In our previous article, we examined the crisis emerging within traditional IT and examined how DevOps could provide some of the solutions needed to address this crisis. But what exactly is DevOps, and how can adopting its philosophies help IT departments avoid becoming irrelevant?
People are often surprised that DevOps was initiated by the operations side of the equation; the original inspiration came from operations’ understanding that significant benefits could be gained from embedding themselves in the development cycle. While there is no single definition, Gartner defines DevOps as “a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach.”
The point is that DevOps is a philosophy that requires a change in culture for most traditional organizations.
Implementing the philosophy
Culture is notoriously difficult to define, but it’s possible to break the concept down into a number of discrete, measurable components.
Engage the business
Establish/acquire the relevant IT knowledge and skills
Create cross-functional IT processes
Create cultural harmony within IT
Create culture and business
Clearly defined business strategy and objectives
Educate business stakeholders
Clear translation of business strategy into IT objectives
Establish infrastructure, tools and ecosystem
Build the right infrastructure and tooling
Select the right partners, suppliers and support
Underpin with security and compliance measures
By establishing measurable components of the overall culture, we’re able to assess an IT organization against these criteria and determine its maturity in regards to DevOps. The maturity of an organization against these criteria is not simply a measure of DevOps but a measure of its readiness to adopt a new operating model that will equip the organization with the tools necessary for the rapidly changing IT agenda. Meeting DevOps objectives will save the traditional IT function from obsolescence.
While it’s necessary for IT functions to realize that this move toward a new operations model will require time and internal alignment, DevOps can have a significant impact on business.