Putting Agility into Practice – Video Series #3

What does it take to shift the traditional process-oriented IT approach to one of change practice, thereby delivering faster results? Should the concept of DevOps focus more on operations than development? At the recent Veristor and Forty8Fifty Labs DevOps Tech Summit our partners took a step back from thinking about day-to-day IT implementations and looked into the future, sharing a vision of changing the culture of IT teams to decentralize and bring them closer to the products and services and capabilities they support.  A benefit of this decentralization is eliminating inefficient team silos, a key discussion point in quite a few of the Summit conversations.

A passionate evangelist of this change is Paul Buffington, Principal Solutions Engineer for ITSM for Atlassian. During a wide-ranging video conversation, Paul shared his belief that DevOps is still really in the very early stages of evolution and that external changes like IoT and internal cultural changes are combining to propel DevOps and all of IT teams to work differently and truly put agility and speed into practice.


Here are a few of Paul’s observations – just an appetizer, if you will, for the complete interview which offers a great perspective on changes in IT’s role over the last few decades and how cultural change is tied to digital transformation succeeding.

Culture. The Atlassian approach starts with understanding a customer’s team culture since that is where the work gets done – smaller teams that have the responsibility.

Change. The new world is around change control – instead of change management. It enables organizations to reach across multiple teams and eliminate silos. ITSM is all about process, which is important, but the practice is what’s going to drive that higher performance and deliver greater value.

Software. Atlassian believes that every company is becoming a software company. Even if you don’t build software that you’re delivering to your external customers, you have services you deliver and that’s really critical to your business.

DevOps. The future is the blending of some of the IT capability into DevOps. Investment in IT around operations is a means of working better with teams – instead of just throwing things over the wall the way we work today.

Outages. DevOps working together will mean, if there is an outage, teams are on the same page in the response and therefore the response will be better.

Further into the future, Paul sees more evolution of IT’s role, and DevOps growth and adoption. Eventually he sees the two practices becoming more closely interwoven, as IT’s role in managing the infrastructure changes. An emerging trend is more IT teams are moving into a release mindset that will use release and deployment for pushing out infrastructure as code, for example. It’s still very early days but the teams working much closer together, and change practice moving releases out faster, will all be positive outcomes, says Paul.