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Plutora Blog - Release Management, Test Environment Management

Connecting DevOps to the Business at DevOps Summit New York

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devops-summitThis week we’re attending the Sys-con DevOps Summit in New York City.  It’s a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery. 

But, even with the energy behind DevOps there’s something missing from the movement.  For all the talk of deployment automation, continuous integration, and cloud infrastructure I’m still not seeing an adequate roadmap for how DevOps aligns with the larger organization. DevOps is about delivering software faster, but there’s more to the story than new tools and techniques for developers and operations.

Connecting DevOps to the Business

At the Plutora booth, we’re talking to a lot of people interested in figuring out how DevOps affects project management, quality assurance, and environment management at very large corporations.  We’re also talking to people who are looking for ways to give the CIOs insight into the progress made with DevOps.  DevOps isn’t just about Chef and Puppet and Jenkins, and while those are valuable tools that enable agility, tools and techniques are only part of the solution.  We have to give DevOps practitioners the vocabulary to communicate with the business about value streams and portfolio risk. 

That’s what we’ve been trying to do this week – bridge the gap between DevOps as a collection of tools and practices and relate these activities to the business it supports. 

An Illustration of this Disconnect

I participated in a panel session about the current state of DevOps.   The discussion covered a lot of ground, and at one point one of my fellow panelists said something that made me appreciate this disconnect.  The panel was discussing the challenges of adopting DevOps and he made a comment along the lines of “if your people can’t adopt DevOps practices, just find new people.”

This is unrealistic.

At a large enterprise you can have thousands of developers and operations professionals across several departments. An enterprise is a mixed bag of legacy systems that have been running for years (or even decades) and newer systems using the latest technologies.  You can’t expect a large company to “just replace” an entire department just because they can’t adapt to the latest tools and techniques.  Instead, you need to use a tool like Plutora that can support more agile projects using DevOps alongside legacy projects that are not ready to jump on the deployment automation, continuous integration train in a week.  DevOps should be building bridges to the existing business not burning them down.

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