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12 IT Trends for 2012: #3 The IT walls come tumbling down (Agile, continuous delivery and Devops)


moneywall.JPGAs part of the ongoing "top 12 for '12" series on IT management disruptions to watch for in 2012. The third and final of my “social IT” trends, is the need to rethink the IT delivery process by re-imagining the roles of development, QA and operations into something founder Patrick Debois coined DevOps.The Devops topic has already received substantial coverage from both my blog and others. In fact Patrick himself recently tweeted, “2011 was the year that vendors finally caught up with DevOps.” 


 Whether or not you believe that to be true, I do believe that 2012 will be the year that IT leaders will mobilize their teams as they realize the competitive advantage conferred on those organizations that are able to successfully adopt the core and peripheral tenets of DevOps, loosely speaking they are:


  • allowing the developers to specify and deploy infrastructure “as code” (through API calls and meta data) in much the same way they request other resources such as memory (using malloc calls in C for example)  
  • adoption of a continuous deployment model that encourages regular, incremental releases of code changes that are frequently integrated back into a working core/trunk  
  • test driven development and deployment supported by documented requirements, QA & regression suites
  • a system of measures and KPIs that fosters the sustainable adoption of DevOps principals 
  • the automation of all of the above


While I acknowledge I've taken more than a little poetic license with the term DevOps, I do believe that in 2012 large enterprises  will begin to formailze the principals outlined above, this will enable them to improve time-to-market (and hence competitiveness) as well as lower their development and operational costs through the reduction of work-in-progress, greater focus on technical debt and ultimately by tracking and improving the measures that matter.


The impact of this minor revolution in IT delivery will have far reaching implications for CTOs in terms of technology platforms, for HR leaders in terms of rewards systems and for IT/Business analysts in terms of planning and retiring business services - all of which you can expect to hear more about through the year.


I'm concerned that after 20 years I've been doing this too long. Is it just me, or do others feel the winds of change sweeping across IT? 


Photo by gavinandrewstewart -

Paul Muller has a wealth of experience working with CIOs and VPs of IT improve IT performance and business alignment.
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Paul Muller leads the global IT management evangelist team within the Software business at HP. In this role, Muller heads the team responsible for fostering HP’s participation in the IT management community, contributing to and communicating best-practice in helping IT perform better.

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