Let’s spend a moment remembering the IT department of old: it looked after applications running in production and supported the rest of the organization such as sales, customer support, marketing, finance, so the business could thrive and interact positively with the customer.
Now fast-forward to today’s ‘new world’ IT department: the customers are interacting directly with applications and services that are supported by IT and DevOps. The ‘old world’ IT is no more. Businesses today are so dependent on applications that DevOps is now highly visible as it sits at the nexus between customers and business. Heavy burden? You bet, but also a tremendous opportunity to elevate the DevOps role and the entire IT department within the business.
With competing products and services just a click away, today’s successful businesses are beyond customer focused – they are customer obsessed. Today, a business’s applications and online services are the business. Do you think your customers perceive a difference? They don’t. They just know that if an application is failing – if they can’t complete a transaction or are suffering a long wait time - then your ‘business’ is failing.
This puts DevOps in the critical position being responsible for all of those apps and online services that shape a customer’s experience. I’ll go a step further and say DevOps and IT executives are now critical to aligning IT and business goals.
IT and business alignment is nearly impossible to achieve as long as business data and IT data sit in separate ‘silos’ with disjointed views.
We all know the information ‘silos’ and what they lead to: finger pointing, miscommunication, and fragmented and disparate views of how to drive the business forward. Technology executives are in a most powerful position to drive this customer obsession because of their unique visibility into business metrics and what is happening at the business service level – What services are customers consuming? When? How?
What is needed are solutions that deliver a single view of business and systems metrics that are needed to attain true business-IT alignment based on having a single repository. You can view critical systems data through the lens of business performance – in real time – and see data presented in the context of your business so you can identify risks to your business immediately, and know whether or not IT issues are a contributing factor. You can also identify and proactively solve IT problems before they impact the bottom line.
This is the first of a four-blog series. In the next blog I’ll discuss in more detail the importance of data visibility throughout your organization.
Pamela Roussos is CMO of AppFirst.