I recently joined CloudBees to lead Product Marketing. As I finish my second week here, I’m reflecting on what I’m learning from my colleagues, the industry, the market, use cases and CloudBees’s technology. It’s impressive, eye opening and has shifted my perception of the IT industry in fundamental ways.
In my view, DevOps is not simply a trend, nor is it a remix of existing IT structures. Whether it’s the continued proliferation of the app economy, big data platforms, mobile devices, or cybersecurity, DevOps is the intersection of all things IT. This is the real deal.
Here’s How I See It:
Here is why I joined CloudBees – the value to companies is clear.
It’s about the business demands of IT
On a basic level, many IT departments have to manage conflicting agendas in the organization. First, there may be pressure to deliver new products on shoestring budgets. And second, these departments are typically seen as a financial black hole, rather than a business enabler and moneymaker. This results in the organization trying to increase efficiency by cutting costs. However, I believe this way of thinking is ultimately flawed. Companies can (and often do) optimize their environments in such a way that limits (or even eliminates) bureaucracy, removes bottlenecks and creates smooth transitions between departments, all while cutting expenses. When the proper technology, operations and people are in alignment, enterprises can quickly change to help drive competitive advantage.
It’s About the Customer
The advancements in technology, the proliferation of inter-connected devices and an interdependent digital economy has fueled countless improvements for both consumers and organizations. New developments in technology and processes are changing everything – from how we communicate, how we work, and especially how companies go to market with new products and services. These advancements have pushed companies into compulsory rapid transformation. While they’re busy innovating, they also need to find better ways of optimizing development and operations, or they will no longer be competitive and get the attention of potential customers.
This heightened period of innovation is the perfect time to incorporate DevOps practices – technology, people and operations that are optimized to integrate silos and remove obstacles that hinder developer productivity and the company’s time-to-market. DevOps is necessary to help organizations accelerate the delivery of high quality products to better address the needs of the customer.
The Bigger Truth
For many organizations, their only goal is to cut costs to remain competitive. Again, this is a very limited (and often cumbersome) way of solving problems. When DevOps is implemented correctly, the role of IT departments can change dramatically from simply being a “cost center” to being something much bigger than that – a leader for the company’s software-driven innovation. Products and services can be built, tested and released at a much faster rate, with fewer errors and without crawling through the frustrating jello of bureaucracy.
I believe the industry and our customers are telling us that the status quo of traditional development and operations doesn’t cut it anymore. DevOps is a powerful capability with proven ROI that has been shown many times over. Throughout the years, many companies have seen the benefits and took the leap. For example, Toyota invested in Lean manufacturing and the TQM system. Citibank virtually revolutionized mortgage financing by streamlining the process for lending decisions, by offering consumers a decision in 30 days- 60 days faster than the industry average at the time.
As is the case with Agile methodologies, DevOps promotes close collaboration not only between Dev and Ops, but with the Business and the customer as well - so we can deliver that value the user is seeking, and bring together a cross-functional team to solve challenging problems.
This is key – having an emphasis on identifying and accelerating the flow of value. It’s both an art and a science – the art of understanding the customer’s needs, combined with the technical and operational prowess for delivering that value. Achieving that balance is necessary, as organizations will eventually come to see that the are meeting their customer’s needs, while building both initial competitive advantage and the capacity to continually improve and refine their advantage over time.
The maturity and effectiveness of the software delivery process itself is a competitive advantage for today’s organizations. I’m excited to join CloudBees to help enhance and promote our DevOps solutions, helping enterprises transform their software release processes into a competitive advantage, key to their business.