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  • Matt Wilson

A DevOps Dilemma - Not Built Here

By Matt Wilson

As the demand for digital transformation continues to grow, organizations are turning to DevOps professionals to help them modernize their applications and scale their infrastructure. However, despite the availability of platform tools designed to make this process easier, DevOps teams still are reluctant to use them. Why is this the case?

At its core, there is a desire to control DevOps projects from end to end while using tool sets curated in house. DevOps professionals are enthusiastic about their work and take pride in building infrastructure that is tailored to the specific needs of their organization. They understand the nuances of their systems and know how to perfect them for maximum performance. As a result, many DevOps professionals are reluctant to use platform tools because they feel that these tools don't provide the same level of control that they do from personally overseeing and laying hands on keyboards to run projects.

However, this mindset can create challenges when it comes to app modernization projects. These projects often require a high degree of scalability and automation, which can be difficult to achieve without the use of platform tools. By relying solely on their own ability, DevOps professionals may be limiting their ability to scale their infrastructure and meet the needs of their organization.

Another factor contributing to this reluctance is the fear of job displacement. DevOps professionals are highly skilled individuals who have invested a significant amount of time and effort in building their ability. They may feel that the use of platform tools will make their skills obsolete, potentially creating job security concerns. This fear is understandable, but it's important to recognize that platform tools are not meant to replace DevOps professionals. Rather, they are designed to augment their skills and make their jobs easier and more efficient. This creates more time for the DevOps team to build new features and functionality while not getting bogged down in the day-to-day deployment and operations.

There is also concern that investing in certain tools to support cloud-specific rollouts or Kubernetes specific tools, like AWS or RedHat OpenShift (for example) can lock in vendors and tools which can limit technical choices in the future or create technical debt. The resolution is to select a cloud and Kubernetes neutral (agnostic) platform.

One way to overcome this reluctance is to take a more collaborative approach to app modernization. Leaders need to work with their DevOps teams to find areas where platform tools can be used to streamline their workflows and improve efficiency. DevOps professionals, in turn, need to be open to using these tools and recognize that they can help them achieve their goals more effectively and, in the process, can become more valuable to their organization.

Reluctance to add platform tools reflects a passion for innovation and a desire for control over the infrastructure that supports an organization's technical operations.

The current state of the economy that is causing tech layoffs is forcing teams to do more with less and increase efficiency in the DevOps. However, it's important for DevOps professionals to recognize that platform tools can help them achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently. By collaborating with executive sponsors and IT leaders DevOps teams can allow organizations to build the infrastructure necessary to drive a cloud native approach to app modernization with platform in place.


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