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This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Jan 08, 2013 — Enterprise Agile Planning expert

A DevOps IT wish list for CIO’s in 2013…

Enterprise Agile Planning

CollabNet is engaged in IT Development conversations globally and is quickly emerging as a leading influencer and enabler for hybrid Enterprise IT strategies, like DevOps, and supports…

  • Blended processes and tool-chains across Development & Operations, (Tweet This!)
  • Clouds (private & public), on-premise systems and globally distributed data-centers, (Tweet This!)
  • Local employees, contracted consultants & global outsource development teams. (Tweet This!)

While modern IT transformation efforts need to address various IT culture, IT process and Technology issues, DevOps provides organizations the opportunity to re-think IT.  The DevOps model allows organizations to adopt and fully leverage modern innovations and collaborative practices across the historically siloed IT landscape.  It provides IT Operations with better support strategies that leverage coding languages, development tools and automated deployment practices; and provide IT Development teams with better visibility, feedback-loops and collaborative “quick-fix” tools into operational environments.

This new IT model is adaptive enough to:

A)     Address an organization’s legacy design obligations with new innovative environments

B)     Show clear business value for the adoption of technologies, tools, and integrations

C)     Provide measurable IT cost and efficiency benefits of IT practices

D)     Dramatically increase global collaboration, knowledge-sharing, problem-solving and staff networking

E)      Enable and protect the creation of unique and differentiating IP for your organization

Heading into 2013 I wanted to propose a practical top-10 list for CIO’s to consider for their IT organizations. This is a list of things IT to promote businesses-growth and decrease IT costs in light of a DevOps conversation. DevOps provides a new working IT-model, that can assess the IT effort-to-business value and help align IT activities with corporate strategies.

Why did I create the list? CIO’s and IT executives often sitting in the “IT forest” surrounded by urgent issues (the trees in front of them), rarely get the opportunity to step-back and look at the IT forest they live in.  The list provides some practical ideas to help IT transition from a cost-center into a business partner.

The Practical CIO’s list for optimizing IT…

1)      Treat IT like a single organization – Many IT organizations have silos to address the “historic” IT complexities and manage the resources for the hand-offs and support of major projects.  Adopting (smaller) Agile practices and leverage (blended) DevOps models will increase IT efficiencies and get cross-discipline teams to work together, to simplify environments and better coordinate processes.


2)      Expand the definition and role of IT assets – IT asset management has played a strategic best-practice role in the past for IT operations.  As IT blends efforts, consolidates it’s resources, and leverages global standardization, it creates an opportunity to be more pro-active in managing the deployment of the faster-pace of (Agile) micro-Apps, with more automation controls (Deployment as “version-controlled” Code), better visibility to target environments (Infrastructure as Code), and deep visibility into “real-user performance” data, and can help influence of future developer code-reuse decisions.


3)      Avoid the use of Insiders, Super-heroes, Good-old-boy clubs and “Git-er-done specialist” – As IT organizations invest in “improved systems, processes, data-sharing and standards” you will find it easier to resist the use of IT magicians and power-groups that Band-Aid issues with little documentation, collaboration or regard for long-term business impacts.


4)      Reward Team Collaboration – Historically, IT organizations did not reward cross-discipline knowledge-sharing and collaborative IT efforts. IT organizations need to nurture a culture that embraces centralized “feedback-loops” across the organization, down-play the need for silos, and limit the high-impact IT decisions made in isolation. Reward “IT team success” for “global sharing” and leveraging scalable processes, activity transparency and open decision-making.


5)      More corporate-owned Social Tools – Individual IT members need to reduce the number of standalone personal social and mobile apps required to do their job.  Organizations need to expand and incorporate these technologies and tools in to existing processes to further drive collaboration, streamline business processes, promote innovation, and make it easier for ad-hoc incorporation into centralized knowledge-sharing strategies.


6)      More IT re-use and standardization – As IT environments become more predictable and collaborative, you should see an improvement in service quality, and a reduction of the time spent on “urgent-unplanned” support activities. Teams should find more time for “higher-value” contributions.  Be sure to create “re-use strategies” for the (sometimes small) strategic assets (promote the  concept of “best-code” for common functions, unique Automation workflows, etc.) they could become strategic differentiation, and/or unique IP, for the organization.


7)      More IT cross-discipline Process Automation – IT’s wide-spread adoption of Automation has been responsible for huge reductions in various IT siloes (reducing the number of manual activities, error prone functions and performance degrading adjustments).  Cross-discipline Automation (especially automated deployments from Dev to Ops) should be front and center.  Try to avoid the “silo ownership” and “territorial control” issues that have limited the cross-discipline IT automation benefits in the past.


8)      Holistic mobility strategies – Mobility as “the enterprise user productivity platform” with strategies to enable users “and” protect corporate assets.  To be clear, don’t focus on individual “mobile Apps” but embrace BYOD and create strategies for “ALL” the tools to make business users successful. Operations may sometimes need to be involved in selecting optimal Code languages and tools to keep costs low.  A holistic approach to a mobile strategy needs to be addressed by IT (Dev & Ops) and the business, to ensure a “cost-effective and sustainable” productivity gain.


9)      More Self-Service and more flexibility – As enterprise IT teams embrace the benefits of mobile and web, IT needs to incorporate strategies to improve service quality and enable users with more just-in-time self-service and self-healing options.  IT needs to actively encourage adoption as part of their success matrix. And IT professionals also need to be included in the deployment of self-service/self-provisioning/self-healing service strategies so they too can be more productive.


10)  Hybrid end-point / Client strategies – While Cloud, big-data and data center tools get a lot of attention; remember business productivity and the client experience are where you measure IT success. IT strategies need to address the growing need for combinations of PC’s, virtual desktops (VDI), tablets and smart phones across the enterprise to help businesses maximize productivity.

IT leaders need to be clear about the vision and initiatives that drive IT budgets, IT projects and the activities of their IT teams.  Today’s IT organizations have the opportunity to embraces low-risk, faster-moving, smaller-projects, with more standards, better policy-driven controls, and optimized automation that can reduce complexity and costs from older generations of IT.   But IT leaders need to encourage teams to collaborate and reward them for embracing these innovative changes.

CollabNet would be happy to connect you with the success stories of real-world organizations that have already started down this path to a new IT model.  You can get more information about DevOps and Enterprise Cloud Development at www.Collab.Net/ECD


Paul Peissner, Director, Business Development, CollabNet

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