Jul282017

BizDevOps is more than just a methodology to hone the IT development process. Simon Kent of Sollertis says it can transform customer experience. And that’s just the beginning.

DevOps (or BizDevOps as some people now prefer to call it) is now seen as an important strategy for improving the deployment and development of business IT.  However, its influence extends way beyond the development and operations realm which its name suggests, potentially delivering myriad benefits. Customer experience is one of these benefits and in this article, I’ll explain how this will happen, plus detail yet more improvements that BizDevOps can offer organisations. 

Firstly, a quick definition. DevOps helps Developers and Operations collaboratively create and improve IT services, tools and applications. It condones a systems-thinking approach. This means all parties understand their role in the ‘bigger picture’ of helping the business become more efficient and competitive. DevOps then creates a continuous feedback loop so that IT quality is constantly tested and scrutinised, while a culture of experimentation means that new innovations are encouraged.

(If you want to learn more about DevOps working practices and concepts and how they can be applied to your business, I’ve co-written a BizDevOps guide which you can download here.)

BizDevOps or DevOps?

Our personal definition of DevOps decides whether we need use the name BizDevOps. The longer title exists because DevOps was in danger of becoming too narrow in its focus – essentially a small-scale feedback exercise involving developers and select individuals within operations.  DevOps should be bigger than this. It should involve every stakeholder. It should include input from business leaders and those setting strategic objectives. In other words, the continuous cycle of systems thinking, feedback and experimentation should include everyone in the business. The term ‘BizDevOps’ was coined to ensure this is understood.

BizDevOps has become popular because it enforces the idea that the business should be deeply involved in steering IT.  More importantly, it teaches us that business outcomes should be the focus of everything that IT does.  Therefore, as long as this is understood, either name is suitable. For the remainder of this article, I’ll refer to it as BizDevOps.

The power of BizDevOps

Most obviously the BizDevOps cycle of IT improvement – if executed correctly – will deliver more relevant IT.  But the improvements run much deeper than that. By ensuring that IT has been developed and deployed based on customer and business feedback, it will logically be more relevant and easier to use than something that was prescribed by an isolated IT department.

There’s a tendency to reduce “customer experience” to the moment of something being fixed. The classic helpdesk incident management. However, the best customer experience occurs when a fix isn’t needed because the product or service works. This only happens when the provider of that product or service has consulted the customers, understood their challenges and delivered an appropriate product that meets or exceeds expectations.   

BizDevOps breaks IT out from its silo-mindset by building meaningful relationships with customers. It takes the guesswork out of creating IT by basing decisions on tangible feedback. And it creates a culture and process that means IT is always delivering what the business needs.

So in answer to the question, yes, BizDevOps can help improve the customer experience. Not only can it improve customer experience, it can ensure that awareness of technology usage is never forgotten. But it can also do so much more. Ultimately, BizDevOps can help IT deliver outcomes which dovetail with corporate objectives and demonstratively help achieve them. What can be more worthy than that?

To learn more, read: How to turn the principles of BizDevOps into meaningful results.

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