One of the common failure points in adopting DevOps in many organizations is the lack of gaining business buy in. The reality is that without full business buy in, most DevOps attempts are doomed to failure. An all too common way in which the leaders of the DevOps movement inside an organization attempt to gain DevOps buy in from the business side is to simply tout the benefits of DevOps, which does pique the interest of the business side, but doesn’t necessarily mean they have fully bought in. Why doesn’t the business side fully buy in when presented with the benefits of DevOps, let’s discuss these below.
When looking at the mentality of the business side of most organizations, we have to remember that in many organizations the IT group is still viewed as a support role to the business. As part of the selling of the DevOps movement inside the organization it is incumbent on the DevOps leaders to instill in the entire organization that IT is actually part of the core of the business and not a support role, who still has a traditional ticket taking mentality.
Another issue that is often not addressed during the selling of DevOps to the business side is the focus of the business side on only being concerned with the velocity of work they are requesting. The general attitude of the business is normally that DevOps sounds great, as long as it doesn’t impact the velocity of the work being delivered. This attitude often comes into focus when development attempts to put Unit testing in place, the business side will often balk at this if they are coerced into believing that this is going to decrease the velocity. Unfortunately, in many organizations the business side only looks at the short term and can’t see the long term benefits of something like Unit Testing.
So, how do the leaders of a DevOps movement change this attitude on the business side? The answer is that in addition to touting the benefits and possible advantages garnered through DevOps, it’s critical to highlight the possible strategic threats DevOps presents to all organizations. To understand this, simply look at many of the large Supermarket chains and ask if they had Amazon on their radar as a possible threat and disruptor in their business vertical, the answer is probably not.
Let’s explore some of the ways in which the leaders of a DevOps movement inside an organization should work towards gaining business buy in.