DevOps as big a transformation as IT outsourcing?

Summary:Enterprises are increasingly looking for a few good people who understand both software design and operation.

DevOps will soon be transforming IT departments in a way not seen since outsourcing hit the scene more than a decade ago.

That's the prediction of Steve Shah of NetScaler, who sees DevOps methodologies emerging in IT shops in which outsourced operations have been brought back in-house. In essence, he writes in a recent InformationWeek post, "DevOps is the new outsourcing."

DevOps brings developers -- who focus on innovation and tend to thrive in less structured environments -- in line with operations teams who need to create, enforce and work in highly structured, scheduled ways.  If organizations are to bring out new software iterations in a rapid-fire way in line with what the business needs, developers and operations teams need to work in unison.

There will be a greater focus on DevOps as IT projects are increasingly "insourced," Shah relates. There are many factors driving insourcing, including the need for better control, greater security and more quality, he adds. Another factor that is shifting the IT outsourcing equation is the rise of cloud services -- outsourcing is breaking down from huge mega-contracts to micro-contracts with cloud services providers.

Instead of maintaining large and separate development and operations staffs, CIOs and CFOs will increasingly adopt the idea of having fewer managers and professionals who better understand both sides of software implementations. As Shah puts it, IT leaders may be looking for "just a few people with a higher-level understanding of business needs and the insight to convert ideas into automation scripts."

Many routine IT operations and development cycles are being automated, but the demand will be great for IT managers and professionals who understand the business value of technology. Increasingly, IT managers and professionals are being thrust into roles in which they partner with the business to identify and oversee the best technology solutions for the opportunities or challenges at hand. But they won't necessarily be the hands-on creators or coders of those solutions. 

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

Topics: IT Priorities, Enterprise Software, Software Development

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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