Photo - Jeffrey Doss, Regional Director (Asia), Quint Wellington Redwood
According to IT consultancy Quint Wellington Redwood (Quint), the real value to the business of DevOps is currently being underrated compared to IT trends such as Big Data, BYOD (bring your own device) and Lean IT.
Speaking to Computerworld, Jeffrey Doss, Quint's regional director (Asia), said: "DevOps is a term that has emerged yet with not many really being clear what it means."
Doss said that Quint Wellington Redwood is one of the forerunners in DevOps, both as a practice leader as well as industry stalwart when it comes to DevOps training.
"The term DevOps emerged in a series of "DevOps Days" held in Belgium about five years ago," he said. "The aim of the events was to bring together IT experts from both the development side and the operations side of organisations. That puts the term DevOps in its context: a multidisciplinary team that is fully responsible for the continuous operation and development of a service. Google and Amazon are examples of companies that use a combination of DevOps and continuous delivery to release dozens of changes every day."
Doss said, "The key point here is that, in this definition, DevOps is about producing software rapidly. This completely ignores the real value and aim of DevOps. What is the real value of DevOps achievable with a DevOps approach used to its full extent?"
"The way in which IT services are delivered within many organisations can barely be maintained because the current IT processes were not designed to meet a demand from the business for fast and flexible IT," he said.
Taking the lead
"Due to our predominantly silo-driven organisational approach, IT processes are unnecessarily complex, performance measurements are not transparent, people's attitude and behaviour is focused internally, and tools are too strongly concentrated on individual technologies," said Doss. "This is diametrically opposed to the desire of the business which, to an increasing degree, wants new functionality to be delivered fast, incidents to be resolved quickly, and to have short communication lines and high quality IT."
"This means there is a mismatch between traditionally-designed IT organisations and the business. It is therefore time for a fundamental review of the structure of IT organisations," he said. "Changing nothing and hoping that things will improve in the long run comes close to Einstein's definition of insanity: 'Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'"
"Despite the apparent simplification in definition, applying the principles of DevOps is no easy task," said Doss. "In addition to the organisational and technical challenges, it primarily involves people and how to collaborate in a high-performance team. To unlock the true potential, a cultural shift that demands commitment from management and strong leadership is necessary. Most DevOps teams are still encountering problems that prevent them from benefiting fully."