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Catch a Wave: Optimizing the Transformation to a Devops Mainstream

Mark Samuels writes in ZDNet on how CIOs can make the most of an industry trend toward DevOps management.

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Mark Samuels writes in ZDNet on how CIOs can make the most of an industry trend toward DevOps management. As a “much-hyped methodology” centered on “cooperation and collaboration between software developers and other more operationally-focused IT professionals,” DevOps allows for “continually evolving services that closely match business demands. This explains analyst projections like those of Gartner (cited here) that 1 in 4 global companies will adopt DevOps management hierarchy by 2016. Given that we’re heading in that direction, Samuels spills five nuggets of wisdom for CIOs on how they can capture the new advantages afforded by the DevOps gold rush: 1) measure success, 2) find the right business case, 3) value the rare individuals who excel at both development and operations, 4) think outside the box, and 5) put an iterative transformer in charge.

  1. Measured Success— ING Belgium
    Johan Kestens, managing director and CIO at ING Belgium, demonstrates the power of an agile feedback mechanism within a diversified development stream. Running 400 DevOps projects and complex migrations touching 40-50 applications simultaneously, ING keeps its engineers creative and informed. Kestens philosophy is to use frequent testing as a tool “to help show improvements to the rest of the business….With the right toolset, and if you understand the limitations of these measurement technologies, CIOs can get closer to understanding what real quality and productivity means.”

  2. The Right Business Case— GLH
    Chris Hewertson, CTO at hotel group GLH, reveals how the company’s IT team of 13 delivers external service provision at high output speeds through a cloud-based API layer linked to back-end property management technology. The nature of GLH’s business, requiring 24/7 API, is ideally suited to the DevOps model. As he says, “DevOps offers the best approach, rather than having a dedicated team of people who spend a lot of time just sitting around.”

  3. Valuing skilled DevOps personnel
    Omid Shiraji, interim CIO at Camden Council, ties the hard skills of coding to the management approach to long-term development. Yet these two, he acknowledges, are highly distinct personality sets, rarely found together. “”The people who are great at cutting code do not necessarily have the detail to maintain its development on a day-to-day basis,” says Shiraji. “DevOps definitely has a role, but finding the people that can perform both functions is tough.”

  4. Thinking Outside the Box
    Danielle Jacobs, chair of INTUG, the international telecoms association, and general manager of IT leadership association BELTUG, explains the shifts CIOs look to see in their IT departments. In particular, CIO’s look for “scrum agile development teams” working on “projects with very short implementation cycles.” Nor is the pursuit of agility, claims Jacobs, limited to leading edge sectors like technology, media and marketing. “Digitisation is affecting all industries,” she says. ”Interaction across departments is crucial and companies are looking to find the right way to take advantage of agility.”

  5. The Kaizen Executive
    Mark Ridley, director of technology at recruitment specialist reed.co.uk, illustrates the importance of having a high-up who pushes agile development. On the product side, Ridley has Reed.co.uk developers create technical solutions to external customers’ recruitment challenges, while internally a lean, over-arching approach helps Ridley and his team improve the integration between IT and the rest of the business. Broadly speaking, the kaizen executive focuses on helping his organization purchase and take responsibility for the technology it buys. In Ridley’s words, the goal is getting the “business to understand the value of systems and services, and to think more carefully about what activity is not really creating benefits.”

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Published at DZone with permission of Yaniv Yehuda, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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