Tom Peruzzi's thoughts on digital, innovation, IT and operations

Operations Strategy

Posted in general failures by opstakes on December 29, 2012

to operate or not to operate. If you believe in Henry Mintzberg (2003) saying that strategy has a lot to do with craftmanship and either deliberates or  emerges from the bottom then you potentially should use operaitons as one source of inspiration!

I do not want to talk about DevOps, NoOps or whatever Ops, the serious question is whether operations can participate in collective and corporate learning and generate benefit for an organisation or not, whether it creates some strategic extra or it is only a matter of costs. In the past a lot of people wanted us believe that operations is dying, becoming part of a museum, being exchanged with smart scripts, recipes, a lt of logic and automation and and and. The funny thing on the story: a lot of those ideas came from developers who – in the past – alsways had severe problems with operations for different reasons. And as development is a creative process being very near to products it often has a better internal voice than operations. How often did I hear that operations does not produce any strategic value to product X or servicy Y?! I cannot count that number, it is pretty to large I guess.

But this brought me to my story. Is ops really just about money? Is it the department socialiszing the developers ( 😛 )? Is it the steady continuuum of delivering a service? Or is it the bow before me for I am root fraction not worth sitting in an upper floor?

It is a strategic question which has to be answered. If you think in raw numbers operations can be outsourced, if you think in ressoruces, it can be outsources too, if you think in value and operations as a service than it potentially should stay in. The reason why? The more operations offers an infrastructure + processes as a service to its customers, the more it concentrates on its specific know-how and capabilities, the more it becomes a strategic asset. Yes, this is a long way to go and no, you cannot keep on acting the way you did the last 10 years. A good Ops manager must become a product manager of the corporate infrastructure, he/she must sell it to its customers, he must have passion in serving those needs. If so – I bet  – there will be no discussion for outsourcing or not, because that discussion will be driven by the ops manager to be able to deliver the best infrastructure available!

So please, dear Mr. Ops Manager, make you live easy and become a major part of the service chain. Go that way, even if it is the harder one, but this will keep you, your team and operations vivid and valid for the next period of time.


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