To make IT 'agile,' devops is not enough

Devops aims to heal the often bitter divide between developers and operations, but delivering more and better solutions faster demands an enterprise-wide commitment

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Seeing the bigger picture

So if devops alone cannot drive agility in a large, complex organization, what can? As with metrics -- where you must measure what matters, not simply what is measurable -- to drive agility, you need to focus your efforts on where you can get the most business value from time to market rather than where agility is easiest to create.

Start with the biggest business need for improved time to market. Think in terms of customer requirements and work backward. Get creative with technical design, process design, and organizational design.

Very likely, in order to become more agile, you will need to change your technical framework to make it flexible enough to support an agile delivery model. Agility is not just about process; it's about people and technology. Agile means getting out of the box and figuring out how to impart value to your stakeholders as quickly as possible. This requires setting aside historical software development lifecycle models where appropriate. In so doing, of course, you can't afford to neglect quality and sustainability in what is being delivered.

Devops started because operations and development staffers recognized that their organizational model was not working. The basic idea is worthy. But despite marketers' efforts to adopt the term, devops is not a magic pill to cure all of our organizational ills.

Just as with weight loss, only hard work and perseverance can win out in the end. In order to free our organizations of the extra pounds of siloed thinking, which bog them down as they attempt to be agile, we must fundamentally change the ways in which we operate and do our own hard work as leaders. We have to align our organizations around the unified purpose of quality, sustainability, and time to market.

Please join me in banishing siloed IT to the history books. Together we can create far greater value for the business much faster -- and make execution much easier and more fulfilling for our employees. The way to achieve this is by exploiting our most powerful and influential tool: our leadership

This article, "To make IT 'agile,' devops is not enough," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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