Many people believe that DevOps is just meant for Development staff and IT Operations staff. Many with lower levels of curiosity who have not taken the time to read about it, even think it’s just one more Agile approach to be adopted by software developers.

The Evolution of DevOps

Since its first conception back in 2009, the term “DevOps” intended to express the need for collaboration and tight coupling between software development and IT operations teams, to overcome all those challenges that IT organizations face every day, where the business is the ultimate victim of this lack of joined forces.

Six years have passed since then, and it is natural that something that started as a very simple concept had to evolve into something more complex. And it is not about evolving just for the sake of adding complexity (because who wants that in an already very complex IT organization that grows apart from simplicity more each day!); the true reason of evolution is usefulness.

I will put it this way: Consider yourself as a man in charge of home improvement. On your first weekend all you have is a toolbox with basic stuff. That might work for the first couple days, but as your home improvement requirements evolve, you will need to add new tools to your toolbox. You will need new sizes of nails, then several types of screws, then some wrenches, and so on; but all of it contained in that single toolbox. DevOps is like that toolbox; it started being very basic, with only basic concepts inside of it, and now it has grown in size and complexity, because what was already in there has been useful, but also new concepts have been added because the requirements have changed!

DevOps is more than ‘Dev & Ops’, yet it’s Not Everything

As a concept that evolved into a framework, DevOps is no longer limited to just Dev and Ops, but rather it has become a powerful set of tools that can help IT at all levels, when correctly adopted. We should not forget either that DevOps does not pretend to work alone. One of the concepts of DevOps is integrating what IT already has—IT Service Management, Scrum, and Lean— to achieve a holistic synergy that helps IT align its goals with the goals of the business. Wait, there’s a gap here. How can DevOps help IT align its goals with the business’ goals? It can’t, and it’s not meant to do so!

The Link of DevOps with COBIT

If IT is to define goals that support business goals, Business and IT management need to work and collaborate together in order to align efforts (IT has to be a strategic business asset); pretty similar to what Dev and Ops are supposed to do through DevOps. The ultimate alignment of IT with the business will occur when operating levels work together, but they will not work together unless the top management enforces this culture. Now I’m talking about IT Governance: the mechanisms through which top management ensures that the desired culture, processes and overall approaches are adopted and followed throughout the organization. COBIT, by the way, is the only framework that addresses IT Governance in a comprehensive way.

DevOps and COBIT are for everyone in IT

Should DevOps then be applicable to the whole IT organization, including IT Management and C-level officers? Absolutely! And so should be COBIT. Senior IT managers need to know about what their lower organizational levels are doing, and how they are doing it. It’s this simple: A DevOps culture (and actually any initiative of this magnitude) will not succeed if top management does not support it; and top management will not support something they don’t know. On the other hand, senior management won’t be able to enforce an initiative if they don’t have the right enablers that make such enforcement possible, which is achieved through the correct adoption of COBIT.

Therefore, let all IT executives and professionals at all levels be encouraged to be trained in these valuable frameworks that are changing the way IT organizations work, for the sake of delivering value to the business.

Are your IT employess, professionals and executives already trained in DevOps & Cobit?