The age of DevOps
When we renamed the annual Innovate conference "Innovate: The IBM Technical Summit," we did so because software development has become much more than a specialized discipline within an organization's IT department, or systems engineering department -- what the Rational brand has always stood for. We chose the broader phrase "IBM technical summit" because the impact of software development and delivery extends, these days, much farther into the greater concerns of the business.
Like never before, software capability offers businesses competitive strength. We've done the surveys, and have years of data to show how business leaders view technology as one of the most, and lately THE most, important factor in business success. So, this week has been our time to come together and examine what that means. I hope our new Innovate conference to has helped explain the wide array of technology on the minds of business leaders and developers alike -- and helped us all understand the interdependencies within those trends.
The expanding role of the software developer
It's not simply about the development team's tools and practices. Those things remain important. But today, software development and delivery teams also have to understand and directly address the broader needs of the organization they support. At the same time, the "business" can't just throw its latest requirements over the wall and expect magic to emerge downstream.
The most successful businesses that rely on software (and there's increasingly few who don't) know that a true partnership between LOB leaders, developers, testers, and operations teams yields a much more profitable use of software capability. They're making sure that concepts like "agile" don't stop with the development team, but extend outward to the full set of players supporting the pipeline that supports their customers.
IBM's new DevOps story
We're not exactly starting a revolution here. (You know the cliche: "evolution, not revolution.") What is happening has more to do with an enlarged spirit of collaboration, something you've heard us talk about for years, an awareness that the same collaborative interaction within development teams -- analysts, architects, coders, testers, and change management and deployment specialists -- can make a huge difference among teams working for their organization's goals. It's IBM's new DevOps story. And we're sticking with it.
We define DevOps as an enterprise capability for continuous software delivery, which enables clients to seize market opportunities and reduces time to customer feedback.
Using DevOps, organizations become more competitive, more savvy. If you think about the emerging role of the software developer in those kinds of organizations, you see a team that, along with operations, is no longer out of sight in the lower levels of the business planning structure. Instead, you see a team that's part of business discussions, one that has open dialogue with customers who themselves recognize the value of smart, technology professionals. This is what DevOps is all about: not just an elevated status for your professional role (although we hope your business understands the need for it), but also a recipe for winning in the marketplace, with delighted customers and repeated business cycles.
A spirit of collaboration
For those of you who've been with us this week in Florida, whether you're focused on enterprise modernization technology and practices, or business application tools and techniques, or product and systems development and delivery, I suspect you have noticed a common theme in our main stage presentations and in our mini-main tents. That's collaboration.
In a sense, the farther you can extend collaboration within a single creative endeavor, the greater the chances that effort will succeed. When it comes to creating software, it helps to recognize that many distinct teams will ultimately go to work to make that software function as intended. It makes sense to get all of them in the loop sooner rather than later. The sooner you get them involved, the stronger the solution. What a DevOps approach offers is more automation for those teams, more business-level involvement, and faster customer feedback, so you can keep improving. And keep your customers coming back for more.
I look forward to seeing you tonight at Animal Kingdom, and I wish you safe travels tomorrow. See you next year!