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Importance of Cultural Shift in Continuous Delivery Model

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Technology leaders are moving towards Continuous Delivery and Agile to accelerate business innovation.

Clint Boulton, senior writer for, recently wrote a news analysis on Agile, continuous delivery models represent ‘cultural shift for IT’. He says that many CIOs are adopting Agile development and DevOps models in which they partner and work closely with the business to build new software.

Clinton shares that Rebecca Jacoby, senior vice president of operations at Cisco Systems, speaking on a panel at the CIO 100 Symposium shares his thoughts on continuous delivery as:

I believe that this is no less than a complete cultural shift for IT. What’s required is moving at exponential speed compared to what we have done in the past.

Andi Gutmans, CEO at Zend Technologies mentions in an ebook: Changing Culture and Building Confidence that the ability to create new high quality software applications and bring them to market more quickly is the “X factor” that defines industry leaders and these leaders all have one thing in common that their IT organizations are leaving traditional approaches behind in favors of new, Agile, collaborative approaches to design, development and delivery of applications.

This ebook offers guidance on navigating the bumpy process of rebuilding culture to embrace continuous delivery. As continuous delivery consultant Tommy Tynjä asserts in his essay:

Change is easy to introduce in an organization. The difficult part is making it stick.

To make agile work at Avnet, CIO Steve Phillips said the IT solutions provider has begun co-locating IT and business groups, commingling the separate groups. Co-location, he says, inspires collaboration and trust between disparate IT and business staff.

In addition to empower cultural changes, implementation of certain supporting practices of Continuous Delivery is also required.

Anand Bagmar, Software quality evangelist at ThoughtWorks, says in his new blog that the key objective of the organizations is to provide value from the products or services they offer. To achieve this, they need to be able to deliver their offerings in the quickest time possible, and of good quality!

Anand mentions that there are various practices that Organizations and Enterprises need to implement to enable Continuous Delivery. Testing (automation) is one of the important practices that need to be setup correctly for Continuous Delivery to be successful. He says that testing in Organizations on the Continuous Delivery journey is tricky and requires a lot of discipline, rigor and hard work. In Enterprises, the Testing complexity and challenges increase exponentially.

In such a fast moving environment, CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Delivery) are now a necessity and not a luxury!

InfoQ has recently been running a series of articles looking at patterns for a DevOps culture. We also have an active research post looking at practices.

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