© 2013 Jeff Sussna, Ingineering.IT
Gartner recently published its 2013 IaaS Magic Quadrant report. That report placed Amazon Web Services so far ahead of everyone else that, in Lydia Leong's words, it “forces the whole quadrant graphic to rescale”. In response to Bernard Golden's question about why the distance was so great, Lydia wrote that AWS is succeeding in part by selling to developers unchaperoned by IT.
But wait! How did development get ahold of the IT credit card? Someone must no longer be “holding them in contempt”. Businesses have long seen development as The Department of No just as much as IT. What changed? The implication is that development has repaired its relationship with the business side. In other words, Agile worked. You can argue about the details: scrum vs. XP vs. kanban, and so on. But the fact remains that development has proven, in a very visceral way, its business trustworthiness.
IT should see the Gartner report, and Lydia’s analysis of its meaning, as an emergency alert. Unlike development, IT has not yet repaired its relationship with the business. Meanwhile, budgetary control over infrastructure is being wrested from its grasp. If things continue unchanged, IT will wake up one day and discover its budget has gone to zero.
So what to do? IT needs to understand, embrace, and use DevOps as fast as it possibly can. DevOps is the spiritual successor to Agile. It takes Agile beyond just building software products and into the realm of building and operating software services. The Gartner report implies we’ve run out of time for DevOps vs. ITIL arguments. Again, just as with Agile, we can argue the details. Also, just as with Agile, we can and should continue to refine the details over time. The bottom line, though, is that we must put business alignment and trustworthiness at the center of everything we do. We need to create a laser-sharp focus on being able to continuously deliver responsiveness, relevance, and innovation.