt to less reliance on manual work by administrators and developers in favor of repeatable, automated processes. This has the effect of altering the skillsets required of our team members. The People in our Development, QA and Operations teams must possess a core competency around automated infrastructure creation/management, automated software build/test and automated application deployment. Building these core competencies often requires the adoption of new Technologies within the enterprise to support the work of our teams. Additionally, without efficient communication paths between teams, the Culture of the organization can present an obstacle to progress. Collectively, we refer to these four areas (Culture, Process, People and Technology) as the Four Pillars of DevOps.

Absent a comprehensive framework to contextualize these interrelated changes, it’s no surprise that most large enterprises have a hard time discussing DevOps adoption. The perception of DevOps adoption can be, for many executives/managers, an insurmountable conversation with no clear path forward; a “big-bang” event rather than a set of predictable, iterative transitions. This leads to the second commonality. The executives/managers of most large enterprises have historically dealt with these change/transition risks through the use of a maturity model, commonly CMMI. The Capability Maturity Model Integration is a process improvement framework developed by Carnegie Mellon University with the support of the US Department of Defense. It contextualizes organizational changes as a series of iterative transitions with the goal of guiding enterprises toward formalized processes that meet quantitatively measured business objectives. In this way, the CMMI framework can be used for assessment as well as change/transition planning. Maturity is not regarded as a one-time event, but a series of transitions.

So if CMMI is the language executives/managers speak when managing and planning organizational change, why not leverage that common language to contextualize the changes required for DevOps adoption? A CMMI based approach to DevOps adoption is the comprehensive framework we need to frame the conversation with enterprise executives/managers as a series of transitions, rather that a one-time “big-bang” event. We call it the DevOps Maturity Model.


The DevOps Maturity Model: A Powerful Assessment Tool for Introducing DevOps

Solinea DevOps Maturity Model Matrix
Solinea DevOps Maturity Model Matrix

In the maturity model, we describe 5 levels of maturity. For each level, we describe maturity items in each of the Four Pillars of DevOps. Each level (except for 5) represents a transitional maturity level. Level 5 is the only level you should remain in; it represents a mature DevOps organization that is continuously evaluating and improving its’ Culture, Processes, People and Technology.

Adopting DevOps in the enterprise is a journey. The first step on that journey is identifying where you are in the maturity model. We can help you assess where you are now and identify the steps you should take to get started.

Author: Joel Parks


About Solinea

Solinea services help enterprises build step-by-step modernization plans to evolve from legacy infrastructure and processes to modern cloud and open source infrastructure driven by DevOps and Agile processes.

Better processes and tools equals better customer (and employee) satisfaction, lower IT costs, and easier recruiting, with fewer legacy headaches.

Solinea specializes in 3 areas: 

  • Containers and Microservices –  Now enterprises are looking for ways to drive even more efficiencies, we help organizations with Docker and Kubernetes implementations – containerizing applications and orchestrating the containers in production.
  • DevOps and CI/CD Automation –  Once we build the infrastructure, the challenge is to gain agility from the environment, which is the primary reason people adopt cloud. We work at the process level and tool chain level, meaning that we have engineers that specialize in technologies like Jenkins, Git, Artifactory, Cliqr and we build these toolchains and underlying processes so organizations can build and move apps more effectively to the cloud.
  • Cloud Architecture and Infrastructure –  We are design and implementation experts, working with a variety of open source and proprietary, and have built numerous private, public, and hybrid cloud platforms for globally-recognized enterprises for over three years.