DevOps Enterprise Summit London: What Did We Learn?

We learned a lot at DevOps Enterprise Summit in London (DOES17) this month. Nearly 700 of our software delivery peers came in from around the world for non-stop DevOps-themed keynotes, sessions, workshops and networking events. It was a rare opportunity to meet so many engaging, insightful and knowledgeable people who shared a lot about their own experiences and challenges with us at the conference.

We also contributed to the body of knowledge with our latest thinking around Value Stream Mapping and the latest capabilities of CollabNet DevOps Lifecycle Manager. We were encouraged by the positive feedback and interest we received.

CollabNet at DOES 2017 in London.

CollabNet at DOES 2017 in London.

Not only did we learn (and share!) a lot during the expo hall hours, we were also lucky enough to sit in on some of the sessions. During these talks, we heard about the DevOps journeys, challenges and outcomes from companies like Lockheed Martin, Disney, Allianz, Barclay’s and more. Quite a few themes stuck with us and we wanted to share some of the key takeaways:

People are the most important part of a DevOps transformation: A common definition of DevOps is that it ties together people, process and tools, breaking down silos to increase software delivery speed and quality. However, if you can’t get all individuals—from developers to business leaders—on board with a DevOps transformation, then the tools and processes just won’t work.

Jason Cox, director of systems engineering at Disney, really brought home the importance of building a sense of community in an organization. By increasing collaboration and making every role and team feel important, Disney is able to create digital magic that delights customers around the world—pretty amazing! Many other speakers also emphasized the importance of creating excitement around a DevOps transformation, and encouraging all team members that the benefits are more than worth the challenges that may arise.

Jason Cox, director of systems engineering at Disney speaks at DOES17.

Jason Cox, director of systems engineering at Disney speaks at DOES17.

Business and IT need to work together: Another common theme we heard at DOES17 was not only are there silos of dev and ops, but also silos between business and IT departments. Many IT leaders, even CIO’s and CTO’s, feel that they do not have an equal seat at the round table of business decision making. More often than not, IT department heads feel that business leaders are making decisions about feature requirements and deadlines without even consulting anyone from IT, according to speaker Mark Schwartz, author of “The Art of Business Value.” This results in employee churn as developers are pressured into meeting deadlines and quality standards in crunched timeframes. Instead, IT needs a bigger say in what the requirements and deadlines of a software project should be to help set reasonable expectations with the rest of the C-suite.

The Deep Dive into DevOps Session was filled.

The Deep Dive into DevOps Session was filled.

Highly regulated organizations do DevOps differently: At CollabNet, we work with clients in many highly regulated industries, and we strive to help certain industries such as financial services and government organizations face unique challenges when pursuing Agile or DevOps goals. It was encouraging to hear speakers from insurance, government, financial and aerospace industries confirm the necessity of our efforts when talking about their own challenges and best practices.

While these types of organizations might be some of the last to hop on the DevOps train, they are well on their journey, and even doing it a little differently. They face a lot of red tape and oversight, meaning they often have to go through more approval processes along each step of a DevOps transformation. However, they are also finding that DevOps is helping to increase security and compliance by increasing visibility across the software delivery lifecycle and across teams. Suzette Johnson of Northrup Grumman mentioned that their move to DevOps helped keep confidential information confidential.

Suzette Johnson Northrup Grumman fellow at Northrup Grumman.

Suzette Johnson, Northrup Grumman fellow at Northrup Grumman.

Obviously, there was so much more that was shared and learned, but is impossible to fit it all in one blog. If you would like to discuss any of the above items and how they impact your organization, please reach out and let’s schedule a time to talk.

We are looking forward to also attending the DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco this November 13-15, 2017 – hope to see you there!

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Posted in DevOps/CI, Value Stream Management VSM

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