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CIOs need to avoid a mistaken path to DevOps

Peter Bendor-Samuel | March 28, 2016
Fundamental operational changes required for DevOps.

2. Cross-functional teams. To make an DevOps environments work, you need to organize the IT group into end-to-end, cross-functional teams based on the business service IT delivers to the business. This is very different from IT teams in the traditional shared-service, functional-oriented structure where a team has responsibility for servers, network, application development, etc. for each business service line. The cross-functional teams in a DevOps environment are responsible for development, maintenance and operating the environment for that service line. These teams are accountable for achieving the end users’ objectives and business value. 

Remember, in this environment, speed is the new currency, and alignment with business value is the objective. To better align IT with the business users, the cross-functional teams take on the overall responsibility for driving the particular business service line they support. 

Today’s IT provides standard components (whether they be cloud, outsourcing, Platform as a Service, etc.). The teams can assemble the optimal components, align them with the users’ business needs and make them as responsive as possible. There is more value in assembling the components against the business value and responsiveness than there is in managing the traditional functional disciplines of managing the individual components. 

3. Management framework. You’ll also need to create a highly integrated, elastic framework for managing the DevOps environment. Built on automation, software-defined processes and a consumption-based model, this framework enables engineers, for instance to deliver on business users’ need for continuous releases. It can reduce the time from concept to implementation and production fully tested drops from 18 months to four to six weeks. And I’ve seen it reduce an insurance company’s member-enrollment process from two months to 30 minutes. 

Finally, managing a DevOps environment includes establishing metrics that align with the business users’ needs instead of managing for functional excellence and cost efficiencies. Your IT group will be able to deliver deeply satisfying services and have performance dashboards showing IT is like a honeydew melon instead of a watermelon. 

 

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