Whitepaper Chapter 3: Aligning IT and Technology with Business Needs

ecs-admin 11th July 2016

Aligning IT initiatives with business needs sits as a third highest CIO priority in 20161, despite a 19% decrease in priority compared to 2015. The decrease, most likely driven by the fact that a good percentage of companies have already made strides in the space.

Why is this a CIO priority?

As digital transformation takes hold of enterprises, the role of the CIO is changing. Businesses are now expecting CIOs to lead digital innovation and directly impact how the organisation meets customer demand.

We are beginning to see a trend for a less technical CIO. This CIO has a strong understanding of how technology can be used to meet more strategic business goals.

In today’s digital world, it is not just enabling IT to become a ‘revenue generating’ part of a company that the CIO must focus on. IT needs to become a key part, and an enabler of the business. This shift of IT is about generating top line growth rather than bottom-line saving. IT has become less of an obstruction to business than the opportunities lost by delivering services with less quality, speed or consistency than competitors.

In fact, companies able to master IT are becoming today’s market leaders: Sainsbury’s has implemented a digital lab to help them solve customer experience problems and stay ahead of competitors.

How can DevOps help?

DevOps was born out of the rise of IT within organisations. It was created as a way to encourage IT teams (in this case, developers) and business teams (here, operations) to work together.

The pinnacle of efficiency, it incorporates agile, lean, continuous delivery and more, to get just about everyone – within IT and business – rowing in the same direction, and delivering with speed, quality and consistency.

DevOps is a means to an end: it is not adopted for IT benefit, but for the business.

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The way DevOps can help a business depends upon specific business goals. DevOps puts a set of tools at a company’s disposal, to solve whatever their main issues may be.

DevOps in its nature is granular: it can (and most likely will in the future) be used by all companies in some way or another. It is the translation of DevOps metrics to business benefits that CIOs must highlight, in order to create empathy throughout organisational teams.

Successful DevOps will enable IT to understand the needs and priorities of their business, so that technology may be used to help.

It enables IT to really drive forward business success in a way that is not otherwise possible. DevOps adoption does not only mean that you can deploy code faster: it then allows you to release functionality quicker, to jump into market faster, and to increase period time turnover.

“Modern software delivery increasingly re- quires higher velocity, quicker iteration, and much shorter time from inception to user value. This requires strong partnerships between the business, development, and IT operations, much more so than in the past. DevOps practices and policies, along with modern tooling to provide automated Continuous Delivery, provide the required foundation for digital agility and success.”

John Purrier, CTO, Automic Software and Co-Founder, OpenStack

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

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