DevOps is more than just a hot IT buzzword. Unlike other “flash in the pan” tech trends, DevOps is a real chance for companies to evolve their IT departments. In his book, The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim explains how to help overcome a glaring issue in IT that many are not addressing.
IT operations are necessarily a fundamental component of any modern-day business and must be integrated seamlessly with business processes. This includes reorganizing traditional IT for increased agility, enabling companies to easily leverage continuous delivery. As quintessential as IT is to modern businesses, there is a fundamental problem that companies are merely perpetuating, rather than trying to fix.
Stop and Smell the IT Roses
As companies reorganize themselves, each unit tries to fix its own issues in isolation, which limits growth to a small part of an overarching problem. For instance, compliance teams deal with compliance challenges, process teams want more visibility, and everyday firefights with complex systems are only understood by a few key people. This contributes to larger IT problems, as their main goal is to be responsive to the business. With this day-to-day, quarter-to-quarter mentality, no one has the opportunity to step back and take a strategic look at the larger picture.
The Art of IT is Not Too Hard to Master
These individual teams and groups aren’t being selfish and intractable. Each department needs to hone in on their specific roles to get their work done, but also need to focus on stepping back to see the entire picture. Kim explains that there are three ways that will help everyone move to more efficient and productive IT operations that take into account the larger issues at stake.
“The First Way helps us understand how to create fast flows of work as it moves from Development into IT Operations, because that’s what’s between the business and the customer. The Second Way shows us how to shorten and amplify feedback loops, so we can fix quality at the source and avoid rework. And the Third Way shows us how to create a culture that simultaneously fosters experimentation, learning from failure, and understanding that repetition and practice are the prerequisites to mastery.”
— The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim
IT is essentially still stuck on the First Way. DevOps is crucial to growing and improving IT, but people are often in no position to get themselves to the second and third steps of Kim’s vision. With every team wanting to streamline their own individual jobs, they are getting stuck. The whole puzzle will never be built if every team is only working on their own parts. Everything and everyone has to be holistically connected, on some high level, in order to have truly efficient IT operations.
To learn more, you can check out our On-Demand content featuring the Google+ Hangout titled, “Private PaaS: Accelerating Continuous Delivery for DevOps.”
For more on cloud and systems integration, watch this webinar with Forrester VP and Principal Analyst John Rymer.