DevOps proves that there really can be too much of a good thing. By tying all the parts of the software development lifecycle together – from planning to delivery – it’s practically begging for tools to be cobbled together to do just that.
But, administering all these products and connecting them together is complex. For example, your CI needs to talk to your version control, your code review, your security testing, your container registry, and your configuration management. The permutations are staggering, and it’s not just a one-time configuration – each new project needs to reconnect all these pieces together.
This phenomenon is so real that it has a name: the DevOps tax. A DevOps tax is the price teams pay for using multiple tools and/or multiple toolchains in order to speed up the delivery of software. That price is often looked at in manpower spent: How much time does a team have to spend integrating and maintaining a toolchain versus actually coding and delivering software?
So what is a typical DevOps tax? A Forrester Research report from 2019 indicated it was approximately 10%, meaning 10% of the team had to support and maintain the toolchain. Our 2020 Global DevSecOps Survey found it might be even higher: 22% of respondents said they spend between 11% and 20% of their time (monthly) supporting the toolchain.
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