“DevOps can turn your IT Operations into a sustainable competitive advantage for your company” says Damon Edwards on dev2ops.org. Edwards posits that most attention to the effect of DevOps exists within the walls of IT and few are looking at results across the organization. In his blog, he explains the current focus within the DevOps community, the business realities that exist as obstacles, and how DevOps can transform IT Operations into a strategic edge.
Technology alone cannot provide a competitive advantage
“Technology’s potential for differentiating one company from the pack – it’s strategic potential – inexorably declines as it becomes accessible and affordable to all” -Nicholas G. Carr, ’IT Doesn’t Matter’
The idea of technology being less and less of a competitive differentiator isn’t a new one. But by its very nature the big shift to online business has only hastened this decline in potential for differentiation.
Your customers are now coming to you via standard interfaces (browser or mobile app store) that connect to you via a standard protocol (http).
So by definition, your business has aligned itself behind a business channel where the point of transaction with your customers is on a level playing field with any of your competitors.
DevOps is an essential tool for turning IT into a competitive advantage
At it’s most fundamental level, DevOps is about breaking down silos and removing bottlenecks and risks that screw up an organization’s Development to Operations delivery lifecycle. The goal is to enable change to flow quickly and reliably from specification through to running features in a customer-facing environment.
It’s no coincidence that the common illustration for this Development to Operations lifecycle looks a lot like the innovation lifecycle that was previously discussed. By using DevOps ideas to remove the bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and risks from the Development to Operations lifecycle you are directly improving the speed and quality of the innovation lifecycle.
If the mandate of your business is to find competitive advantage through sustained innovation, IT’s mandate must be to provide the business with a fast moving, low friction, high quality lifecycle that enables that innovation advantage. How will you know when you have it moving fast enough? When the Development to Operations lifecycle is no longer the rate limiting step of the company.
Your goal must be to get to the point where you can tell the business “as fast you can tell us what you want and developers can code it, the changes will be live in a customer facing environment giving you direct feedback. And we can can do this with better quality and reliability than you are getting today.”
When you’ve reached that point with your operational capabilities, you will have successfully turned your IT operations into a strategic weapon that gives your company a sustainable advantage over it’s competitors.
This is only a small selection of Edward’s original article. Click here to read the full article and learn how you can embrace the competitive advantage offered by DevOps.