What’s the state of Database DevOps in 2021?

2021 State of Database DevOps report coverIn 2017, Redgate published the first State of Database DevOps report, based on a survey of IT and database professionals from around the world. Every year since then, it has provided insights into the adoption, usage, challenges and benefits of DevOps and database DevOps.

We’ve just launched the fifth edition of the report, which has had over 8,000 responses to date. In addition to the regular ongoing questions about DevOps that have enabled us to follow trends over the years, we focused our research in this edition on:

  • Demonstrating the correlation between overall software delivery performance, DevOps adoption and database deployments
  • Better understanding the composition of database estates
  • Finding out the impact of the pandemic on DevOps and database technology adoption

DevOps adoption

In the past 12 months, database DevOps and Cloud adoption has accelerated once again. Over the last five years, those organizations that have fully adopted DevOps have more than doubled, with 74% of respondents now saying they have introduced DevOps to at least some projects.

When looking at Enterprises, 82% already have some DevOps adoption and, in general across all industry sectors, more than 60% of organizations have adopted it. Those insights are welcome and suggest that DevOps is now a mainstream trend.

2021 State of Database DevOps chart

Performance and DevOps

This year, we asked respondents about their software delivery and operational performance metrics, as defined in the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report from DORA. We discovered that the best performing software delivery teams are:

  • 2x more likely to have fully adopted DevOps compared to low performers
  • 3x more likely to release database deployments daily
  • 3x more likely to have fewer than 1% of database deployments requiring hotfixes

We also found that 47% of respondents have started implementing continuous delivery for database changes, but only 22% have introduced it across every project. 41% also state that lack of automation is the top challenge to improving software delivery performance.

It’s notable that top performing software delivery teams are more likely to have implemented DevOps and are also performing well in terms of database deployments. This demonstrates an increasing understanding that including the database in DevOps initiatives has a positive impact on overall software delivery performance.

Rise of cloud and cross-database

70% of respondents to the latest survey stated they have more than one database management system, showing a significant increase compared to 61% last year. Interestingly, 22% of respondents are now using two databases – and 48% have teams working on three or more different databases.

2021 State of Database DevOps chart 2

Another marked development is the increase in the move to the cloud, which reverses a small decrease seen in last year’s report. 58% now use the cloud either wholly or in combination with on-premises, compared to 46% in 2020, and 51% in 2019. In contrast, the number of organizations relying on on-premises databases is falling, with 20% now having on-premises only estates.

The impact of the pandemic

2020 presented the additional challenge of coping with the pandemic. Perhaps surprisingly, given the overall contraction of the global economy, 56% of organizations reported that their business grew in the past 12 months, with only 9% experiencing a decline. However, our insights are most likely presenting a picture of IT organizations whose relevance has never been greater than in the past year.

In terms of productivity and performance, only 13% of respondents have seen a negative impact – and 80% agree that remote working will remain in the long term, with 63% agreeing it has actually increased their productivity.

2021 State of Database DevOps chart 3

Finally, and tellingly, the majority of organizations who participated in the latest report (68%) expect their budget for database management and tooling to stay at least the same or increase in the next 12 months, indicating the importance of it within the overall IT strategy.

If you want to discover more insights from the 2021 State of Database DevOps Report, which includes a foreword from Pramod Sadalage, Director at ThoughtWorks, download your free copy.