I listened to the recording of Michael Coté's keynote on the second day of DevOpsDays Austin and I felt like a few of my questions have been answered with respect to DevOps and PaaS. Bottom line: while change is happening, it seems to be moving at slower pace than expected.
At the core of human nature is the resistance to change. "We've always done it this way" may have some validity (maybe it really is the best way?), but usually the status quo remains because it's "easier" for all involved. I put easier in quotes because the task or process may still remain awkward or more difficult than another solution, but emotionally it's easier to just not change.
But the Tools Are Not the Problem
When Coté mentioned in his presentation that the tools were not the problem with respect to moving towards a DevOps culture, it helped highlight for me some of the thinking behind this movement. There is no doubt that a cultural shift (read "people"...or as Coté put it..."Hell is other people") is necessary for a DevOps methodology to emerge in an organization (now that will be a battle with the status quo), but not utilizing potential technologies to improve process is detrimental.
If the goal of "DevOps-Minded" people is to release more frequently using "cloud technologies and practices," the technology part should be just as important in the DevOps movement. If there is a commitment on behalf of a department or company to the "DevOps Way," incorporating the right tools can make the implementation of this new approach much easier. Reduce deployment time from weeks to minutes and you'll get the attention of management--they are saving money, seeing an improvement in productivity, and it means they will be moving faster than the competition. Now that's a change they can get behind!
Removing Hurdles: Disrupting the Status Quo
PaaS is disruptive. Sure there is an initial change...saying goodbye to a process filled with long wait times, IT tickets and custom build scripts...but, in the end, the simplicity of the deployment with a PaaS makes everyone's life (both for IT and Dev) much easier. Dev can focus on the code and IT can focus on monitoring and supporting the app. The efficiency it brings to the process is unparalleled.
So what does it all mean?
In his presentation Coté did provide some hope that cloud enabled technologies are in a position to grow. But it can't be soon enough. A much needed change required in how apps are deployed and managed. Companies need this efficiency so they can stay ahead of their competition, or their competition will jump on the PaaS bandwagon and beat them to it.