DevOps is family therapy for the IT/software development intersection

DevOps is short for Development Operations. Too the average eye it doesn’t look like a title for a transformative approach to the cyclical design, development, and deployment of software technology. But it is. It’s a method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and IT professionals, and it’s  here because the old way of doing things in a linear manner with varying degrees of process isolation just won’t work in the rapidly evolving age of the internet IS the computer.

As the Wikipedia entry on DevOps states, “Flickr developed DevOps capability to support a business requirement of ten deployments per day; this daily deployment cycle would be much higher at organizations producing multi-focus or multi-function applications. This is referred to as continuous deployment or continuous delivery …”

So anyone in the software business who needs to continually innovate, which I’m assuming must the majority of those who create software, needs to master continuous delivery in order to stay ahead, or ever abreast, of trends, competition, and customer demands.

George Moberly, Vice President of Solutions at Opscode, puts it this way.

We think that what has really happened is there has been a fundamental transformation in the role of IT. There’s been a fundamental transformation in the expectations of consumers about the pace of innovation … and DevOps and continuous delivery are terms that we use to describe those fundamental shifts in the role and meaning of IT.

IBM Rational VP of Development, Dibbe Edwards, says it’s clear businesses must move faster, innovate faster, but not at the expense of quality.

It is about speed and it is about quality, but I think there is also a lot happening in the industry right now where there are these technology shifts that are really forcing the change. And we have more and more access to technology than we ever had before. For example, mobile is a real driver of this. Many of our clients are saying, mobile apps … the turnaround times are not weeks or months, but days, and they need to get out there quickly. But when they get out there they need to work. Also, customers have much more access to the cloud and more of an ability to deploy applications quickly and (for them) to be adopted. There’s social — you’ve got to get out there where your clients are in the world … and build those applications quickly … so you need to get your business relevant in those spaces as quickly as possible. That pressure is very significant for businesses and they’re looking for creative and new ways to make that happen.

In my IBM Innovate interview with Dibbe and George, hear more as they talk about what Opscode has done with they’re own DevOps transformation and how a DevOps approach has changed IBM Rational itself.

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