How to Demonstrate the Need for DevOps IT to Your CIO
Business Value Dashboards can help IT convince CIOs and other top-level management to adopt a DevOps platform.
Recent years have seen DevOps evolve from an obscure tech term to a quickly proliferating platform for businesses to streamline their IT services. Gartner has even gone so far as to declare 2016 the Year of DevOps. More IT professionals than ever are working to bring DevOps into their company’s operational strategy — yet many of these same professionals are meeting surprising resistance from CIOs and other senior management.
For all of the hype surrounding DevOps, widespread adoption of the platform depends on these CIOs realizing that DevOps’ profitability more than makes up for the costly changes to a company’s organizational structure. We’ve gathered advice on how to use simple, universally understandable language to prove that DevOps really is the way forward for your company.
Certain functions of DevOps likely excite IT professionals more than CIOs. When considering the work of developers, CIOs primarily care about how efficiently they can ship ideas as software. These high-level employees will rarely adopt a new technology or process unless it increases that efficiency. Kris Saxton, principal consultant of Automation Logic, explains why tech leaders must remain attentive to these differences in values in a recent Computer Weekly white paper:
You’re persuading senior management this is something worth doing, so you have to do so in a way and a language that makes sense to them… For example, the main benefit from DevOps to a development team might be the ability to move quickly, but it might work out better [to pitch] it as reducing Opex [operational expenditure]. Both statements are true, but you need to tailor the message to your audience.
When gathering and analyzing statistics on DevOps performance, nothing is more important than retaining relevant metrics and presenting them with terminology that’s understandable to senior-level staff. These metrics should be utilized to demonstrate that DevOps is cutting costs and increasing profits for the business at large.
Just as IT and management focus on different priorities, they also worry about different things. One lingering doubt surrounding DevOps for many executives is the risk of costly mistakes; presumably, the increased pace that accompanies a DevOps system would come with more opportunities for embarrassing errors. However, a closer look at companies that have implemented DevOps shows that such worries are almost entirely baseless.
Firms that utilize a DevOps platform deploy code changes 200 times faster than firms that don’t, and this translates into a rate of restoring faulty services 168 times faster than the norm. This data shows that DevOps helps companies solve problems, rather than create them. IT needs to communicate these results in jargon-free language to sway CIOs, and one important tool in doing so is the business value dashboard.
As we’ve covered previously, business value dashboards are excellent tools for answering such questions as: “Do you use the IT capacity you pay for? How much does downtime cost you, and how capable are you of avoiding it? Is IT budgeted appropriately? Is customer experience seamless?” Not only do dashboards provide the data to answer such questions, but they translate such data into terms that business leaders without a tech background can understand.
When attempting to sell a CIO on the necessity of a progressively implemented DevOps platform, IT professionals need to demonstrate real business value at low costs. Business Value Dashboards provide the ideal platform with which to do so. Using a BVD, IT can make data meaningful and hopefully sway CIOs who remain resistant to operational change.