2015: the year to light a fire under DevOps

DevOps will require a lot of sales work to get the right parts of enterprise on board.

DevOps may seem to be a logical approach to enhancing and accelerating enterprises' IT delivery capabilities, but it's going to take some convincing to put new practices into place. Development shops and operations centers tend to be of two different minds, often using different tools.

DevOps proponents will be busy over the coming year working to bring these two worlds together -- as well as other parts of the enterprise as well. There's a real urgency to making this happen. The 2014 Puppet Labs survey of 9,500 IT professionals finds a direct link between continuous software delivery and organizational performance. "As IT performance increases, profitability, market shareand productivity also increase. IT is a competitive advantage, not just a utility, and it's more critical now than ever to invest in IT performance."

Practical advice for making DevOps a reality in 2015 is provided by Trevor Parsons, chief scientist and co-founder at Logentries, who recently spelled out key points on what it will take to get DevOps moving in one's enterprise:

Build a DevOps culture. DevOps needs the support of operations. "Until operations can identify how to embrace the new mentality of culture-fostering activities into its daily regimen, there is no way to help this aspect of DevOps grow," Parsons says. The Puppet report echoes the importance of culture, noting that "the cultural practices and norms that characterize high-trust organizations -- good information flow, cross-functional collaboration, shared responsibilities, learning from failures and encouragementof new ideas -- are the same as those at the heart of DevOps."

Help users understand that thorny IT issues cannot be solved with an "app." End-users have been spoiled by the consumer side of IT - they're used to pulling down, on a moments' notice, whatever tools and apps they need to fix the problem at hand. "Business users believe everything can be solved with an app, but that is often untrue," Parsons says. Tools and apps for the enterprise need to be "properly integrated to back-end systems as part of the cohesive enterprise infrastructure," he says. Plus, "when it comes to DevOps tooling and configuration management, there is still a lot of confusion as to which tools do what, and how they play with each other - if it all."

Bring more automation to the process. "Network engineers - if they are applying automation at all - are either doing ad-hoc scripting or tap a dedicated software engineering team to build homegrown systems for their use," says Parsons. As a result, many of today's enterprises are intricate webs of siloed, but interdependent, sub-networks.

Point IT budgets toward DevOps. Funding for tools, training and technology, of course, may be the stickiest challenge of all, since budgets are anchored to the interests of department heads. "The gap between the network engineering teams that need the tools and the decision makers who pay for them is widening," Parsons says.

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

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