Welcome to the Enterprise DevOps Blog
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Delivering quality software on-time and on-target is hard. With so many stakeholders involved, it's no wonder. Each has different perspectives, cultures, languages, priorities, and work cadences. Since changes can cause breakage, bureaucracy flourishes which limits the ability of the business to compete and meet the needs of their customers.
Of course this is something of a caricature, but it does highlight one of the key problems in software delivery: the existing organizational silos, processes, and technologies often do more to keep the stakeholders apart than to foster collaboration. To put it mildly, there are tremendous opportunities for improvement in the world of enterprise software delivery. Cycle times run way too long; defects due to misconfigured infrastructure and middleware waste time, money and effort; developers have a hard time diagnosing and fixing production errors because they can’t get access to similarly configured systems; production teams can’t depend on build quality, etc.
Practices such as iterative and agile software development primarily focused on the gap between the first two stakeholder groups – the business and the development teams. Frequent iterations, feedback from business stakeholders early and often, and a focus on quality all help teams communicate and collaborate towards a common outcome: working software that provides business value. All too often, the collaboration does not include the operations teams. Enter DevOps. DevOps is an emerging set of principles and practices aimed at the second gap – between development and operations. Conceptually, DevOps extends the practices of agile to include the deployment and management phases of the lifecycle.
As we’ve already discussed, a disciplined approach to DevOps is critical for enterprises to successfully bridge this gap -- at least as critical as a disciplined approach to agile development is. Practices such as continuous build, test, integration, and delivery can help organizations move more quickly – but those need to be coupled with appropriate governance, versioning, and quality checks. Malleable cloud infrastructure lets us easily stand up new infrastructure – but that infrastructure needs to be designed in collaboration between development and operations to ensure that it meets everyone’s objectives. In general, we need to combine technologies and practices that encourage speed with mechanisms that increase visibility and reduce risk. That is Enterprise DevOps.
With announcements such as our forthcoming Smart Cloud Continuous Delivery beta, IBM is starting to pay much more attention to the emerging DevOps movement. In this blog, members of the IBM DevOps community will share our latest thinking on DevOps and how it can be applied at enterprise scale. The focus will not be on products. We will try to talk equally about the changes in people, process, and technology that are necessary to help businesses accelerate their software delivery lifecycle. We look forward to comments and feedback from anyone interested in this topic – customers, business partners, analysts, and even competitors. We hope this blog becomes an interesting forum for conversation about the emerging topic of Enterprise DevOps.