DevOps and the Rise of Enterprise Bimodal IT

As enterprise IT begins to adopt DevOps practices, questions and issues emerge about how to best implement the culture, process, and tools to deliver on the promises of faster business innovation at a lower cost. How do you transform the current state? The Enterprise IT landscape is complex, sophisticated, dynamic, and frequently chaotic. Unlike Internet startups, you are dealing with a large, diverse set of heterogeneous infrastructures glued together across many teams and locations that use many different tools and processes to develop and deploy software. Each enterprise has its own unique DNA that has organically evolved through generations of applications and technologies with its own historical set of artifacts and processes that have weathered the storms of innovation. There are many teams, processes, and systems in place. You can’t just burn down the silos.

Gartner recommends that enterprises adopt a bimodal IT approach where CIOs develop a strategy that supports two separate “speeds of IT”: Mode 1 and Mode 2. Mode 1 is the traditional IT-centric model, focused on stability and efficiency. Mode 2 is agile IT, business-centric and focused on time-to-market, providing rapid application delivery. Each mode has its own people, tools, culture, methodologies, governance, metrics, and attitudes towards value and risk.

Mode 1 systems have been in place for many years and we can’t just rip them out, however, we can certainly transform them to be more efficient and resilient. The DevOps principles of Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing (CAMS) are typically implemented in Mode 2 systems, but this tends to create another silo which perpetuates the kinds of silos that DevOps aims to break down. DevOps principles can also be applied to Mode 1 systems. You can have a generative, performance-oriented culture with sharing practices such as blameless post-mortems for Mode 1 as well as Mode 2.

Application Release Automation (ARA) can also be leveraged by both Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems. Automation can increase the reliability of Mode 1 systems while accelerating business innovations for Mode 2 systems. There may be dependencies between Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems that will require you to manage and coordinate these dependencies while providing the visibility and traceability for regulatory compliance. You need the right type of culture, processes and tools to support both systems.

Serena Software is unique in that it provides products and solutions that support both Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems in large enterprises. Highly regulated large enterprises (HRLEs) depend on Serena’s application development and deployment solutions every day to help them move fast without breaking things. Serena supports all enterprise methodologies (Waterfall to Agile to DevOps), all technologies (Open Source to Proprietary), and all platforms (mainframe to mobile).

We are going to be at the Gartner AADI conference from December 1-3, 2015 in Las Vegas. Please stop by booth #104 and we can discuss how how we support Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems as well as show you how to move fast without breaking things.

Mark Levy is a Product Marketing Director at Serena Software focusing on DevOps and the Enterprise. He has over 25 years of experience in enterprise software, focusing on both application development and IT operations.

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