Tuning in to the real pain of customers

In my product management and marketing experience, I discovered that I carry a deep bias about our product capabilities and why it’s special — before a launch. On a whiteboard, in a spec, or in a usability lab, our product can and will change the world. Post-launch, when customers get their hands on our product, magical things happen. Intended use cases become irrelevant. Intended benefits change. Intended value changes. Over the past weeks, I’ve had the privilege of talking to many of our customers and prospects. They educated and helped me reframe the value we deliver to our customers. Real pain Much has been written about the DevOps revolution, driven by applications moving to the cloud, mobile computing, and the business need to compete. The journey to an agile build-test-release cycle is real, and it’s hard. It’s hard for customers who are cloud-born, and it’s even harder for traditional operations ...

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Digital Transformation with Agile and DevOps – Something “Wicked” This Way Comes

Our world is full of wicked problems, like climate change, urban planning and social injustice. They’re called wicked because they’re hard to recognize, define and solve. Furthermore, complex interdependencies mean solving one aspect will just expose or create other problems. Today’s digital transformation imperatives are creating wicked problems for IT. So wicked in fact, they make managing technology in the traditional sense look like child’s play. Suddenly, businesses are faced with complex dilemmas. How can they compete in a world where their customers place less emphasis on physical products and more on the total experience?  How can we adjust marketing from driving consumer behavior to responding to it? How can they adapt business models in context of the customers’ world? – a world that’s increasingly dependent and driven by digital technology. The short answer is of course software, but the problem is our approach to delivering it just isn’t suitable ...

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How Deploy Frequency Impacts Infrastructure Stability

I recently took some time out from reading the Internet to read a very specific piece of research I found on the Internet from IDC – its “DevOps and the Cost of Downtime” to be exact. Sponsored by AppDynamics, this fascinating read included a variety of statistics that are helpful in understanding the impact of (or a lack of) DevOps on organizations given certain financial and competitive impacts. I won’t bore you by repeating what you can so easily read yourself, but I have pulled out a few key stats that are worthy of further investigation – that of the failure of  stability on the business and the predicted increase in deployment frequency. The average hourly cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000. The average hourly cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 – $1M. The average number of deployments per month is expected to double in 2 years. ...

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DevOps & Continuous Change

A remark by a colleague while waiting for the coffee machine to complete its cycle started my train of thought. “Should we have multiple minor releases or just do a few major ones in a year?” In large organizations, due to many factors, the turnaround time for a single successful release is quite extensive; but if the conceptual change which we are talking about bringing whilst using the #DEVOPS methodology would not only reduce these long cycles but deliver quicker and quality software. I have already discussed in my earlier article “DEVOPS: Getting our organizations aligned” on the traditional approach and how the combination of this two (DEV & OPS) has been proven beneficial in various organizations and how many are still hesitant in embarking on that path. Continuous Change which encompasses both Continuous Integration and Delivery is paramount to achieving this objective. To attain the objective of delivering rapid ...

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The Ultimate Endpoint of Enterprise DevOps

There’s a reason we so often use the word “journey” when we talk about DevOps – it is a critical aspect to a practical approach to DevOps. While we focus a lot on culture in the DevOps community, as I have previously said, culture is an output, not an input; it is the destination, not the journey. By contrast, the set of ‘best-practice’ application delivery methods that improve communication, collaboration, and integration between development and operations are the ongoing journey that drives this transformation for continual growth and improvement, and helps us reach the destination. Which leads to the question for this next article in the Enterprise DevOps Q&A: Q. What is the Ultimate Endpoint of Enterprise DevOps? My initial reaction when asked this was to wonder whether the DevOps journey even has a defined endpoint. While many might say ‘culture change’ is the destination, many others would say there ...

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Inside the mind of a true DevOps evangelist

IBM InterConnect is imminent. Next week more than 20,000 people will descend on Las Vegas and take over the north end of the strip for IBM’s massive event. One of the primary topics attendees will be focusing on is DevOps. IBM’s Rosalind Radcliffe—a respected evangelist for DevOps—will be there to share her passion and knowledge as well. Rosalind Radcliffe is a Distinguished Engineer, in Rational currently responsible for the driving the System z and Power Systems aspects for the Jazz foundation and Jazz foundation based products—or so her LinkedIn profile indicates. Really she’s just a very smart person who loves to help customers solve problems. At InterConnect Radcliffe will be talking about DevOps. She is hosting a number of workshops for DevOps for enterprise systems. She will also be engaging in panel discussions with clients to discuss things like how an organization can transform its current environment and the part ...

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Yes, I said “Culture” again

“Culture”. Any time that two or more people get together to do anything  —  whether it’s DevOps, or marketing, or just eating lunch  —  they form a culture. Even if they pointedly ignore each other, it’s a kind of culture (just not a very good one). When we the preachers of DevOps say the word “culture” we are simply stating the fact that people are a big factor in DevOps success or failure. There’s no point in trying to get away from it, even if you want to. Cultures form naturally.The character of a culture is determined just as naturally by the people who compose it, and the conditions under which they operate. If a development team, for example, has the right mix of people, and they’re working in an environment that allows easy, ongoing communication, they’re likely to develop a culture with some very positive characteristics. If some of ...

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The One Where All Hell Breaks Loose

Don’t you love a good story? This one is a DevOps story in a fictional enterprise. It’s the kind of story you’ve seen replayed countless times in large organizations. So settle in for a read. The backstory DChip Tech is a semiconductor company. They’re in the business of making chips for wearable computing since acquiring Enogo, a startup in France for simulated testing in wearable technology. Three months into the acquisition on a late Sunday night in France, the VP of Operations at Enogo considers his late evening ahead. Chandler is not a happy man despite his recent appointment as the VP of Operations. How can he be? How can a 40-person company in France give him so many sleepless nights? And tonight is no exception. DChip’s strategic momentum in the last months had everything to do with it. To leverage the cream of the crop engineering talent in wearable ...

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The Role of a Traditional NOC in the new DevOps World

This new question in the DevOps.com Enterprise DevOps Q&A series comes from a large business, though not what many would recognize as a traditional or legacy enterprise. This organization, like many high-growth businesses, is in a relatively new market segment that only exists due to the rise of cloud computing and digital media. In their business, the network (especially access to and from their public cloud service) is critical to the value they provide their customers. So it is no surprise then that, as they contemplate their transformation to an agile environment built on DevOps principles, they are asking me about the role of the Network Operations Center (NOC). What Role Does a NOC Play in the DevOps World? Despite coming from a ‘new tech’ business, this is another of the questions that is typical in a large enterprise. While smaller startups and even many web-scale businesses may have an ...

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Measure Twice. Automate Once.

“Shipping” code may start with the completion of development but it doesn’t end until after the operational delivery process ends. Just like any fulfillment process, shipping is actually just the kick off of an often arduous journey that ultimately delivers the app to the end user. Ship It Back in the old days (when they still let me write code) one of our favorite phrases was “ship it” to indicate completeness of a task. That’s because the ultimate goal was, of course, to “ship” the code off to the users so they could start doing whatever it was they were going to do with it*. But the reality was, of course, even when we were really ready to “ship it” to users that it didn’t actually get to users for varying amounts of time. Like shipping anything today, it depends on the shipment method. In terms of today’s enterprise IT, ...

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