DevOps on an IT Department??


One of the great horrors on a classic IT is that those who work there will get rid of their job when it comes to discussions about the "go over to the cloud". It has no hardware left behind to take care of, and all updates are installed automatically, of course!

It's definitely a transition to move to a cloud-based environment, but all the competencies that are on your IT Department will be needed even after the end of the year, and perhaps even more so than before, but the thought and working methods will have to change.

My personal opinion has always been that an IT Department is a service organization, whose mission is to enable all the other can work as efficiently as possible. Efficiency is, as we all know, money.

What is DevOps?

A way to start changing the mindset is to look at the philosophy behind the concept of "DevOps". It comes really from software development and, more specifically, from agile development and is based on communication over areas of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the process. It also includes the business solution should support and develop at any time as well as a curiosity and a mentality that "here we solve together." All companies do not keep on with development, but the basic ideas of the DevOps is to introduce in most types of businesses and organizations.

Have everyone in the company this way of thinking so it will be much easier to optimize everyone's efforts, and to do the right things, from every perspective, from the beginning. A solution that does not put into service at the right time, at the right cost and not used are by definition useless, how innovative or revolutionary as it is.

A traditional IT Department must have the aim to be entitled to remain. If you are unable to change their way of thinking, it will not work in the future, and then jobs disappear. But if, for example, an expert in databases are curious and looking to keep up with the new technologies that are being developed, and is interested to hear what developers and users want and need, the experience gained from previous solutions and systems to be used in the best way and right positions requirements that are being developed from scratch. It's more fun to do new instead of just maintaining the old is a bonus …

Teach an old dog to sit …

This may seem obvious, but the fact is that change in mentality and communication across traditional boundaries are among the most difficult type of change to implement. It is easy to get stuck in a rut and falling back in the US-against-them defense when something goes wrong (you have bought the wrong software v.s. your platform is bad). The only way to avoid this is to all learn to communicate and is with all the way, that everyone knows that they have both the right and obligation to constantly look for the best way forward and to ensure that all all the time training in both their own and others ' areas. This does not mean that all must be experts in all areas, but in principle that all have at least some idea of the requirements and issues that can come from other parts of the organization. It is also important that there are dialogues to engage in, not one-way information flow.

If your organization can manage this impact will be huge!

Is there any help?

In addition to the really difficult to change human behavior, there are actually a lot of technical means available. A clear problem that most IT departments grappling with is that it takes a long time from order to delivery of the platform. On the other hand, will order too late in the process (no one is talking about that there is something new in the works) and it's usually long lead times in the Setup and configuration.

Many of the tools that are included with Microsoft's cloud services like Azure Portal and all its subgroups will make things easier. They will go a very long way and speed up the processes related to platforms and environments to make. Other tools that can help are various so-called Orchestration tools (for example Puppet and head) which facilitates further with automation and clearer overview.

For help with the really difficult part, human behaviour, I can actually recommend to hire consultants. It is in most of the consultants ' nature to talk across borders, to take advantage of the resources available and there are also pure DevOps: are not doing other things than this every day. To make use of their skills, at least during a transitional period, is money well invested. The prerequisite is of course that you are open and want to learn.

The brightening future is ours!

I realize that not everyone who today work with IT think it is the funniest thing to change everything in the ground, but if the traditional IT Department can get over it hard in this conversion, the effects that manifest themselves in both business value and in satisfaction of the other organization. We will go from being "geeks in the basement" to be "problemlösarna on IT".

And maybe even get a little Halo?

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