Why CIOs Need to Pay Attention to DevOps

The number one threat to your organization’s Agile or digital transformation efforts is how well your team manages the database release process. When software releases happened only once or twice a year, having manual reviews for database changes made sense. This required DBA resources to also look at the current state of the database and understand the changes in context. “Is the new index going to create too many on a table? Do the columns in this foreign key already have indexes?” are questions to be answered prior to the database change deployment.

Now, with the number of applications and their releases increasing, database DevOps and digital transformation are threatened by an error-prone, tedious, and slow process.

Here are five reasons why CIOs should care about database releases

1. Your company is a software company.

As Marc Andreesen told us in 2011, software is eating the world. Since all companies will engage their customers through compelling applications, the companies with the best software will be the winners. The proven way to improve software is releasing early and often. However, if your organization is mired in old fashioned manual change, your business will never reach its full potential as a software company. When you hear the statement “That’s not the way it’s done here”, you need to immediately question why that is the case and help your team understand that old biases need to shape how they reach their goals. It’s time to break some glass.

2. Unless you fix the database problem first, you are wasting money on other improvements.

Time and time again, we hear technology leaders say they should have addressed the database deployment problem before tackling the easy problem of application release automation. A herd can only move as fast as its fastest member. No matter how much money and time you invest in DevOps, it will be wasted effort until you speed your database releases. We call that the “Velocity Gap” when the pace of application releases surpasses database releases. I like to think of it as putting wagon wheels on a Tesla; it just doesn’t make sense to use old and new methods of software releases together.

3. Companies that completely adopt DevOps outperform the S&P 500.

The best part of the State of DevOps report is evidence that companies that have adopted DevOps outperformed the S&P 500 over a three-year period. As detailed above, you must adopt a complete DevOps strategy and include the database to fully realize your company’s potential. DevOps companies are more nimble and competitive in the market. They can take advantage of opportunities faster.

4. Your competitors are addressing this problem and they are beating you.

A survey by Datical and CIO Magazine detailed that the pace of database releases is the biggest blocker of digital transformation. 91% of DBAs surveyed stated that their current process of database release is slowing application releases. Your greenfield competitors do not have this problem. Also, your older existing competitors are just as aware of this problem as you are. With competition from startups trying to take away your high-margin businesses and older existing competitors fixing this issue, you cannot afford to delay.

5. You will retain your employees and improve their skills.

The best and brightest DBAs with decades of experience are tired of working weekends. This directly impacts their quality of life and is completely unnecessary. As the US economy flirts with full employment for high-skilled workers, CIOs cannot afford to lose their best employees to competitors that offer better working environments. We’re not talking about Aeron chairs and foosball tables; we’re talking about piano recitals, little league games, date nights being missed because your team members are waiting on a database release. Unless CIOs resolve this problem, your employees will find another job where this isn’t a problem.

To learn more about DevOps, the database, and driving digital transformation read our white paper, A Guide to Digital Transformation, Enterprise Applications, and the Database.



Seeing is believing.