Can Too Many Tools Hinder DevOps?



If DevOps is the union of people, process, and technology to enable continuous delivery of value to customers. Is it possible for you to have too many tools in your team/organization in an attempt to deliver this value to your customers? How much is too much? Lastly, Can this hinder the DevOps mindset/culture? I will dive deeper into these questions in this post and hopefully leave you with something to think about in order to shift left and provide your customers with the greatest amount of value.

Can your team/organization have too many tools?

I believe this depends on the organization. What do I mean by this? Well if the DevOps mindset/culture is enabling continuous delivery of value to your customers, then the tooling that you have in place may be perfect for you and your organization this is because DevOps is not a one size fits all or even most.

However, with that said the answer is yes your team/organization can. Again because there is not a one size fits all that is that number? Well, that leads me to that next question/point.

How many are too many?

This is going to be a question that you ask yourself. Let me help narrow this down for you. You have too many tools when it starts to affect your continuous delivery of value to your customer. You ask what this might look like; I worked for a company that had several tools that did the same thing. We had several tools for monitoring with an overlap in services that were being monitored. This caused a lot of email noise which ended up in important emails getting messed because of the sea of emails. Sure you can set up rules to delete and or filter them out of your mailbox, but then you’ll miss that one email that’s not white noise and an actual production issue.

Another why this affected us, we had several ticketing tools. It became very cumbersome trying to manage your work. Again lots of emails which caused items to go unseen resulting in value not being delivered to the customer.

Does this affect the DevOps mindset/culture?

I’m sure if you have read this far, you can answer this question on your own. However, the answer is yes it absolutely can. When your team is swimming through a sea of email notice or playing ring around the tool, it will affect delivery to your customers. They may not notice it, but it ends up reducing the amount of value that you can deliver.

What Can you do?

Things that we can do to help move our teams/organizations to high performance or velocity DevOps Culture. Firstly evaluate the tools that you are there any that are redundant that can be consolidated? For the tools that you do have to make sure that they are fine tuned so that they are not emailing out a lot of noise. I have seen it time and time again where engineers create a tune of inbox rules, and important emails get filtered out, and servers are down longer than needed due to this.

Have a centralized location for your team to see work, so they are not jumping all over the place and wasting time with that. There is a lot that can be done to help with the shift left mindset and to help drive you to a high-velocity DevOps organization.

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