Compose an enduring DevOps organization structure

Last updated:August 2016

Editor's note

DevOps culture isn't about wearing jeans rather than a suit; large multinational banks and small startups both benefit from their own implementation of DevOps. DevOps is a portmanteau of development and operations for a reason: The basis of any DevOps organizational structure is developers and IT operations personnel, collaborating with test engineers, security teams, database administrators, application owners and other interested parties.

Smart hiring tactics will help get the right team in place and establish an understanding of everyone's roles. Place a high value on learning and collaboration, beyond simply designating teams, and this shrewd composition of skills can start a revolution in how IT works.

1We can work it out

If you're a systems administrator with Linux skills and experience on a broad range of IT management and monitoring tools, congratulations. You're well on your way to fitting into a typical DevOps organizational structure. Pick up hard skills in programming and orchestration, cloud administration and the concept of immutable infrastructure to support the agility and automation of DevOps production. Place high importance on communication as well as project and change management to share this vital IT knowledge with other members of the team.

2With a little help from my friends

DevOps starts with developers and operations and management staff -- it doesn't end there. Many DevOps initiatives fall short of goals or are abandoned by the enterprise because of roadblocks in the IT infrastructure security, unresolved conflicts in data management across departments, and other missed opportunities. These problems stem from failing to include the diverse network of people that make IT happen. Learn where database administrators, line of business managers, security engineers and others fit into DevOps team structures.

3Come together, right now

Whether it's with two pizzas in a conference room, internal hackathons or a Tech Field Day trip, organizations must make an effort to bring DevOps teams together. The particular activities and tasks will vary depending on your existing corporate culture, proximity to like-minded IT folks and plenty of other factors. Get ideas from the articles below, and formulate a plan to introduce everyone to DevOps, get them excited about it and test the waters. While this may rattle the existing team, accept that you might need new talent to achieve the dream.