Why Proving and Scaling DevOps Is So Hard

By Bart Driscoll 

My team and I regularly meet with customers who ask the same question over and over, “how do we become successful with DevOps at scale?”  This question is normally followed with a laundry list of “here is what we are doing around…” infrastructure automation, container pilots, continuous integration, test automation, cloud platforms, etc. The brief summary is concluded with comments about how difficult acceptance and adoption of these new tools and practices are.  So why is DevOps so difficult to scale?

First off, DevOps is extremely pervasive.  Success with DevOps will change or influence nearly every aspect of IT and even many parts of the business.  Even setting a simple goal, like “deploy into production every 30 days”, touches software development, testing, operations, infrastructure management, databases, security, compliance, architecture, release management, project management, and more.  I believe that everyone “knows” that DevOps is big but until you can map out the end-to-end process and rationalize the associated stakeholder and SME community, getting acceptance and/or adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery will be impossible.  Success will require the input, expertise, and support of this community.  Don’t underestimate the complexity and size of your enterprise value stream; you will need their support to implement tools, set standards, and drive adoption at-scale.  Tackle it iteratively and use early wins to generate momentum.

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