Monday at Innovate 2013
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Dear development colleagues,
And I do mean colleagues. I began my career as a developer, and I spent lots of time sorting through the challenges of getting requirements right, meeting target deadlines, and dealing with customer expectations. That was only a few years ago, and yet the challenges you face today are already different at a detail level, just as they will be different next year.
We can probably count on this: the role of software development will remain one of the most challenging within the interconnected web of business computing disciplines. Software development requires tremendous creativity, agility, and enough structure to keep an organization's goals aligned with its technical underpinnings. No organization gets this right 100% of the time. But I believe that the right tools and approach to software development cycles can improve any team's ability to deliver.
With this morning's product announcements at the Innovate 2013 conference in Florida, IBM has taken a big step in the direction of faster, more accurate delivery of what you and your software customers need to get things right. Or as we've been saying at the Innovate conference, "to create great things."
DevOps is not just a better way to hand off development team artifacts, through automation, to operations teams for deployment. It's a new way to fold in the needs of the larger organization, which includes the business requirements at the top of your organization's food chain as well as the customers you work to satisfy. We believe that your role as a developer -- as part of the decision-making that takes place within that cycle of planning, development, and delivery -- is taking shape as a more visible stakeholder role. We believe that DevOps is an approach to software development and delivery that recognizes the developer as an equal player in that cycle. If you're part of an IT organization, I think you'll benefit from adopting the DevOps approach that today's announcements support.
The three imperatives of product and systems delivery
If you're part of a product and systems organization working to build the next generation of smarter products, you'll want to leran more about what today's announcements can do for your team in the way of traceability, integration of the eingineering disciplines, and information access. You can read more abou tthese concepts in the new white paper for product and systems teams, called "Three imperatives for advancing product and systems development." I'll have more to say about our products and systems announcements in a later blog post.DevOps adoption paths and practices
I know personally what it can feel like for a developer and her development team to try new things. But when it comes to DevOps -- and given the fact that you're here at Innovate, or at least reading this blog -- it's likely that you're part way there already. Here's what will be familiar to you as you explore today's announcements: The discipline and tools expertise you've already developed are all part of a DevOps approach. You can help your team adopt a DevOps approach fairly quickly, and start realizing the benefits of continuous software delivery. What's new is that we're making it easier for you to get to where your expertise can shine.
We've broken our DevOps-related announcements into "adoption paths," so you can see where your own immediate needs lie within the larger solution. You can read more about all this in various places -- the press release, the developerWorks article that will appear in a day or so, and in the external media. But the best place to start is probably the new white paper we've just published, called "DevOps: The IBM approach." Have a read, and ask your team to read as well.
You know, in the most successful companies we work with, software development teams are definitely playing a greater role in the IT decision-making process, as businesses are finding that closer collaboration with customers yields faster requirements definition and faster time to value for their IT investments. Just last year (2012), IBM's Institute for Business Value found that business leaders rank "technology" as the number one factor that will impact their companies' ability to perform, and in a new IBV survey released this February (2013), a majority of executives noted software development as critical to their organization's success.
We want to be part of your equation as you rely on technology to engage your own customers more effectively, because we believe you can outperform your competitors by huge percentages... with an enterprise capability for continuous delivery. We think that will enable you to seize market opportunities and reduce time to feedback from your customers. Our name for this capability is DevOps, and we think it can help you unite your customers, business leaders, as well as your development and operations teams in a continuous loop of feedback and improvements that balances quality, cost, and speed for greatly improved business performance.
Yes, that last phrase I stole from the boilerplate. Not just because I think it sounds good, but because it accurately describes how a DevOps approach to software development and delivery can make a big difference in the power your team has to change the course of your business or organization.
I look forward to hearing from you.