You want to bring Docker to your organization, but it’s not as easy as you thought to achieve Docker productivity. The first step is to understand the barriers to adoption. Skip this step and you’ll not only fail to get Docker adopted, but you’ll also make enemies at the office. Once you understand those barriers, you can work on overcoming them and introducing Docker technology to your organization.
What Are the Most Common Barriers to Docker Adoption?
In our experience, there are business, cultural, and technical barriers that prevent Docker adoption. In all likelihood, you’ll face all these barriers to some degree. Why does it matter to understand these barriers? Can’t you simply order your team to use Docker and start enjoying the productivity benefits? No! As a general principle, few people like change while most are invested in the status quo.
The Business Barrier to Docker Adoption
Contracts are one of the most common barriers to adopting Docker. Specifically, your organization may have multi-year contracts and relationships with Docker competitors. Breaking those contracts may trigger penalties. Even worse, some people in your department may point out that years of time and effort invested in learning how to use non-Docker technology will be lost. Fortunately, you can point out the productivity benefits of using containers to overcome this barrier.
The next barrier is even more difficult to overcome because you need to put Docker technology into the broader context of your IT infrastructure.
‘It Isn’t Compatible with Our Systems’: Technical Barriers to Docker
The most common objection we heard to new technology is anxious comments about compatibility and the potential for increased system crashes. In your enthusiasm for Docker, you might be inclined to brush aside this objection as “old school thinking.” That’s a mistake because you may alienate technical professionals in your organization. In fact, your team may point out that non-Docker options are preferred by the consultants, vendors, and APIs that you rely upon.
You need to know about one more technical barrier to Docker adoption. In some situations, your technical staff may also raise cybersecurity concerns about using Docker. In our view, using Docker tends to improve your cybersecurity situation, but not everyone agrees with us on that point. If technical experts mention security concerns, they deserve to be heard and understood.
The Cultural Barrier to Docker Adoption
Cultural and subjective reasons also prevent Docker adoption. For technical professionals and managers, these objections can be more challenging to address. You can’t win the argument by pointing to productivity benefits. Instead, you need to put in the homework to understanding people. For example, you may have a support department of people who are certified experts in a non-Docker technology. In that situation, adopting Docker may feel like a threat to their career and status.
In addition, your organization’s history with change management is a factor slowing Docker adoption. If previous efforts to introduce new technology have failed or gone over budget, that history may impact your efforts to adopt Docker. This history may manifest as a generalized skepticism about change and new technology regardless of the merits.
How Do You Overcome These Docker Adoption Barriers?
Bringing Docker technology to your organization is still possible. By understanding some of the most common barriers to adoption, you’re in a good starting place. Let’s look at each type of barrier and propose ways you can overcome them.
Overcome Business Barriers to Docker Adoption
If you have contracts in place with non-Docker technology providers, you have a few options. First, find out when the contracts expire and what would be involved in switching. If the contract was recently renewed or has significant cancellation costs, there’s still a way to bring Docker technology to your organization. You’ll need to pursue a small pilot project first and build your case for Docker over time.
Addressing Technical Barriers to Docker Adoption
Technical objections to Docker adoption require a different approach. Start by asking yourself about your level of technical expertise. If you aren’t a developer or well versed in the technical benefits of Docker, you can study the technology or look to recruit champions. In our experience, most departments have at least a few technology professionals who are excited by new technologies, the early adopters who love to experiment. Seek out those professionals in your organization. Once you find these champions, you can recruit them for a pilot project.
Resource: Are you looking to improve retention for your developers? Using Docker technology is part of the solution. Discover how to get the edge in the war for technical talent with containers.
Planning Your Docker Pilot Project
Launching a small Docker pilot project is often a good way to introduce the technology to your organization. How do you add this project to your staff without overwhelming them? You could leverage an internal “hackathon” event to experiment with Docker technology. Alternatively, you could use Docker technology to improve delivery of a non-core technology. Finally, look at your department’s DevOps practices, as you may find a way to introduce Docker as a way to further DevOps success.
Need to Reduce Docker Implementation Risk?
As you promote Docker technology, you may face questions from your project managers. They may ask you, “How do you reduce the risk associated with using Docker technology?” Taking the time to understand and address the barriers discussed in this article will help. However, you may still have concerns relating to identify management and security. To address those concerns, we recommend using Identity Anywhere.
Developed by Avatier, Identity Anywhere is an identity as a container platform. Since containers allow you to scale up new applications fast, you need to a way to keep up your security. That’s one of the ways Identity Anywhere can help.
Suppose your identity management program is new. You might have a different problem, such as limited staff capabilities. In that case, we recommend looking at how to use identity management standards at your company.