Rafay Research Uncovers Developer Experience Gap

Rafay Systems, a platform provider for Kubernetes management and operations, announces independent research that finds a developer experience (DevEx) gap between what application developers expect from their organization’s environment provisioning process and the methods available.

The Understanding Environment Provisioning for Application Development and Deployment survey of more than 500 platform teams and application developers at enterprises revealed that 25 percent of organizations reportedly take three months or longer to deploy a modern application or service after it’s code complete. The majority of respondents (61 percent) indicated that environment provisioning is a major roadblock to accelerating the timeframe for application deployments.

The research also revealed that environment provisioning is mired in manual processes and infrastructure dependencies that affect the developer experience. Almost all respondents (91 percent) believe it is important for application development and delivery, but nearly half (45 percent) are not satisfied or just somewhat satisfied with their organization’s current process.

Because of inefficiencies and complications with provisioning environments, platform teams and application developers concur that it would be valuable to have a self-service workflow that streamlines the process and provides the right level of governance and automation controls for environment provisioning.

“Environment provisioning is a critical step in the release of modern applications and services,” said Mohan Atreya, SVP of products and services for Rafay Systems. “However, our research revealed that many organizations’ current environment provisioning processes are inefficient, complex and do not fully meet the expectations of developers or platform teams. This delays the realization of the business benefits those applications provide – sometimes for up to six months or more.”

Platform teams and application developers are misaligned on the perceived efficacy of their environment provisioning process. While 61 percent of platform teams are “very satisfied” with their organization’s process for environment provisioning, more than half (52 percent) of developers are unsatisfied or only somewhat satisfied. These developers stressed the process is complicated, time-consuming and lacks enough automation. They cite these reasons as perceived inefficiencies:

  • Lack of automation between DevOps and core developer workflows (55%)
  • Rolling out environments for applications takes too long (41%)
  • It takes too much time to learn about and stay up to date with how to provision environments in my data center or cloud infrastructure (36%)
  • It’s too complicated to provision environments in my data center or cloud infrastructure (33%)

On the other hand, most platform teams are content with their organization’s current environment provisioning process. However, there is a considerable number of these technology practitioners who expressed being unsatisfied or only somewhat satisfied (39 percent). They indicated these pain points that include a lack of standardization, training, visibility and governance:

  • No standardized way to deploy and manage environments (43%)
  • It takes too much time and effort to train development teams on how to provision environments (41%)
  • Lack of visibility into environment resources including usage, costs and performance metrics (38%)
  • Lack of governance around software/tools that are used (35%)
  • Not enough guardrails around operations, optimizing processes, reducing risk and controlling costs (27%)

Although 59 percent of all respondents said it takes less than a month to deploy an application or service from code-complete to production, a significant group of respondents report a longer process. In fact, 25 percent take three or more months, and 13 percent take longer.

Platform teams and application developers cited these reasons why current processes for environment provisioning inhibit their ability to deploy an application or service — from code-complete to production — in their ideal amount of time:

  • They and their team have to wait on someone else or a ticketing-based system to provision environments (57%)
  • There are too many software/service dependencies between the application and environment that need to be tested/approved/validated (49%)
  • It takes too long to gain/configure/approve access to new environments (30%)
  • Lack of automation to procure environments or environments must be manually deployed (27%)

It’s evident that both groups experience roadblocks to accelerating environment provisioning, but there is a silver lining. Despite differing opinions from platform teams and application developers, both parties agree on a solution for shortcomings in their current environment provisioning process: self-service. Nearly all platform teams (94 percent) and application developers (89 percent) believe it would be valuable to have a self-service workflow or portal where developers can provision environments themselves