Changing Culture with the Cloud

Spend any time on this blog and you’ll read about how I believe in the cultural transformation cloud has to offer. From the increased financial flexibility to the more innovative development teams, the customizable approach to cloud results in positive outcomes that prepare organizations for the future.

Culture is a fuzzy concept that takes an organization a long way. In Silicon Valley, the mere mention of culture is enough to illicit a range of emotions in both startups and enterprise organizations. After all, the implementation of a great culture ultimately results in happy and productive employees while the lack of one leads to higher turnover. While many attribute the growth or decline of company culture to the leadership of executives, that’s not the only spot where employees can feel happiness or dissatisfaction – there is just enough impact in technology adoption too.

In my curiosity to see how deep this goes, I picked up one of Forrester’s latest reports, Tackling the Cultural Challenges of Agile and DevOps Transformation by John R. Rymer, et al. What I read was a thorough analysis of where DevOps, the cloud, Agile methodologies within an organization, and company culture are today, and the challenges technology leaders face as they look to unify both people and processes. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the early conclusions drawn by the report.

  1. Culture is built through inherent habits: Modern workforces no longer stick together for decades. While my parents may have spent several as engineers in their respective companies, peers of mine today will be lucky to spend 10% of their career in one spot. As a result, bringing together team members in a DevOps framework is a far tougher challenge due to individualized habits. While DevOps may be new, how individual employees work may remain the same, creating a gap between the ideal and reality.
  2. Agile and DevOps must work together: On their own, the two can survive, but the results are few and in between. It wasn’t until DevOps automation processes were introduced that efficiency gains finally occurred. As a result, implementing one or the other can solve some problems, but the bigger picture remains to be attacked.
  3. Modern office environments require change: Finally, Forrester’s research examined and found that the modern day office environment does not meet the requirements of a DevOps-driven company. While DevOps encourages collaboration and communication, many buildings have walls that separate QA, development, business, and marketing from each other, with many retreating to instant message or email to get things done.

Despite these challenges, there are ways around the challenges through Forrester’s stated Immersive Intervention, a methodology executed upon by Pivotal, the developers of the cloud-native platform. In short, Immersive Intervention advocates the act of pairing, which includes:

  1. Driving new behaviors, which drive greater workplace collaboration.
  2. Development of new skills

  3. Knowledge transfer, and the sharing of key information.

  4. Improvement of focus, enabling better continuous innovation and development.
  5. Consistent collaboration, which fosters teamwork throughout the day instead of at certain points in time.
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If all executed perfectly, organizations do benefit through the completion of projects, skill acquisition, and collaboration. While there may be a significant amount of hate around the open office trend, this might just mean that us consumers see our favorite products and their updates at an accelerated pace.

We’ll explore how to maximize Immersive Intervention in a follow-up blog.

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