Keep CALMS and DevOps

A number of years ago as part of a transformation we were undergoing, I was championing the cultural shift towards a DevOps philosophy. As part of this championing, I published a number of internal blogs. I’m publishing them externally now as I believe the philosophy still relevant today…

Why DevOps?

The world is a rapidly changing place. Today firms, including many of our customers, fear that they’ll quickly become irrelevant. There is disruptive innovation everywhere, whereby innovation is creating new markets and value networks that will eventually disrupt and displace established market leading firms, products and alliances. We are seeing more customer queries / requests looking towards subscription-based services, rather than traditional enterprise licenses. In many markets, we can see cloud services launching and disrupting an incumbent. Can technologies like blockchain, where there is no centralized control point, disrupt and render centralized Gateway obsolete? We need to move at speed in order to survive and adapt. To quote Eric Pearson, CIO, InterContinental Hotels Group “It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.”

Most enterprises have some degree of DevOps implementation. However, those enterprises that are reaping the most benefits have a highly effective and integrated DevOps culture. For example, they are more agile doing up to 30x more frequent deployments than their peers. Others are deploying to production 100s times per day. They are more reliable, up to 2x success change rate. And, they are more successful, 2x more likely to exceed profitability, market share and productivity goals. As the Wall Street Journal states “Enterprise DevOps Adoption Isn’t Mandatory — but Neither Is Survival”.

What is DevOps?

Before delving into DevOps, it’s important to make sure that we all understand what DevOps is about. The best definition I could find is from Gartner:
“…rather than being a market per se, DevOps is a philosophy, a cultural shift that merges operations with development and demands a linked toolchain of technologies to facilitate collaborative change.”

Many people assume that DevOps is all about automation. Please don’t take the above image too literally, as someone said to me at the watercooler – “Oh, yeah! I understand DevOps, it’s all about telescopes.”

Yes, automation is a key pillar to DevOps, but DevOps is a cultural shift that is bringing to heart the concerns of different groups. When you operate, you are risk averse and are naturally inclined to limit the many changes, because you are rewarded for the SLA of your uptime, etc. When you develop, you may run towards the latest and greatest technology, based on a blog read on Hacker News, for example, because you are rewarded for innovation and delivering at speed.

DevOps is about a high performance team and execution among developers, QA, operations, project management, and of course the business. It is no longer business defining needs, then handing over to developers, who work and hand over to QA, who work and hand over to operations etc. Those days are over, and, in the past, they must remain…/p>

DevOps and CALMS

DevOps is a philosophy and practice of collaboration and integration to continuously deliver fast and enable business goals. DevOps is all about CALMS:


In this blog series, I’ll provide insight into each of the items with CALMS, so that you can start to figure out how to start this journey: