Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

The Importance of Operational Maturity and Being Application-Centric | @DevOpsSummit #Agile #DevOps

There have been several attempts to define the stages of operational maturity

The Importance of Operational Maturity and Being Application-Centric
By Michael Churchman

Is your organization's IT system operationally mature, and is it application-centric? In today's digital landscape, achieving both of these are crucial for the success of any serious IT operation - both at the enterprise level and in the context of smaller organizations.

What is operational maturity? It is a general measure of the overall consistency, reliability, resilience, coherence, and sophistication of an IT system at the levels of management, design, and operation.

There have been several attempts to define the stages of operational maturity, including Gartner's five-level system, and Microsoft's four-level Infrastructure Optimization Model. Most models of operational maturity assume or imply that the levels of maturity are equivalent to the stages of growth within a company or an IT operation - with good reason. Operational maturity generally is the result of learning through experience and necessity, and of wisdom accumulated over time. The five levels listed below draw roughly on both the Gartner and Microsoft models:

Level 1. The Heroic Age
From a mythological standpoint, this is the era of primeval chaos, when heroes and monsters fought endless battles, and everyday people were lucky if they could survive from one moment to the next. In the IT world, managers, support staff and developers all struggle in a genuinely heroic way to prevent or extinguish disasters and keep systems running on a day-to-day (or even minute-to-minute) basis. Compatibility at the level of protocols, standards, and interfaces for both hardware and software is haphazard at best, if not entirely non-existent. Elements of the infrastructure may be obsolete, and inadequate for the demands of the system. The failure rate is high, and the time and resources of IT staff are largely tied up in keeping everything operational.

Level 2. Putting Out Brushfires
At this point, IT staff is still reacting, for the most part, maintaining and repairing the system on an ad-hoc basis. Managers are aware of the importance of eventually improving the IT infrastructure, even if they aren't in a position to embark on a coherent plan of upgrade.

Level 3. Stabilization
Here, support staff and management are largely in control, rather than simply reacting. There has been enough investment in infrastructure so that the system is adequate to meet the organization's day-to-day needs. Standards and policies governing operation, service, security, and documentation are in place and being followed.

Level 4. Taking the Lead
IT is operating on a proactive basis with regard to specific organizational needs and objectives. End user needs are not only being met, but also anticipated. There is a comprehensive program of infrastructure upgrade, improvement, and expansion, and the system is well-maintained, with well-defined processes around incident management and response.

Level 5. Full Operational Maturity
IT is in an active, forward-looking strategic partnership with top management, and it provides major competitive advantages to the organization as a whole. At this level, there is typically a high degree of automation, and the system is extremely reliable, allowing IT management to concentrate on initiatives for expansion and innovation. Agile teams are empowered to safely and rapidly deploy new innovations oriented around optimizing the customer experience. Both future plans and current build-out focus on enhancing the value and scope of the business and the services that it provides.


It's easy to see that Levels 1 and 2 are basically about survival, and leave little room for anything else. The foundations for operational maturity are laid out at Level 3. It is only at Levels 4 and 5, when IT is able to move from being a support service to a forward-looking asset, that operational maturity becomes a reality.

Application-Centric IT
One of the key factors in the transition from the stable support-service role to a proactive IT system is the adoption of an application-centric approach. Early on, IT is concerned with applications, of course, but its focus is strongly functional - keeping key software operating according to specifications. A truly application-centric approach goes beyond basic functional considerations and concentrates on such things as the quality and breadth of services delivered to the user. Application-centric IT is cloud-based and composable, making it easier to deliver services to the user, independent of underlying hardware infrastructure.

Whether it is cloud-based or more closely tied to infrastructure, an application-centric IT strategy is critical to becoming more operationally mature. By definition, operational maturity is application-centric; it focuses on the value that can be delivered to both the enterprise and the individual employee by providing comprehensive, optimum-quality digital services.

How do we get there?
What does the journey look like in achieving operational maturity? Ultimately, of course, that depends to a considerable degree on the current state of your IT operations and infrastructure.

If the day-to-day reality for your IT department is centered around survival and emergency response, you can start by acknowledging your support staff for being the heroes that they are, then mapping out a basic strategy for attaining bare-bones stability. Even if you're in no position to acquire the resources that you need, it is important to be prepared to seize the moment if the opportunity arises.

If you have a stable, reasonably well-functioning infrastructure, the next step is expanding your focus from maintaining the system to adding value to the organization as a whole. This can involve a shift in thinking on the part of IT management and staff alike. The good news, however, is that if you are at the level where your infrastructure is stable and IT performance is adequate, the move to operational maturity will largely entail a shift towards tighter cross-functional transparency and collaboration, rather than a struggle to acquire resources.

Operational maturity, then, really is no mystery. It is merely a matter of growing into a full partnership with the business and its goals, when your infrastructure is sufficiently stable and functional to allow you to look beyond day-to-day operations. It's a natural stage of growth for a company that realizes IT operations should not be a cost center, but rather a source of innovation.

The post The Importance of Operational Maturity and Being Application-Centric appeared first on PagerDuty.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By PagerDuty Blog

PagerDuty’s operations performance platform helps companies increase reliability. By connecting people, systems and data in a single view, PagerDuty delivers visibility and actionable intelligence across global operations for effective incident resolution management. PagerDuty has over 100 platform partners, and is trusted by Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, including Microsoft, National Instruments, Electronic Arts, Adobe, Rackspace, Etsy, Square and Github.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...