How DevOps can turn IT into the leaders of your business

Published: Nov 27, 2018
Author: Mark Hollman

As digital transformation redefines how enterprises work, it is also redefining the role of IT. Traditionally, CIOs and IT teams were tasked with overseeing a company's technology. While IT is still responsible for everyday technology tasks, like keeping the network running and setting up email, they’re now also responsible for driving the strategic vision of the entire company.

Everyone from the CEO to the board down to individual departments now rely on IT to provide advanced data analytics, eliminate data silos, protect customer data, drive innovation, and help their organizations turn data into a competitive advantage. With technology being the cornerstone for how products are developed, services delivered, and opportunities analyzed, IT has more say than ever on a company's direction and, increasingly, the company's future. 

DevOps: From IT process to business culture

IT works with everyone from R&D and production to customer service, finance, sales, and marketing to help them leverage digital transformation within each business unit. As a result, IT has a holistic understanding of the goals of the wider organization and, perhaps more importantly, the strengths and weaknesses of each individual department. So while your company's digital transformation might be led by an executive, it is driven by IT. 

As CIOs and their teams take on more of a strategic business role within the organization, a DevOps style of working will be key to success. In software development, DevOps unites development and operations for a shorter development time and more frequent product updates. DevOps is known for speed, collaboration, and automation. Compared to a waterfall method of development where progress flows in one direction, a DevOps approach can deliver a better product that is more relevant to a customer’s needs in a faster time frame.

While DevOps is becoming more popular in software development, IT can also benefit from the same process. By using automation to free up staff time, IT can free themselves from the more repetitive, mundane tasks and focus on more strategic initiatives instead. As the department most likely to coordinate with other teams in the organization, IT can use a DevOps approach to foster collaboration and break down silos between data and systems. 

From technology leader to company leader

To help drive the future of an organization, IT may need to become more responsible for changing the corporate culture. No longer can a CIO just sit back and deliver what a department says it needs. Instead, they must look at each project through the lens of the entire enterprises’ goals and take responsibility for driving business outcomes.

Top CIOs are already adopting a leadership mentality. According Forbes, CIOs have now taken a much more prominent role in strategic business thinking. In addition, CIOs on average reported spending two more days per month on executive leadership compared to three years ago. Meanwhile, when it comes to technology, business intelligence and analytics is the top priority. 

CIOs will no longer be judged solely on network uptime or how quickly they roll out an operating system migration. Rather, they’ll be judged on the company’s growth, revenue, profit margins, and customer experience. The time is now for CIOs and IT teams to internalize DevOps strategies and tactics as a cultural mindset, not just a technical approach. Inclusivity, collaboration, and the ability to connect their work to the values and goals of the entire organization are all crucial to allowing IT to understand the business goals behind a technical request. With DevOps, IT will be able to better move beyond technical support to become a team of business leaders, unleashing their value on that of the entire enterprise. 

If you like to learn more about the importance of including Network in your DevOps strategy, listen to our on-demand webinar How to transform your network from no and slow to yes and go.

Mark Hollman is Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Strategic Enterprise Networks for Verizon.

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