DevOps isn’t just about working faster, more effectively, and at a lower cost. A big part DevOps is also about driving business innovation. Sure, DevOps correctly applied is known to cut costs and reduce downtime, but as this Rackspace 2014 survey found, DevOps is also, across many organizations, increasing sales as well as employee and customer engagement.
But DevOps is also enabling organizations to deploy more capabilities more quickly. As the most recent Puppet Labs DevOps report contends, DevOps organizations are deploying updates 30 times more rapidity and with fewer failures. And they’re recovering 168 times faster from failures and have 60 times fewer failures due to code changes. “What we are seeing is the quality and speed has definitely increased. So people are producing changes that are of higher quality and changes that require fewer rollbacks,” said Nigel Kersten, CIO at Puppet Labs. in this interview with Ericka Chickowski.
If DevOps is going to positively drive business transformation, all of the associated efforts – collaboration, communication, automation, continuous delivery – have to be orchestrated toward the right goals, in the right ways, with the right people and processes in place. And that’s exactly what this new section is about. It’s about helping business and technology leaders to manage their enterprises through times of change in technologies and markets.
During my interviews with technology leaders, since we’ve launched DevOps.com, I’ve identified at least three core areas where DevOps, from a high level, helps to transform organizations beyond IT. Here’s how:
Find your bottlenecks in the digital supply chain
Identify where your IT organization is stalling in their processes. Is there a deep application backlog? Is testing and QA a bottleneck? Are teams communicating properly? Are their legacy systems and processes that are holding your organization back? Find these areas, prioritize, and weed them out. DevOps is largely about collaboration and automating anything that can be effectively automated.
Better process, not better software
Have your infrastructure and application leaders find all of the bad or broken processes that they can and then eliminate them. Organizations create rules and processes and bureaucracies as ways to enforce standardization, improve quality, and protect the organization. But over time many of these rules become unnecessary, or antiquated as the organization and business environment changes. These, too, are weeds growing within the organization and need to be pulled or streamlined.
Earlier this year I wrote Five Great Books on DevOps, some books were written recently, others are decades old: but they all highlight the importance of collaboration and good processes.
And while having quality software and toolsets in your organization is important, it’s secondary to good teamwork and providing that team a vision to work toward.
DevOps + Business Improved Collaboration = BizOps
In this context, BizOps refers to a tighter collaboration between technology efforts and the business outcomes the organization needs. When you have all of the benefits of DevOps plus sound business leadership helping to guide the goals of those efforts you will have a company that can better innovate.
How? The IT teams will know what is most important to focus on, they’ll know better where to invest their assets and time. They will also be able to experiment more quickly and they will know what unexpected opportunities that arise are to be seized upon and which can be let go.
This alignment between technology and the business is a big part of what we hope to write about here in this new section. And we’d like to hear from you about how your enterprise is using DevOps to help drive business transformation. And if we don’t hear from you, you’ll certainly be hearing from us on these very topics here in the Leadership Suite.