Discover PerformanceHP Software's community for IT leaders // January 2013
Gartner: DevOps is poised to improve your status quo
The DevOps movement has gained ground, the analyst firm finds, with many IT organizations deciding that now’s the time to change.
IT organizations are in a bind, and it’s one they created themselves. Years of attempts at simplification have had the opposite and unintended effect of creating complex processes and tools that mire IT and applications organizations today. In many organizations, that complexity has two unfortunate results: intra-organizational conflict, and poor IT service delivery. Ops organizations say apps leaves them out of important IT architectural and business decisions, but forces those decisions—such as service levels—on them anyway. And the dev team’s perspective on operations is similarly strained.
Something has to give, and it won’t be the pressures that created these conditions in the first place. The general macroeconomic conditions that set these wheels in motion—the need to do more with less, and to do it ever faster and better—are here to stay. The question now is how to address these problems.
At the recent Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, attendees answered questions about the state of IT, and their responses pointed to DevOps as a possible way for IT organizations to get out of this bind. Even more surprising, it seems that many organizations are already starting to experiment with it.
Making the leap
Though the concept of DevOps is still somewhat ambiguous, a significant number of organizations said they are in some phase of experimenting with it. DevOps is purposefully non-prescriptive in nature, instead providing philosophical "guardrails" around IT service delivery—without demanding dogmatic implementation. Thus, almost one-quarter of the respondents said they are actually implementing DevOps even though there is no "recipe" to follow.
Still, it seems DevOps—which entails some pretty big and unfamiliar changes—is something that many individuals and groups have a hard time accepting. In any organization, there’s a significant vested interest in the status quo. And the fact that there is no playbook to follow seems to be holding some organizations back, but that resistance will likely decrease as concepts of what DevOps looks like crystallize. (See our recent interviews with DevOps leaders Damon Edwards and Gene Kim, for a start.)
The responses provide some clues as to how best to approach a program centered around DevOps, including first steps, necessary baselines to establish, metrics, incentives, how apps and ops should collaborate using technology, tools, and common sense.
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