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DevOps is the Missing Piece for Businesses that Demand Change

Feb. 27, 2018
Abbey Wiltse and Nasser El-Batal


If you are involved in development projects, managing releases or working to keep operations running, you are well positioned to leverage the knowledge of DevOps. Are you a developer trying to keep pace with business demand for innovative solutions? Or are you in IT Operations—dealing as best you can with the technical backlog of “fixes,” but unable to get out of firefighting mode? DevOps works to address these real-life challenges. It’s also an area where CIOs recognize there’s a large skill gap for DevOps professionals. This white paper will bring you up to speed on what DevOps is, how it can help IT deliver value to the business, and position the IT organization to keep up with business demand for change.


What is DevOps?

Like-minded individuals started DevOps back in 2009, with the first DevOps Days conference held in Ghent, Belgium. A groundswell movement then started, and many “best-of-breed” vendors came to market with DevOps enabling technology, such as Puppet, Jenkins, and Chef. With Gartner’s recognition of DevOps in 2011, many in IT started to take notice of the early DevOps adopters, such as Netflix and Etsy, and the large software vendors (IBM, HP, etc.) also entered their products into the DevOps market space. DevOps Days are now held globally and formal certification programs are in place to support the new skillsets required to support an organization through a DevOps adoption initiative.

Based on the nature of DevOps as a grassroots movement, there are currently many different definitions for DevOps. There is not standard best practice or body of knowledge in place today for DevOps, though there are plenty of good practice examples of the DevOps principles working to increase IT workflow and to quickly deploy well-tested features into the production environment.

DevOps Growth from Lean, Agile Scrum and IT Service Management

Building upon the IT best practices of Lean, Agile Scrum and IT Service Management, DevOps adds that “missing” layer to tie together the service lifecycle workflow across Development and IT Operations, while leveraging the latest in automation technology.

Just as there is no formal body of knowledge for DevOps, there is no one definition for this term. DevOps be described as a philosophy that breaks down barriers between IT Operations and Development through collaboration and communication. DevOps utilizes automation where possible to ensure rapid and frequent releases of quality software to meet business demand.

One big cultural change that underpins the DevOps approach is based around a “fail-fast / fail-often and learn” attitude. This involves creating a high-trust, blameless working environment within IT, with a focus on continual learning and proactive management to identify and eliminate delivery issues before they occur.

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