Empowering DevOps teams: make doing the ‘right thing’ the ‘easy thing’

Empowering DevOps teams: make doing the ‘right thing’ the ‘easy thing’

Nothing stands still in the world of product and service development. That’s no better illustrated than in the changes to DevOps practices currently underway. Organizations are moving from centralized project-centric to de-centralized product-focused delivery models.

Here, we see DevOps product teams taking full ownership of the end-to-end cycle of a product or service. This move is mainly driven by the digital transformation programs these organizations are undertaking to stay relevant for their employees, customers, and partners.

The digital landscape organizations are creating will contain multiple different channels through which to engage, interact and be close to the life of the customer. This digital landscape also needs to support the workforce, which has become more remote with many people working from home. The digital channels expose either existing business capabilities that reside on-premises via public clouds and/or new business capabilities that are built from the ground up as cloud native applications. Everything is in place to make the organization’s capabilities resilient to changes and ready for scalability when the business grows.

Staying focused on value

The product-focused delivery model enables organizations to be flexible and move fast. But this agility also has to be managed appropriately. In creating and exposing business capabilities through so many digital channels, DevOps teams must take care to ensure the implementation is consistent, compliant, and secure. Without these aspects they will fail in their endeavors to deliver the sought-after business capabilities that realize value.  

A best practice for achieving this is to build a Cloud Native Foundation, for example by leveraging IBM Cloud and CloudPaks. This foundation should be built with the mindset to ‘make the right thing the easy thing to do’. It will help DevOps teams to focus on business value from the outset. Too often governance, compliancy, and security are viewed as obstacles for DevOps to overcome, so it’s important to make complying with governance the path of least resistance. To get this foundation operational, organizations need to align DevOps teams on working principles – that’s principles, not rules – and publish best practices to provide helpful, actionable, guidance.

Embracing InnerSource

A Cloud Native Foundation for product-oriented DevOps teams includes capabilities that span the full range of application development and management, from reference architectures with executable assets, DevOps practices, self-service DevOps tool chains, cloud environments, and clear policies for quality and security, through to automation for the run of the systems. These can all be created and maintained by embracing an InnerSource mentality to share and re-use by fostering a collaborative ethos of continuous improvement. This InnerSource knowledge-sharing culture makes the whole organization more efficient and helps grow teams’ and individuals’ experience and capabilities.

Make the right thing the easy thing to do. Build your foundation to accelerate and keep the focus on business functionality that delivers true business value.


Clemens Reijnen
Clemens Reijnen
Global CTO of Cloud Services