As I talk to enterprise customers about DevOps and Modern Enterprise, I hear lots of confusion about how trends like agile, DevOps, PaaS, etc. fit into the idea of the Modern Enterprise. In this post, I will try to connect these trends and show a simple formula to maximize the productivity and agility gains in any organization.
Pressure on enterprise status quo
Until recently, enterprises were comfortably operating under the frameworks of Waterfall for development ITIL for operations. Waterfall methodology helped developers stay true to the specs while delivering the software. ITIL helped enterprise IT ensure stability. The problem was that business users were frustrated by the slow pace of technology improvement and innovation at their companies.
Agile as the first step, but not enough
Application developers realized the limits of Waterfall as business users forced them to deliver faster. This made Agile methodologies attractive and worth embracing. Agile produced technology improvements on a smaller scale, but on a more frequent basis. Agile could not deliver the full productivity gains developers wanted because enterprise IT continued with traditional ITIL based practices. Gains from Agile were suboptimal at the best.
The emergence of cloud computing shows that more can be done to speed up the delivery of business value to end users. The success of cloud and startups do IT with the cloud caused IT managers to wonder if there was a better way to break the operations bottleneck.
DevOps for maximum impact?
While traditional IT thinking was considering agile as opposite to stability in operations, a new approach called DevOps brought the realization that IT operations could be agile while also ensuring the stability of their IT environment. DevOps helped developers and operations collaborate to meet the needs of business users.
With Agile and DevOps, organizations finally found a way to deliver business value faster. IT could meet the demands of business faster than any time in the past. Organizational gains through Agile, DevOps and Cloud is orders or magnitude better than the traditional way of doing business and yet it’s natural to wonder if this really maximizes the impact.
Maximizing IT efficiency & rapid innovation
Although Agile and DevOps helps organizations break silos and achieve great efficiencies, the use of right tools becomes important when you want to maximize the efficiency of IT. The higher levels of abstraction and large scale automation (infrastructure automation + middleware automation + application lifecycle automation) of Platform as a Service (PaaS) helps organizations maximize their IT efficiency gains. The resources, freed up by these efficiency gains, rapidly increase innovation inside the organization.
Agile, DevOps and PaaS
To sum up, a simple formula for modern enterprises which every CIO and IT Manager should remember is this:
Agile + DevOps + PaaS = Max(IT Efficiency) + Rapid Innovation
This simple formula encapsulates what Modern Enterprises need if they want to rapidly innovate and out distance the competition.