Is DevOps the new silo?


Over the last week, due to the awesomeness that was PuppetConf, I’ve met with a lot of people including a lot of teams who wanted to talk about both DevOps and Puppet. Quite a lot of those teams described themselves as the “DevOps” team or as “DevOps Engineers”. I largely belong to the school of thought that titles are largely bollocks.1 I also firmly believe DevOps is about doing IT differently rather than being a “role” in and of itself.

So I’ve been struck by the thought that rather than helping improve silos across organizations that many “DevOps” teams and roles are actually just moving the problem around. Cue “deckchairs on the Titantic” reference. By concentrating all the new and useful skills in one team and potentially isolating the smart people who want to make change do we create a new, equally ineffective, silo?

To me DevOps isn’t about naming something the “DevOps” team or giving yourself a new title. It’s about changing the culture, process and tooling of your organization. It’s about making the business happy, getting product to market faster and being more efficient and effective. Don’t get sidetracked or suckered into not solving these issues by making token structural changes. Make the changes your IT organization needs even if you have to throw away the “DevOps” marketing/packaging because they’ve become a distraction rather than a differentiator.

  1. Minor exceptions exist. ↩︎