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

Ops Predictions 2011

Posted in general failures, ITSM, organizational, startup failures by opstakes on December 21, 2010

End of year is coming, time for review and predictions …

What we have seen this year is the emerging trend to try to move to the cloud. Why say try? Cause a lot of different lacks did delay decisions: lack of experience, lack of manageability, lack of security, lack of commodity, lack of portability and much more but the train cannot be stopped anymore. We will continue to see different diverse ways to the cloud, the aggressive one (we just do it), the one’s moving via private virtualization, the one’s doing outtasking to the cloud and the one’s not knowing that they are already in the cloud.

So what’s next? According to the analysts cloud is directly on the way to the phase of desilusion. Sounds bad but isn’t so. We now reach the working scene, the marketing whow is over and we can start working on a deep and permanent way. So think about it: cloud will become commodity in 2011, we will stop talking about who’s in the cloud or not, we will start just using it.

This leads to another trend for 2011: cloud operations. We did central operations, decentral operations, virtual operations, outsourced operations, outtasking and whatever, next is cloud operations. Maybe you will not take care on it but potentially you will have to think about how to operate your IT then parts of your IT are somewhere (you do not even know exactly the location, just the name/identifier of the cloud).

This leads to tons of aspects in terms of all ITSM processes, especially change mgmt (do you still own your cloud virtual environment … how to combine those releases …), incident, event and problem mgmt. (who manages what?), SL management and all others, with special focus on IT financials.

Next trend, partly invoked by ideas like DevOps is agile operations. The more agile the company, the more agile development the more event driven the IT. This leads to agile operations for the IT ops department. So how to do so?

Agility means being very flexible and self responsible within a certain frame/border. Agile operations mean being very reactive, fast and flexible within a fixed set of frameworks/standards to deliver prompt IT resources on a very $$based approach.

So agile operations relies on cloud operations and vice versa. In my understanding and strong believe the trend per se for 2011 should then be called

agile Ops operations

So what does this mean for you? Think about strong boundaries and frameworks married with a high level of ops automation. This superset is then offered to your company / development enabling them to use ops resources on demand and cost sensitive. You as the ops entity do all the cloud stuff either private, hybrid or public within your defined subset to deliver on a regular and flexible bases predictable IT.
For me this sounds reasonable good. Remember, I’m an ops man … doing agile ops operations even means you create your ops platform (DevOps), you keep the releases within your responsibility but you stop from reacting and being the holy grail nobody knows about within your company. Ops get’s public, viable and business enabling to the company! This is our all time goal and this must be the goal for all of us.

We will see what happens exactly in 2011, hopefully my predictions comes to truth by 80 %.

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DevOps as the solution?

Posted in organizational by opstakes on October 18, 2010

I got more and more info regarding DevOps and how good it is within the last weeks. I even started posting at some of their blogs and during my first steps I really liked it, it looked like being a good approach to keep on driving the idea of an operational platform. Nothing new, but another good driver for bringing Operations as a discipline of operating and engineering upfront.

The more I think on that the more I believe that this is just another approach and it will take a much longer time and much more approaches like DevOps to convert Operations from a barrier to a driver within tons of organizations.

You disagree? See why: In the past we have seen some very interesting scenarios. One – very long supported by all departments within companies – was to see IT operators as the barrier of truth. Whoever and however you survived talking to them ,you were a hero. Introducing new functionality was more or less incredible and they – the IT Operators – always believed that they save business’ live by acting as a barrier for innovation. Even keeping things slow was king to them.

The other typical operations department was a little bit more open as they were seen as the IT engineers unable to write code. So those 3rd class employees needed work and why not acting on the simple infrastructure basis? They really did not like Development and you know why … they developed their own style, their own culture and propably this was not the intention of the business. They tried to establish themselve as the better IT within the IT …

Those 2 artefacts really need DevOps or alternatives like our Platform Engineering, dialects of ITIL or others. The question is how to transform from barrier thinking to business enabling.

If you understand operations as the fundament of business than you definitely need strong, accepted and rich of engineers operations, not barrier minded, not 3rd class developers, not people stopping invention during mainframe area. Those will neither accept DevOps nor anything else, everything was already there and they know when and why …

Beside DevOps think more not on the tool (DevOps may be one), think on how you can transform your IT opps organization to a living one, being well accepted with good and strong communications, transparent operations and KPI willingness. By starting the cultural change you potentially will result in DevOps, but DevOps itself will not result your organization in good communications, transparen ops …

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