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DevOps Q&A with Nicole Forsgren

DevOps Q&A

Read the full blog here.

 

We’ve recently welcomed two new additions to our Advisory Board – with Nicole Forsgren and John Willis, joining Gene Kim and Gary Gruver as Electric Cloud’s strategic advisors.

As we set to work with each of the advisors, we also took the opportunity to pick their brains about where DevOps is heading, what are the key things we should know as we set out on this journey, and what are some of the emerging technologies and patterns they have their eye on. We’re excited to share the tips and insights from these DevOps luminaries in this short Q&A series – starting off with Dr. Nicole Forsgren!

 

DevOps Q&A – with Nicole Forsgren:

 

Dr. Nicole Forsgren is an IT impacts expert who is best known for her work with tech professionals and as the lead investigator on the largest DevOps studies to date. She is a consultant, expert, and researcher in knowledge management, IT adoption and impacts, and DevOps. In a previous life, she was a professor, sysadmin, and hardware performance analyst. She has been awarded public and private research grants (funders include NASA and the NSF), and her work has been featured in various media outlets and several peer-reviewed journals and conferences. She holds a PhD in Management Information Systems and a Masters in Accounting.
@nicolefv |  Website

 

In your experience, what is the biggest challenge for adopting and scaling DevOps in the enterprise?

Right now, I think the biggest challenge for organizations is focusing on prioritization and doing the right things to accelerate their technology transformations. So often, companies and organizations want to take the easy way out and just “buy” their DevOps solution – which usually means buying a technology or automation tool. At the same time, the DevOps crowd sings from the rooftops that DevOps is all about culture. And then the agile and lean practitioners chime in that process is important.

And here’s the thing: in a way, everyone is right. The research I’ve conducted with DORA (Jez Humble and Gene Kim) and the team at Puppet over the past four years, which draws on 25,000+ respondents from thousands of organizations across all industries shows us that successful technology transformations need technology, process AND culture. We need all three.

Making this even more complicated is the fact that there are over twenty key capabilities that we know drive improvements in the ability to develop and deliver quality software quickly and reliably – and this software delivery performance contributes to an organization’s bottom line, as measured by profitability, productivity, and market share.

But we can’t tell our teams to work on 20 things at once. People suck at multi-tasking. In the past, and even today, companies took a scattershot approach to improvement: guessing about what they should do. In the beginning of the DevOps movement, this was good enough. But today, the best are getting better and it’s a competitive market. To accelerate your transformation in a world of limited resources, organizations need to be strategic about where they devote their resources. (And by resources I mean both time and money.) Cost of delay is a very real thing: delay of getting features to market, delay of responding to compliance and regulatory changes, delay of getting your transformation underway, and delay of accelerating your transformation.

Our research shows that the High Performers are getting better every year, so maximizing your transformation in smart, strategic ways should be high priority for any organization that leverages software and technology to deliver products or services to customers.

 

For the rest of our interview with Forsgren, check out the full blog.

More Stories By Anders Wallgren

Anders Wallgren is Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud. Anders brings with him over 25 years of in-depth experience designing and building commercial software. Prior to joining Electric Cloud, Anders held executive positions at Aceva, Archistra, and Impresse. Anders also held management positions at Macromedia (MACR), Common Ground Software and Verity (VRTY), where he played critical technical leadership roles in delivering award winning technologies such as Macromedia’s Director 7 and various Shockwave products.