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Three experts weigh in on the state of DevOps in 2017

DOES17 will offer a report card on how the development methodology is faring in the enterprise. Three speakers offer their views on what is working, what is not and where we're headed.

At the upcoming 2017 DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco, questions about how DevOps at scale is really faring in large organizations are going to be raised and debated on the podiums and in the halls. To get that conversation started a bit earlier, we asked three DOES speakers about what to expect at the conference and the state of DevOps in 2017.

Robert Stroud, principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester, will be speaking on "DevOps In The Enterprise: The Analyst 'Outside-In' Perspective" and "DevOps: From Analyst Inquiry to Organizational Action." Rob England, best known as The IT Skeptic and a management consultant with Two Hills, will speak on the subject of "Surviving DevOps." And Torsten Volk, managing research director for hybrid cloud, the software-defined data center, machine learning and cognitive computing at Enterprise Management Associates, will also speak about "DevOps in the Enterprise" alongside Stroud.

What's going well with DevOps right now?

Rob England: DevOps adoption is growing at an extraordinary pace right now, at least in my part of the world (New Zealand). And what they're doing with containers is indistinguishable from magic.

Torsten Volk: The first thing companies are doing right is that they are aware there is an issue of antagonism between dev and ops, and they're working on figuring it out. If they don't, they can't have faster development and high-quality releases. And the number two thing they're doing right is looking at containers being the vehicle to transport a turnkey runtime. They are basically giving their developers the tools to very quickly and comprehensively deliver what they've written.

What are issues we may not hear about, or enough about, at DOES? Will DevOps at scale be on the agenda?

We may not hear about traditional IT or how to evolve to get DevOps at scale, and we need to hear about that.
Robert StroudForrester

Robert Stroud: We hear about how DevOps is wonderful, but I don't think we hear the horror stories. DevOps is about caring and sharing and a blameless culture, and that's an interesting concept, but we should be made aware of things that don't work. We may not hear about traditional IT or how to evolve to get DevOps at scale, and we need to hear about that. I don't see a lot of content (in the conference schedule) on DevOps at scale across a true enterprise organization, and that is the stuff we need to hear.

England: Some of the biggest challenges right now are that DevOps is seen as the magic bullet. DevOps is especially being seen by management as something that will change people, but they don't need to change themselves or change any of the other functions in the organization, such as governance, HR, finance and so on. Also, we are on the Gartner hype cycle. As we peak, we will begin to hear the DevOps-doesn't-work stories and see the backlash.

Ideally, what should happen next to propel DevOps at scale adoption forward?

England: We are in the middle of the IT Renaissance. There has never been a bigger change in the way we think about how we do IT. Let's get our head around this shift first before we start thinking about something else. Our addiction to novelty is harmful to our industry.

Volk: We need intent-based DevOps. At the end of the day, what I mean by that is that if a developer has a certain task, he or she should receive a developer workspace that is tailored to exactly that task. We need to be pushing the tailoring of workspace to the developer so they don't have those hoops to jump over.
Stroud: IT as we know it is fundamentally at a crossroads. DevOps made devs heroes, and as we transition to BizDevOps, businesses are going to be the heroes. We're going to move R&D back into the business, and developers are now going to be part of the business team.

Next Steps

How to get started with BizDevOps

Why Agile 2.0 might be BizDevOps

A look back at DOES16

This was last published in November 2017

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