How to build a strong DevOps organizational structure

For CIOs, creating a DevOps culture goes beyond tech expertise

The potential advantages of creating a DevOps culture have been well-documented as more and more organizations opt to combine software development and IT operations teams. (Various reports estimate the percentage of shops using at least some DevOps practices at about 75%.) Proponents point to faster delivery of better-quality products in more stable environments.

Moving to DevOps is not easy, however, and in many cases can be very disruptive, with technical, cultural and leadership obstacles causing problems along the way. We try to help you avoid that disruption in this month's SearchCIO handbook, where we delve into the best practices -- and the mistakes to avoid -- to make your IT organization DevOps-ready. One foundational piece of advice our reporting uncovered is this: Simply buying talent does not necessarily lead to a successful DevOps environment, nor can CIOs expect current staffers to seamlessly adopt DevOps practices. As Mary Pratt notes in one of the featured articles, DevOps is "not a buy versus build scenario; rather, it's a buy and build operation."

A successful move to Dev DevOps is also about more than just practices and requires embracing a DevOps culture and philosophy. CIOs will need strong project management, employee skill assessment and communication skills to get a fledgling DevOps environment off the ground. In other words, IT experience will only go so far in helping CIOs make the move to DevOps a profitable one. This makes CIOs' communication and employee assessment skills vital to make moving to DevOps a success, although IT infrastructure expertise will, of course, prove invaluable as well. We hope you find useful advice in this SearchCIO handbook, where we examine how to best blend these skills to make your organization's DevOps adoption a success.