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Empowering An Entire Generation of Businesses to Deliver

Chef is surging right now. As we announced yesterday:

  • Total sales last year grew 188 percent over 2012.
  • Our annual recurring revenue quadrupled.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the sales came from Fortune 1000 organizations.
  • European sales grew 400 percent YoY.
  • The open source Chef Community grew more than 200 percent.

I’m so excited to be a part of Chef, our Community, and the DevOps movement. The momentum is tangible. At meet-ups, events, customers sites, you name it. Speed is the new currency in IT and it’s more important than ever – which is one of the main reasons we’re growing like crazy right now.

Moving Fast

Speed means automation, especially as the DevOps movement takes hold and increases the pressure to abandon outdated operation models.

Customers everywhere expect on-demand service. At the same time, competition keeps intensifying because the cloud has evened the playing field in accessing the compute needed to launch and scale a business.

In short, it’s time to shift gears, or get left behind. And automation is key to succeeding in an economy where speed is the ultimate trump card.

Change is Hard

The Industrial Revolution showed technology can perform certain types of work at a rate impossible for humans.

It’s also true that automation can help eliminate time-consuming and error-prone processes, improve customer satisfaction, and save money.

But to automate the right way, companies must re-build and re-design their businesses; that way, they can make the countless number of changes necessary to keep up with customers.

Unfortunately, according to a recent study prepared by Forrester Consulting for Chef, an ingrained fear of change seems to be holding back faster automation in many organizations.

I’m taking a detailed look at our Forrester study in a separate blog series, so for the purposes of this post, I’ll just reference some startling data about change success, or lack thereof. The Forrester study found that more than half the IT organizations surveyed (52%) have unacceptable change success, and only 12% can be considered good.

When you can’t change, service quality suffers – and so does the reputation of IT.

Making things worse, change success is tough to determine. The Chef / Forrester research indicates that 31% of the organizations surveyed don’t know the full impact of the changes being made – a pretty dangerous position.

The reason most organizations are afraid to change is because of this terrible track record. Changes have been painful, so enterprises tend to avoid them, or they try to defer the pain until some future time.

Coding Business  

Still, there’s hope. There are lots of companies successfully using IT automation.

When it comes to keeping thousands of servers running smoothly, for example, Facebook uses on Chef to handle the size of their huge infrastructure.

Chef’s biggest advantage, says Phil Dibowitz, a Facebook systems engineer, is its flexibility in terms of writing configuration changes and managing configuration files:

“There’s no limiting factor. If you make a change, it goes across the world in 30 minutes or less.”

And this, Phil adds, “allows [Facebook] to do way more work with way fewer people.”

Facebook isn’t alone. Adobe, GE, Nordstrom, Riot Games, and many more are all succeeding with Chef.

Looking Ahead

The bottom line is we’re here to help solve your hardest problems. Our mission is to empower an entire generation of businesses to deliver for their customers. It starts with speed, it means lots (and lots) of change, and together with the Chef Community, we’re dedicated to making it happen.

See you all @ #ChefConf.

– Barry

@barry_crist

Barry Crist

Barry Crist has more than 20 years of experience in driving enterprise customer success with open source and DevOps software solutions and is a recognized leader in driving a culture of innovation. Barry joined Chef as CEO in 2013 and has been a leading force behind the company’s business operations, culture and technology innovation.

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