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Bring on the DevOps, say IT support managers

Time for more DevOps? 'Sometimes the support teams are caught by surprise by changes being pushed into production as everyone else is.'

The vast majority of IT support people say they don't have enough of a connection with the development side, save the post-release cycle. In many cases, they're simply not ready to handle the volume of new releases, fixes or features that are sent out by their development teams. This may be a ripe area for DevOps.

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Photo: CERN Press Office

That's the key takeaway from a new study comissioned by Atlassian with HDI, an association for technical support professionals. The survey finds 73% of IT support teams are dissatisfied with their current level of involvement with development. The research team found that most tech support teams were only involved in development post-release. In fact, 99% of IT professionals report that being unprepared for releases is a challenge to their team.

Limited documentation and few defined standards muddy up the support process. Only 41% actually will share any knowledge between development and IT support teams. "Sometimes the support teams are caught by surprise by changes being pushed into production as everyone else is," claims one survey respondent.

This is an area where DevOps -- the alignment of development cycles with operational releases -- can make a huge impact, the survey report suggests. Already, 21% have adopted DevOps in some areas of operations and development. Those who have adopted DevOps practices see positive impacts, reporting positive impacts on support, including change management cycle time, release management cycle time, IT job satisfaction, and support's ability to help end-users.

"The entire organization could benefit from support's continuous visibility and involvement in the development process from beginning to end," says Jenny Rains, senior research analyst at HDI.."The nature of support's role, working first-hand with end users to resolve technological issues, gives them unique insight into the impact on end-users from any given release, as well as general end-user needs, issues, and expectations."