Forward-thinking enterprises are embracing new technologies and ways of working to grow more agile, stay relevant and compete more effectively, with DevOps as one obvious example.
DevOps goes hand-in-hand with automation, transforming development, testing, deployment and operations in ways that improve IT efficiency and give business a crucial edge. Yet for all the positives surrounding DevOps and automation, there are concerns about the potential implications.
Does breaking down the silos between operations and development mean fewer roles to be filled on both sides? Is automating elements of development, testing, deployment and operations putting IT jobs at risk?
Not necessarily, says Joe Coyle, Global CTO for Cloud Services at Capgemini. “I don’t believe that we’ll be losing jobs. What DevOps is really doing is taking away those repeatable, almost mundane tasks that are very critical and need to be done, but don’t add a lot of value to the business and allowing those resources to focus more on the value add side.”
Charlie Li, Capgemini’s Chief Cloud Officer for North America, agrees. “There is always going to be a small population that will have to worry about their jobs if they’re unwilling to change their mind-set or way of working” he says, but others should find their role changed for the better. He believes that DevOps and automation will continue to create jobs, but the types of job and the skillsets will change, along with the way people IT and business teams, work with each other.
This means stepping out from a siloed way of working, where individual IT workers did their bit and handed it over, and considered their job done.
“That model really isn’t suited for today’s fast-paced world” says Li, “DevOps is really to help teams work more in pods.” A pod is a self-contained team combining different skillsets, where each member has an understanding of the whole process and the team relies on automation to take over the more repetitive or menial tasks.
Li believes, “This would lead to more individuals becoming innovators, designers and brokers’ embracing testing, operations and even business analysis skills.” The new DevOps workforce will have a deeper understanding of the business implications and requirements of their product and more motivation to avoid sloppy code, as they’re more directly involved in dealing with the consequences.
In this new world, technology skills still have value, but adaptability and a willingness to learn become key. Managing this workforce, CIOs will have to make strategic use of their key personnel and teams, across both their legacy and DevOps IT systems.
“The CIO has to keep these in sync” Coyle explains, “and at the same time continue the traditional role of reducing cost and streamlining the business.” Knowing when to retrain and pivot existing skillsets, and when to recruit new resources will be key.
This could mean investing in people now in order to make bigger savings later. “There will always be a period of time where you have to spend a little more to reap the benefits down the line” says Li.
Li feels that CIOs and organisations trying to cut the IT budget and use the savings to drive DevOps innovation are ‘probably being naïve.’ DevOps and automation doesn’t mean driving the job count down but using the IT workforce more strategically to cover future needs.
Want to know more?
- Download The automation advantage report that shows how cloud automation is enabling companies to accelerate their delivery of applications.
- Read the Cloud native comes of age report to find out how cloud-native applications are enabling business agility and innovation.