Why DevOps Roundtable Discussion

Written by Rajat Bhargava on March 24, 2014

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This is the fifth segment of the DevOps State of the Union event in Boston Recap.

My favorite part of the DevOps State of the Union event in Boston was the roundtable discussion on Why DevOps? And it’s not just because I moderated this part of the event! This was a very strategic discussion on how we in the industry can convey the benefits of DevOps to those considering the methodology. There are clearly catalysts that have kicked off the revolution, but that tinder isn’t enough to build the DevOps fire. We need some wind to fan the flames, so to speak. As we discussed it further, that wind is the benefit of getting to a better, quicker product market fit.

DevOps fundamentally transcends development and ops. I sometimes wonder if DevOps as a name will slow down the understanding of the significance of the movement. DevOps doesn’t work if the rest of the organization hasn’t bought into the concept. If development doesn’t know what to build because the sales and marketing organization isn’t spending enough time figuring out what customers want next, then you lose the benefit of rapid iteration. The team can still make progress on building the product, but you lose a major leverage point, which is quickly iterating on what customers are telling you.

Further, if sales can’t help the ops team forecast uptake so that group knows how much they need to scale in a particular time period, you are going to end up wasting time by overbuilding. Ops people are inherently conservative, so they are going to make sure that they have enough capacity to handle their perceived view of uptake. A sales team that is honestly conveying what they are hearing will help an ops team be more efficient.

That integrated approach is going to allow a company to make small, minor adjustments on a rapid basis to get closer to what customers want or solve more use cases for customers. Ultimately, that’s the ball game, isn’t it? Serving more customers, better? The folks from Rackspace said it well. Before, there were just a few people chasing ideas, but now there are hundreds of people chasing them. What’s going to differentiate you? Better execution for your customers.

Regularly Rolling Out Functionality

That’s the reason that DevOps ultimately exists, right? For JumpCloud®, the discussion is very personal. Not only is our Directory-as-a-Service® platform for DevOps, but we also use DevOps to build it. We are working very hard to reimagine Active Directory and LDAP, so pushing out functionality on a regular basis is critical to our success. Let us know if you think we nailed it, or if you have any other thoughts on the topic.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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