Raptek Summer Series: 2 of 6, Cloud, ITaaS and DevOps


Last week I sat down with Rapid Technologies' process expert Gordon Hodgson, former CIO of World Vision to discuss ITaaS, Cloud, and DevOps. This is our second installment in a 6 part series centered on ITSM in the Enterprise.


Matt Duntsch: "IT is changing rapidly with the Cloud, IT as a Service and DevOps, how can I get my origination on the right path?"

Gordon Hodgson: "The problem is that all of these things, especially DevOps, and even some of the IT as a Service, are new concepts within your organization.  And what we tend to do sometimes is mandate that we do this, not recognizing that there is a culture that our organization has.  

I spent a few years as a CIO for a large NGO, and I found that mandating things within an organization like that was really not possible, because there was a tremendous amount of pushback.

And so what you need to do is think about, okay, I'm going to implement DevOps for example, what do I need to do from an Organizational Change Management perspective to make sure that my organization understands why I am going to DevOps, why it's important to do this, and what’s in it for me?  

Because the guy sitting out in the cubicle, seeing the mandate coming from the CIO, his or her first reaction is going to be, “what’s in it for me?”

Is this going to be more work? Am I going to lose my job? What’s this going to mean for me?

The important thing is with OCM or Organizational Change Management, is communication and training.  We communicate what we are going to do in a lot of different ways.

And then we make sure that across the organization, we are trained not only on why we are going to do it, but how to do it, and what its going to do for the overall organization,.

Simply sitting back and saying, “Well I’m the CIO, I want this to happen, make it happen.” Is not necessarily the best way to do it.  Mark Fields, the former CEO of Ford, alluded to the fact that you can have the best strategy in the world, but corporate culture can trump that strategy very very easily.

Because you get resistance, you get things that people don't want to do, you get pushback, and you don’t get full cooperation when your just trying to shove something down somebody’s throat.

So having an Organizational Change Management, recognizing that you have a culture, whatever it is, each organization has its own culture, recognize that it's there, and learn to deal with it, and make sure that you are covering your bases, so that you have a smoother transition.

Because the majority of people, when you look at the statistics that have been in published literature, you look out there and you see that the majority of the people are resisters and fence sitters.

And those people make up 60-70% of your population.  You don’t have that many early adopters and champions, the majority of the people have some type of resistance, so if you don’t recognize that upfront, and have an OCM plan to go forward along with your technology plan, you have less chance of being successful than if you have one.

And that's what I meant by, how do I get my organization to go along. You communicate, you train, you make sure that everyone is on the same page, as much as possible.

You are still going to have dissenters, that’s just human nature.  But the majority of your people, if you train them and communicate with them, are going to get on board, at least an initial to see how it's going to work, and if it's successful, then they will just follow along with the path.  

But if you don’t recognize the cultural issues and you ignore that , I think you have a less chance of success, moving any initiative across an enterprise."