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 that DevOps plays.
I had an opportunity to speak with Rosalind recently, and gain some insight into her perspective on DevOps and what it means for IBM enterprise customers. Two themes seemed to come up repeatedly: breaking down silos, and finding a common ground.
Radcliffe stressed that top-down support from executive management is crucial to a smooth transition. “At a business level [executives] understand DevOps is necessary. They know the value and they want to do it,” she explained. The challenge is how to adapt and make that transformation without disrupting business.
Where do you begin? If you’re Rosalind Radcliffe you start by finding common ground. All the way from the business perspective to deployment and across all platforms it’s important for all parties to see the same point of view and work toward a common goal.
That’s not always easy to do when you’re dealing with different teams using different tools and platforms, and with separate political agendas. The first step is breaking down silos. Rosalind told me, “Everyone says that, but that’s really what has to happen.”
She explained that customers don’t have to throw out the organizations structure or retool the teams themselves necessarily. It’s about redefining how the teams interact and work together, not about reorganizing the teams.
Radcliffe is passionate about DevOps, but her real drive is helping customers achieve their goals. DevOps is hot now, but it’s just an evolution of the tools and processes businesses use to find a competitive advantage. DevOps may pass, but the need to streamline processes and accelerate delivery will live on.
“A few years from now we won’t be using the word DevOps,” said Radcliffe. She told me that DevOps is just the Agile principle taken to the full enterprise. It provides a more comprehensive end-to-end perspective that enables enterprise-scale transformation.
The reality, according to Radcliffe, is that customers need to come up with an enterprise strategy, but it helps to start small. She works with customers to find those initial baby steps that help them gain momentum that eventually allows them to make the bigger transformation.
Vegas isn’t really her scene, but she’ll be there next week for IBM InterConnect. She can do without the flashing and dinging of the slot machines or the Vegas shows. But, she’s driven to engage with and help enterprise customers, so she’ll brave the busy Vegas environment to share her passion for DevOps.