The days of IT being the gatekeeper to infrastructure are long gone. With the advent of cloud technologies and powerful tools like Amazon Web Services, Vagrant, and DigitalOcean, developers are connected to their production platforms more than ever before, bringing them closer to the font lines of what they’re building.
Where does this put IT? In a position to adapt.
Developers are resourceful and will work around any blocks put in their way, so there’s no need for companies to define IT as a bottleneck for the sake of security or uptime. There are three ways to incorporate changes to your IT department, so that it adapts to the advances in software development: Empower, Evangelize, Organize.
Use your authority to Empower others
As an IT department, you don’t want to get stuck in the trap of opposition. There’s no you versus your developers. Everyone should be on the same team, working towards the same goals. It’s better to use your knowledge-base to train your developers in infrastructure best practices and concepts like redundancy, application mobility, performance scaling, and security.
While UE is very developer centric, we want to empower our developers to own their code when it’s in production, but also help them handle issues like security or revision rollback when necessary. It’s also essential to automate as much as possible and organize deployments. By empowering your developers, you gain their trust. Leverage this trust to multiply your efforts and bring your entire team to a new level.
Use your knowledge to Evangelize
There are many powerful tools available. For example, Amazon released CodeDeploy last year. We trained the developers in deployment practices and consolidated multiple deployment technologies into a central construct, which reduced deployment times by multiple hours. For a company that could deploy several times a week, these time savings can add up and allow your developers to focus on growing your platform instead of troubleshooting them.
Use your left brain to Organize
Good developers are creative. They come up with edgy solutions to difficult technical problems. While there is obviously a great balance between both creative and logical thought in both IT and development, we’ve seen that great IT guys are primarily methodical and logical. So, use that left brain to organize efforts. This can include improving security through best practices, standards compliance, and consistency, and organizing the Operational side of DevOps, by creating the structure of communication and business processes to ensure everyone is involved.
At the end of the day, IT is a customer services organization. We serve those we work with. It’s up to you to find a way to serve your colleagues, solve problems, increase efficiency, and build trust within your team and others. That way, you’ll take your IT to the next level.