DevOps for the biz

Dev+Ops = Threeve

What is it about DevOps that has everyone so up in arms in either pure frustration or restrained jubilation? Who knows but in the following post I will venture to guess as well as make some predictions into where corporate IT is headed as we brace for a vast new world of data, operational agility and overall process improvement.

DevOps Technology Hype Curve 2015
DevOps Technology Hype Curve 2015

 

Hanging with the Flintstones

It used to be that developers and operations rarely ever saw each other, let alone collaborated on how to make IT an enabler of business value vs an old crusty cost center that sucks money in and produces no value. Throughout the course of my career as a customer I can distinctly remember the silos, both physical and virtual, of teams that refused to work together for the betterment of the organization. One might ask why? Well…it depends. Some people simply love their kingdoms of power while others are scared to try and learn something new and branch out of their comfort zone. Either way, in the end this creates an environment of apathy and discontentment as those that are reaching for more grow tiresome and either leave the organization or become apathetic themselves.

Not so fast now

So what is this DevOps stuff about and why should I care? In my mind DevOps will have a profound and meaningful impact on not only the way software manufacturing is consumed going forward but on our entire way of iterating and developing all forms of manufacturing and processing as we know it. As I recently noted in a paper for the Boston University Computer Science Department, DevOps discussions and overall deployments of an iterative process will skyrocket in 2015-2016. Why? The speed of application development and application change is increasing and with it gives rise to the “Tesla” quality needed in order to competitive. What do I mean by Tesla quality? It means that IT is now spidered into all parts of an organization and those IT departments are left with two choices: get quick or get dead. When I say Tesla quality I mean fail fast, change direction on a dime and not live with yesterdays mistakes.

DevOps helps to address the needs of new development to iterate faster with fewer mistakes all while utilizing a two pizza team. One interesting fact that comes to mind is a figure from Gartner earlier this year that rates 80% of outages to application changes and/or new application developments. WOW! 80%? Really! Take a guess at what an important goal of DevOps is? To reduce such outages and maintain consistency. Shocking right?

DevOps isn’t new, in fact the term has just recently came to fruition after tech giants like Netflix and PayPal began open sourcing how they perform development and then Boom, everyone wanted “DevOps”! What is new is the efforts to harmonize several aspects of the entire development to operations structure to create a “XaaS” model where IT can begin to become a proponent of the business and not a value drain and fiscal abortion to the organization.

How have you used DevOps to promote a culture of change?

Has it worked? If so, in what way?

R.D.

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