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Fixed component of the corporate structure

A reorganization of development and deployment processes through DevOps must also be accompanied by an organizational realignment. But how can the development approach be anchored in the corporate culture?
Igor Altach, PlusServer
December 7, 2021
DevOps column
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

In the course of the digital transformation, companies are forced to rethink and realign not only their business models, but also their internal value chains. But this challenge, which is often perceived as purely technical, is often based on a much greater cultural challenge. 

Today, software is more than just a tool for supporting business processes. It is an essential component of every single area of a company. As a result, the timely development and provision of software and associated services have also become an essential and business-critical aspect in many companies. At the same time, the impact of software poses a challenge to the existing corporate culture.

DevOps as a driver

Our everyday lives are becoming increasingly agile. However, this is by no means limited to the IT sector, but now encompasses all areas of a company. This shift toward an agile structure is also one of the most important drivers for the use of DevOps. This is also confirmed by IDC's "DevOps in Germany 2020" study. In it, 40 percent of respondents name increased agility as an important driver for the use of DevOps. 

This makes it clear why it is important to establish DevOps across the board in the corporate culture. Above all, it is important to implement an agile mindset in all areas of the company and not to limit it to individual areas. Only in this way can agility improve collaboration with other departments and also create corresponding transparency and understanding. 

From a purely technical perspective, the objective of DevOps is to significantly shorten the release times of applications. However, this view is clearly inadequate, as DevOps promotes intensive collaboration across teams. Of course, the origin often lies in the IT departments. Close collaboration between developers and operations teams accelerates the development and deployment processes for applications.

But the DevOps approach goes beyond this technical level and has an impact on the entire corporate culture. For example, this approach can also foster cross-functional and company-wide collaboration. By working directly with customers, for example, managers, developers, administrators, and testers can interact directly with customers to design new products as needed. 

New learning culture

A company-wide change in culture cannot be implemented overnight and requires a high degree of perseverance from all those involved. According to IDC, 34 percent of respondents see IT culture and inertia as the greatest difficulty in implementing DevOps. In this context, one of the biggest mistakes is often to fall back on tried-and-tested methods that have led to success in the old structures when the first difficulties arise. It is therefore important for management to drive the change forward continuously and resolutely and to support employees even when problems arise. 

Ideally, the implementation of DevOps begins with breaking down the software development processes into the smallest possible substeps. However, the rest of the IT value chain must not be disregarded. Agility must be consistent from the idea to the customer.

Igor Altach, PlusServer

Igor Altach is the managing director of PlusServer.

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