DevOps – learn from the experts, including your peers

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By Erwin Anderson-Smith

Often a new idea emerges in the marketplace that generates a lot of buzz but just as many questions.  It leads us each to wonder is the hype for real?  Are the benefits concrete?  And, if the answers to these questions are “yes,” then we ask how we’ll know when it’s time to embrace the innovation so we’re not left behind? 

DevOps is one such innovation gaining widespread attention.  So, I did some digging.  I spoke with experts here at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and at partner PwC as well as listened to customers.  I’m sharing what I heard in case you’ve had these questions, too.  Below are the highlights.

DevOps is not a product, solution or specific methodology.  Rather DevOps is a movement focused on bridging the existing disconnects in IT operating models as well as in IT cultures and motivations.  DevOps seeks to change the conversation from “OR” to “AND”:  Development teams continuously introducing new features and capabilities AND Operations teams continuously keeping all systems up.  Moreover, that “AND” extends beyond bringing development and operations together to also bring together all other key stakeholders, such as business planning teams, financial planning teams and so forth.  Thus, DevOps is an approach inclusive of all pertinent stakeholders that emphasizes rapid, iterative development and deployment of applications to better react to and meet customer needs, whether internal or external customers.

If you can answer “yes” to any of the pain points below, DevOps is worthy of further exploration:

  1. Slow time to market: Does your organization have application release cycles that are longer than your business demands?
  2. Poor user experience: Do you have concerns about applications quality, especially if applications release cycles are accelerated?
  3. Poor predictability: Do you lack end-to-end visibility, making it difficult to truly predict when new software release will be available?
  4. High costs: Does your organization suffer under poor resource utilization and rework cycles, all while you’re expected to do more with less and deliver high-quality applications faster?
  5. Transition to experience economy: Is IT sufficiently equipped to help your organization make the business model shift to user experience centric, inclusive of speed to market for the applications at the heart of that shift?

DevOps in action is not a one-size-fits-all journey, and much can be learned from enterprises’ adoption of DevOps. Adobe is one such organization that graciously shared its detailed DevOps learning.  For openers, Adobe shared its advice on starting the DevOps journey:  1. Start with a purpose; 2. Take a systematic view of your transformation; and 3. Embed the capacity for collaborative leadership and learning within your organization.  Adobe IT leadership continued to share by providing examples of how the company has taken these three principles and applied them on their journey.

…Wait, rather than listen to me tell what Adobe shared, take the time to listen directly. If you’re attending HPE Discover 2016 Las Vegas, attend session BB10126, Five steps to DevOps success, on Wednesday, June 8th at 4:00 p.m.  If you’re unable to attend that session with leaders from Adobe, HPE and partner PwC, then join either BB9822 or DF9825, both entitled Adobe’s IT Journey to build a hybrid infrastructure and a digital platform, on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., respectively, where members of the PwC team will share the case study.

And, if you’re not attending HPE Discover this year, then stay tuned to where the full video of the Five Steps session will be posted shortly after Discover concludes.  Also, at any time, feel free to reach out to the HPE & PwC Alliance team, partners with Adobe on its DevOps initiative, by emailing  

My quest for the facts behind DevOps made it apparent the knowledge of experts and the experiences of peers can make any DevOps journey a much easier one.  I’ll be at the Adobe sessions above to listen again.  If you’re thinking about DevOps for your organization now or at any time in the coming year, I welcome you to join!

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