IT Consumerization vs DevOps?

There are two terms that are referred to significantly often in discussions about cloud computing, its drivers, and its impact. The first term is DevOps – a combination of the terms development and operations. It refers to the fact that the tasks of developers and system administrators get increasingly closer in a cloud-based IT world where infrastructure resources become programmable fostering application centric deployment and agile development processes. System administrators are supposed to write sophisticated scripts to automate large parts of operations and think as a developer. (Interesting Links: [here][here] and [here])

The other term is “IT Consumerization” – it refers to the observation that applications, tools, and technologies from the consumer world find their way into the enterprise. This movement has several drivers: employees that are getting more and more mobile are necessarily forced to access their data from different locations and devices (laptops, mobile phones, PCs). As a consequence, enterprise IT infrastructures become ubiquitous and heterogenous: the former one-size-fits approach of IT departments to centralize administration, management, and security of every PC, is no longer feasible today with the number of increasing devices and accelerated technological progress. Thus, employees are given more and more control about what devices and tools they can pick (BYOT – “Bring You Own Technology”). This movement opened the door into the enterprise for SaaS tools like GMail or Salesforce – but also for cloud infrastructure services such as Amazon EC2: quickly need a demo-machine? need some machines for load-testing? need to share some really big files? Amazon EC2 offers the immediate solution to it – without following the lengthy processes of the IT department that may result in rejection of the demand or a purchase with a delivery that takes several weeks. Speed and simplicity play an important role here. (Interesting Links: [here][here] and [here])

While people assume that both are just two sides of the same medal, I find they are somehow conflicting movements. The DevOps movement requires highly skilled IT workers that combine the competences of developers and system administrators and that are able to write sophisticated automation scripts. IT Consumerization means a shift from classical heavy-weight tools (such as HP OpenView, for example) to a broad variety of simpler tools (mostly SaaS tools) that focus on specific use-cases, have a much smaller feature set than classical tools, and are far easier to use. Those tools (let’s cite Pingdom for monitoring as an example, but also the EC2 Management Console) take away a lot of the burden of administrators, extremely simplify their work, and thus even allow less-skilled people to manage a big part of the IT needs of a company.

Is there an error in my reasoning? Where’s the breakup? Feedback welcome!

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