Continuous Automation: Fixing the tension between Dev and Ops

Development blames Ops, Ops blames Development. Following Agile, Lean, and DevOps principles lowers the friction between the functions of these groups. But it takes more to fix the underlying tension that pits these groups against one another. Fix that tension by redefining the role of shared IT organizations into groups focused on developer services. Creating a vertically integrated system centered around continuous delivery resolves that tension by aligning around the same shared objectives.

Speed vs Risk – The Myth

A common organizational problem is the tension between Development and Operations. Development is responsible for delivering value through innovation: deploy changes faster. Operations is responsible for delivering value through stability: reduce risk to the business. Experience teaches us that as we focus on moving faster, there’s an inevitable drop in delivery quality that introduces risk. If we instead focus on maintaining a high degree of quality to minimize risk, that slows down our delivery speed. Resolving the tension between speed and risk is at the core of cultural management patterns such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps (ALDO).

Perception: The tradeoff between Speed & Risk

Companies that adopt continuous automation tooling and ALDO processes break down silos and create teams that are vertically integrated. With vertical integration, everyone works together toward the business objective. Operational teams evolve into developer services teams that create the tools developers need to deliver innovative features quickly.

It’s not a trade off

What industry data shows us about these high-performing IT organizations is that realignment in tandem with ALDO processes allows teams to scale both speed and quality. These high-performers are able to shatter the mythical tradeoff by embracing automation, realigning with vertical integration, and focusing on mitigating risk as the operational gateway to increasing speed. In other words, these teams resolve the tension by redefining IT shared service teams as Developer Services team in service of achieving business objectives through continuous delivery.

Reality: Increase Speed and Lower Risk

Becoming a Developer Services Organization

For instance, a developer services team can create a self-service portal that grants developers the independence to quickly spin up their own pre-configured instances that are verified to comply with all company information security policies. Such portals make development faster, while at the same time decrease risk, because the instances are known quantities that are in sync with operational standards, as shown by executable tests.

Redefining roles with vertical integration

Find out more about how continuous automation tooling can help you resolve the tension between Development and Operations in our white paper: Continuous Automation for the Continuous Enterprise.

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George Miranda

Former Chef Employee