DevOps. It seems to have become everyone’s favourite buzzword. There’s a reason for that though.  According to Gartner, it’s growing so fast that a quarter of all Global 2000 organisations will deploy it by the end of this year.

[easy-tweet tweet=”#DevOps is more about culture than tools and technology” user=”comparethecloud” hashtags=”cloud, IT”]

So what exactly is DevOps?

As Tony Bradley explains, “DevOps is more about culture than tools and technology. A group of traditional developers and IT engineers who understand and embrace DevOps culture can be successful, whereas a team of DevOps experts experienced with the associated DevOps tools that don’t accept and adapt to the cooperative, collaborative nature of the DevOps culture is likely doomed to failure.”

At the heart of DevOps are four crucial elements: speed, quality, control and cost. Speed is fundamental to competitive execution and market positioning. Quality is vital to successful implementation and long-term viability. Control, the command of data use, security, access and process is crucial to safe operations. And cost as we all know is a key element of nearly all business decisions.

At the heart of DevOps are four crucial elements: speed, quality, control and cost

While it is a common assumption that implementing DevOps is a primarily technical process, we see that the cultural aspects and adjustments are equally as important. Every DevOps team needs to possess certain traits in order to successfully tackle this cultural shift.

Communications = key

Until recently, IT professionals had strictly defined roles and responsibilities that allowed them to work independently rather than collaboratively. As a result, communication skills weren’t a priority for when putting together an IT team.

However, as rapid deployment and streamlined processes have emerged, communication has become key to making smooth transitions from one phase of the project to the next. Enforcing good communication can lead to better results in a shorter amount of time and ultimately helps organisations save money.

Is there an ‘i’ in team?

[easy-tweet tweet=”Flexibility is key to effectively implementing a #DevOps methodology in an organisation” user=”comparethecloud”]

Flexibility is key to effectively implementing a DevOps methodology in an organisation. For those jumping on the DevOps bandwagon, the phrase “it’s not my job” shouldn’t be considered. While it’s common for organisations to experience a clash between development and operations teams when first implementing a DevOps strategy, successful interdepartmental integration requires collaboration in order for the team to reach their goal of satisfying the needs of the business.

Think of implementing DevOps as working with a team of teams. While each team brings different skills to the table, it is important for all teams to support each other to deliver the most powerful results as effectively and quickly as possible.

Bring on the change

We’ve all heard the saying that the only constant in life is change, whether it involves something as small as adjusting our daily commute or as big as a new career. And like everything else, the implementation of DevOps brings about a large cultural shift for an organisation.

DevOps brings about a large cultural shift for an organisation

Gartner analyst George Spafford recommends implementing a cultural change programme to make team members aware of the mutual goal. To begin, he encourages developing a small pilot plan to test the waters initially by deploying tests and taking careful note of what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to know your team and what works best to motivate the group to keep them positive and interested. Laying out such a road map and embracing the cultural change will result in a more focused team that will optimise the outcome.

Don’t fear failure

If you’ve been doing your DevOps research, you’ll know that there are just about as many articles on DevOps failures as there are successes. To be on a DevOps team you need to accept that failures can happen, but you can’t fear it. According to a Gartner study, 75% of enterprise IT departments will have tried to create a bimodal capacity by 2018. However, less than 50% of them will reap the benefits that new methodologies like DevOps promise. Accepting to fail and being patient is crucial for a team to get the most out of their DevOps efforts.

Maintain the enthusiasm

[easy-tweet tweet=”#DevOps is here and it’s the next big thing. You’re probably getting tired of hearing that by now!”]

DevOps is here and it’s the next big thing. You’re probably getting tired of hearing that by now. A successful DevOps team needs people that want to make a difference with the excitement to drive a significant business transformation. This involves the willingness to listen to customer feedback and adjust accordingly. Since customers are the main driver on continual software updates and releases, it is crucial to be interested in what they have to say and be more than willing to be accommodating. There will be many highs and lows, and despite processes breaking and things not going according to plan, people involved in DevOps need to maintain continuous enthusiasm for the journey ahead of them.

With these five traits, your team will be able to successfully implement a DevOps strategy and navigate the minefield of cultural change that comes along with it.

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Ash Ashutosh, CEO, Actifio
Ash Ashutosh brings more than 25 years of storage industry and entrepreneurship experience to his role of CEO at Actifio. Ashutosh is a recognized leader and architect in the storage industry where he has spearheaded several major industry initiatives, including iSCSI and storage virtualization, and led the authoring of numerous storage industry standards. Ashutosh was most recently a Partner with Greylock Partners where he focused on making investments in enterprise IT companies. Prior to Greylock, he was Vice President and Chief Technologist for HP Storage.
Ashutosh founded and led AppIQ, a market leader of Storage Resource Management (SRM) solutions, which was acquired by HP in 2005. He was also the founder of Serano Systems, a Fibre Channel controller solutions provider, acquired by Vitesse Semiconductor in 1999. Prior to Serano, Ashutosh was Senior Vice President at StorageNetworks, the industry’s first Storage Service Provider. He previously worked as an architect and engineer at LSI and Intergraph. Ashutosh remains an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and is an advisor and board member for several commercial and non-profit organizations. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Penn State University.