Saturday, January 30, 2016

CIOs as Chief Improvement Officer: How to Leverage DevOp to Improving IT Agility

DevOp is the IT management instrument which  brings in a cultural shift to an organization to not only develop but also to maintain the application with continuous changes in place.

IT plays a significant role in building the organization’s change capability to adapt to the digital new normal. Need for agility arises due to changes in underlying assumptions. Every CIO may ask self: Is IT responsive and proactive enough to find answers and solutions in case of emerging chances? Does IT have a platform which is scalable, secure, resilient and well interconnected? For achieving agility, IT leaders should both apply the digital management philosophy based on a set of Agile principles, but also leverage DevOp and take a series of  practices to improving IT effectiveness and maturity.

Automation:  Many IT departments operate in silos with separate teams delivering separate functional tasks: backup, risk monitoring, IT asset management, user administration. Effective automation should first examine these functions and understand the connections and define any constraints in the system. Identify and remove the inefficiencies and rationalize the manual actions first. the goal for practicing DevOp is to bring both IT development teams and operation teams together to break down the silo, make continuous integration, implement test automation via the deployment of automation tools, and the real DevOps style productivity now becomes a possibility.

Standardization: Like anything else you do in business, there should be some justification for standardization or integration. Standardization should be done at the solution level and should only occur when the functional requirements for the different groups are the same or where there is a core set of functional requirements that all groups need and additional requirements are easily added without having an adverse impact on the performance of the solution for those groups that do not need these added functions. To try and standardize just for the sake of standardizing, or where doing so requires compromising on the functional or performance needs of one or more groups involved, then obviously it is not a good idea. Therefore, DevOps has the better setting for making standardization process going more smoothly because it encourages and enables cross-functional interaction and communication, and enable IT leaders and staffs to oversee functions and processes more holistically for either integration and standardization.

Adaptation: DevOps is the real thing because it lowers the technical barrier to producing the full construct; it improves the chances for many to learn about what actually "happens" upon deployment, instead of wondering what "would/will" happen. It is possible to see what enables a self-adaptive organism is an information-driven process feeding and sustaining it. DevOps explorement makes it possible to turn organizational “theories” into tangible management processes that use “relations between people” as the loom on which to create management structures and processes that support self-adaptive problem-solving, build “recombinant” business capabilities and improve business efficiency.

Innovation: DevOps at its core is all about culture and about breaking down barriers between Dev and Ops teams. It's about helping the business to be more efficient, productive and innovative in these areas. There are situations, experiences, challenges, etc. the operations face that development doesn't and vice verse. Having an understanding of both and open communication between the two, helps to foster new ideas that ultimately develop better solutions. Devops is understanding that EVERYONE works in customer service now. Devops is communication and figuring out how to make the answer to the customers' questions default to yes by tailoring their needs and provide more innovative services. Thus, DevOps helps to build a culture of innovation and customer centricity.

Experimentation: DevOps techniques and technologies allow to produce and consume full constructions of the software product at each unit of effort - so that it can be tried out more often and by more people, such that people may learn more, earlier and more often. DevOps inspires the learning culture. In addition, Agile is based on the empirical control process (develop – inspect – adapt), which is also common sense. In this way, you always assess, experiment, and respond to change, to provide the customer with added value software and business solutions

Continuous Delivery: DevOps ideas expand the focus to delivering real value quickly, DevOps is the natural result of organizations taking agility past their development processes to encompass the entire software lifecycle, including deployment and maintenance. So, in the same way, Agile teams break the silos between quality engineers and software developers, instead of the development organization throwing finished software over the fence to the operation organization, everyone retains a stake in the overall cycle. Developers work on the deployment and monitoring tools, hardware engineers are part of the original design team, etc, they work more seamlessly to make the continuous delivery.  

Transparency: DevOps breaks the invisible wall between development and operations, to open up a dialog and optimize the whole process in ways that perhaps were not possible before. The very goal is to harness integration, interaction, and innovation. Most of its practices at the end of the day are common sense approaches, but it overcomes silo thinking, change inertia and accelerate digital flow.

DevOp is the IT management instrument which  brings in a cultural shift to an organization to not only develop but also to maintain the application with continuous changes in place. Devops as a natural consequence of applying agile thinking not only to development but to the whole lifecycle of a service  and solution that has IT-components as central assets. And it’s the great practice to run a digital IT with productivity, agility, and innovation.


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