Organisations that shun or are slow to adopt DevOps will "fall by the wayside", according to Finbarr Joy, group chief technology officer at telecoms company Lebara.
"You still see the debate, and people asking ‘Should we do DevOps?'" he told delegates at Computing's DevOps Summit 2016 in London.
"But when you look at what's happening in every vertical, that time for consideration is gone. Those who can't find out what their customer wants next will fall by the wayside."
Joy argued that "if software is eating the world, it's powered by developers", with new practices and mechanisms in play, often led by DevOps.
"What does it mean to have obsessive customer focus? Rapid production cycles are entirely focused on it. Those of you touching consumers, whatever your product you need it to work on mobile," he said.
"With the best will in the world, you don't know what Apple, Google or Samsung's plans will be in the next five years, but you're laying your long-term propositions on it. We can't do that unless we can release quickly. And that brings on the whole notion of ‘being comfortable to fail'."
Joy argued that the key to a successful DevOps implementation is "the core DevOps mechanics of feedback and flow".
"That's what we're looking at now. How does finance flow to technology, and HR to customer services? It's about not letting these boundaries appear [and], by using the same principles, understanding how we can make the rest of the organisation work well together. I genuinely believe there's no boundary to this," he said.
Joy believes that DevOps has the potential to improve analytics in many businesses.
"Data and analytics is a place where we're still to see DevOps. So just as we're getting used to it, why not apply DevOps to IT operations? We have a lot of machine data, so now we can pursue that real-time analytics to tell us exactly how the application is doing live, and get more predicative and participatory," he said.
Joy added that often whenever the issue of 'culture' is raised, "before you know it, people are putting beanbags on the floor and organising pizza evenings. And while that's nice, we still need to tackle the culture issue."
To tackle it head-on, he argued that giving teams "new experiences" is the way forward, as "simply saying 'Here's a pattern, let's follow it' doesn't work".
"You need an environment to let people fail, and let people learn. And it's only after that's happened for one or two cycles that you'll see change," he said.
He also implored companies experimenting with a DevOps culture to be honest about the changes that will need to be made to accommodate new ways of working.
"Bringing production, finance and HR into the tech evaluation - if we're experimenting all the time and killing products, a lot of finance models change. You have to be honest about that," said Joy.
On a general level, Joy advised that benchmarking against other organisations is "the best you can do".
"Isn't it interesting that Amazon can release every 11 seconds, and Google rewrites algorithms 500 times a year?" he asked. "Give a team the self-direction and autotomy to resolve these things for themselves."
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