DevOps is fast becoming an important term in the industry. DevOps, enabled by the success of cloud computing, is transforming organizations of all sizes. As these organizations become more nimble and efficient they are transforming how IT happens.
DevOps is About Culture and Tools
The early days of DevOps focused on pure cultural change without considering the tools. Conventional wisdom at the time held that cultural change would remove typical bottlenecks to production code pushes by aligning the goals and priorities of developers and operations. This view is changing with the realization that it is important to align the cultural change with right tools to maximize “DevOps returns”.
DevOps Increases Deployments to Production
Most discussions about DevOps focus on the dynamics between the developers and operations. This is obvious because IT agility is often hampered by the misalignment of goals between developers and operations. Applications are being deployed and integrated with increased frequency as the importance of Agile sinks in and adoption of cloud in the enterprise increases. Even large enterprises understand the importance of iterative and continuous deployment and its benefit to competitive advantage and the financial bottom line.
In a recent 451 research survey, respondents to the question “How often do you deploy to production?” said:
- 31% deploy on demand
- 8% deploy daily
- 22% deploy weekly
Compare this to how often changes were deployed to production in enterprise IT just few years ago. We are clearly in a transformative phase of enterprise IT and DevOps is leading the charge.
DevOps Start With Business Alignment
When I talk to enterprise IT managers, I get the sense they see DevOps as a magic pill to make developers and operations magically work well together as they pursue common goals. They often have no idea how to align these goals and maximize the benefits from them. When I talk to people about DevOps, I don’t paint a picture of developers and operations drinking beer together and anxious to solve each others problems. Rather, I describe DevOps as an organization-wide alignment of goals. The goal of DevOps is to bring all the stakeholders to the table and get alignment there.
Goals for developers and operations are driven by business needs–what the business wants to achieve in the short and long term. The first stop in your DevOps journey is a meeting with the business users to understand their goals and objectives. Without this alignment, IT culture changes will be limited.
DevOps Journey Starts With Business Users
To summarize, DevOps is a cultural change where developers and operations align their goals and priorities to meet the needs of the business. Any wall of confusion between the needs of business and the combined goals of developers and operations resembles the original wall of confusion between development and operations. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your DevOps journey begins with business users.
If your DevOps journey doesn’t begin with your business users, you’re doing it wrong.