Why I went all-in on IT Operations with HighOps
I had a coffee with a friend a couple of days ago and toward the end of our chat he asked the question:
"why did you decide to move into IT Operations?"
That's a question I'm being asked over and over again but this time feels as good as any to resurrect my dead blog (it's been more than a year since the last post and in fact it was offline for the last 8 months or so....).
So why did I decide, after a career mainly focused on software development, to go all in on IT Operations?
There are many anecdotes that reinforced the decision back in 2013 but by and large it was the simple realisation that throughout my entire career EVERY SINGLE TIME a customer had outsourced their IT Operations to a third party our experience as software developers was utterly rubbish. It's always been the biggest bottleneck on the way to Continuous Delivery or anything resembling it.
Around the same time an old customer of mine was having trouble making sense of all the DevOps chatter he was hearing and asked for help. While there they also asked me to help draft a new Request for Tenders because they had decided to change their IT Operations outsourcing partner.
Of course the first thing I did was to try and convince them not to outsource it since I strongly believe companies should own everything that makes up their competitive advantage (incidentally 4 years ago I had succesfully convinced this same company to insource the software development of their flaghship product for the same reason).
But for once they managed to change my mind (imagine that!), the discussion was lenghtly and articulated but if there was one thing they said that clicked, and that is obvious in hindsight, was something like:
"Google and Facebook build their own servers and data centers because that's part of their competitive advantage. We don't and never will because ours is in our software product, not the infrastructure. Our infrastructure is complex but nothing out of the ordinary, it's probably the same other hundreds of thousands of companies use nowadays"
and that made a lot of sense so I started investigating what services their current supplier provided and why they weren't happy with it. It became pretty clear they were having all the same issues I've had when other customers had outsourced IT Operations.
So what was the solution for that segment of companies for which outsourcing IT Operations makes sense but are not satisfied with suppliers who are stuck in the 1990s, use junior personnel following strict check-lists without incentives to think and innovate, behave solely as tactical cost cutting measure, and make their best to prevent change so they can increase margins?
Well, I buy into the values and principles behind Agile, Lean, DevOps and Continuous Delivery so I knew I could offer a different kind of Managed Services company, one that pulls customers towards Continuous Delivery rather than getting in their way, and I also buy into Adrian Cockcroft platform vision:
It goes without saying that I convinced that old customer of mine to give me a try and that's how HighOps was born. I wrote a bit more about my view in various pages of the company website but in particular:
So this is the short version :-)