Continuous Delivery Foundation Releases Latest CICD Trends Report

Addo Zhang
3 min readApr 25, 2024

The Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) recently released its latest CICD trends report. The survey results in this report are based on data from eight SlashData surveys conducted from Q3 2020 to Q1 2024, covering over 150,000 respondents worldwide.

This article interprets select results from the official report, representing personal insights. The full report is available here.

Evolution of Software Delivery Performance

Software delivery performance is primarily measured through three key metrics: code release cycle, deployment frequency, and service recovery time. These indicators directly reflect an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness in software development and operations.

Code Release Cycle

The code release cycle refers to the time from code submission (e.g., merging to the main branch) to successful deployment in the production environment.

This metric measures the team’s speed in responding to new features, fixes, or updates. Shorter release cycles mean that teams can quickly push changes to production, responding swiftly to business needs and issues.

The frequency of code changes has been decreasing annually since Q3 2020, especially for changes occurring less than once a month.

Deployment Frequency

Deployment frequency indicates how often software is deployed to the production environment, which could be daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

High-frequency deployments typically indicate advanced automation and mature continuous delivery capabilities. This ability helps teams reduce the risks associated with each deployment since the changes per deployment are smaller and easier to manage and rectify.

This result is consistent with the code change cycle.

Service Recovery Time

Service recovery time refers to the time needed to restore a service to normal operation after a production environment disruption.

This metric reflects the team’s ability to quickly restore services when facing production issues. Shorter recovery times indicate effective incident response and problem-solving processes.

The report shows a trend toward polarization: the good are getting better, and the poor are worsening.

Factors Influencing Software Delivery Performance

The use of CI/CD tools correlates with software delivery performance metrics.

Proliferation of DevOps Practices

The top two tools/technologies used in the development process remain source code management and issue tracking, both of which have seen increased use over the past 12 months, excluding agile development management tools and AI-based code tools.

Number of CI/CD Tools Used

The number of CI/CD tools used correlates with software delivery performance, but not in a simple linear relationship. It’s more complex.

Merely increasing the number of tools does not always enhance performance; key factors are tool selection, configuration, and integration, all of which affect support for automation processes and teams. Conversely, an excessive number of tools can lead to integration and management complexities, especially when tool compatibility and interoperability are not adequately addressed.

Successful CI/CD is not just about technology and tools; it also involves management and execution, including team training, process involvement, establishing feedback loops, and continuous evolution.

Summary

The selected content from the report highlights changes in software delivery performance and factors that affect it, which I find particularly interesting. However, I recommend checking out the full report for a comprehensive understanding.

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Addo Zhang

CNCF Ambassador | LF APAC OpenSource Evangelist | Microsoft MVP | SA and Evangelist at https://flomesh.io | Programmer | Blogger | Mazda Lover | Ex-BBer