Do your DevOps teams run into conflicts with the Service Integration Function? Is IT Operations unimpressed by the low level of control within DevOps while the DevOps teams are frustrated by the slowness of IT Operations? Well, you are not alone.

Looking at the megatrends of the new millennium, there are a wide range of new opportunities evolving through new technology in the era of digitalization. And the pace is picking up continuously why the need for speed, agility and operational efficiency in any IT organization becomes more and more critical. At the same time, the need for robustness, stability and continuity is equally important and challenging while moving towards a more externally sourced setup, using multiple suppliers for best-of-breed service delivery.

There has always been a gap between Development and Operations in most organizations. Different cultures and way-of-working and the two worlds only met when handing over a solution at the release of a major project. As agile methods emerged within Development, the need for closer and more frequent interaction between the two worlds were required. The idea of setting up joint teams to handle this gap was formed, which we call DevOps. However, it can be a challenging task to merge different cultures and align the two worlds. There are many examples of Development teams simply starting to perform Operational tasks without aligning with the Operations organization or that the Operations side had challenges in aligning their robust, control oriented setup towards a more agile approach.

There are also other challenges, e.g. adhering to requirements for segregation of duties between development and production or misconceptions like “Operations will not be needed anymore and we can retire the operational processes”. In addition, the complexity increases when external service providers are involved in both application development and as key players in service provision and support.

So, in succeeding in combining these two worlds, there are a few key things to consider and address:

  • DevOps is a joint venture between Development and Operations, it will not succeed if it is a one-sided effort
  • Acknowledge that there are different cultures, methods and terminology which may cause misunderstandings and conflicts. Make sure to align them and adopt a joint way of working and managing change of behaviors
  • Development and operations have different goals and targets, these need to be aligned and joint targets to be set
  • Define which operational responsibilities will be transferred to the DevOps teams and acknowledge that there are a range of activities and responsibilities remaining within Operations (of which some might be contractually assigned to external service providers)
  • Ensure processes are aligned to handle incidents, problems and service request and how fixes are brought into the team backlog e.g., through integration with Service Management tools
  • Change & Release process need to be aligned to manage sprint-based changes and releases. E.g. consider having low-risk changes to be approved by the Ops representative in the DevOps team and only bring more complex (risky) changes to the Change Advisory Board
  • Automation is key for increased agility while maintaining the requirements for stability and continuity

These are of course only a few samples, but by acknowledging these, the chance of success in such an endeavor will increase.

Would like to know more about how you can up the cooperation between your DevOps and SIAM teams? Send us an email with your inquiry and we will get back to you!

Author: Christian Bark, Business Technology Principal at Sofigate

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