How to create a successful DevOps organizational structure

Last updated:August 2019

Editor's note

From large, multinational banks to small startups, organizations of all sizes can benefit from a DevOps strategy. DevOps is a portmanteau of development and operations for a reason: The basis of any DevOps organizational structure is developers and IT operations personnel, who collaborate with test engineers, security teams, database administrators, application owners and other related parties.

Smart hiring tactics establish the right DevOps team structure, as well as an understanding of everyone's roles. Place a high value on learning and collaboration, beyond simply designating teams, and this shrewd composition of skills can start a revolution in how IT works.

1Master these essential DevOps skills

If you're a systems administrator with Linux skills and experience across a range of IT management and monitoring tools, congratulations -- you're well on your way to fitting into a typical DevOps organizational structure. Pick up hard skills in programming, orchestration, cloud administration and automation to support a DevOps methodology. Place high importance on communication, as well as project and change management, to share this vital IT knowledge with other members of the team.

2Create effective cross-functional teams

DevOps starts with developers and IT operations and management staff -- but doesn't end there. Many DevOps initiatives fall short of goals or are abandoned because of roadblocks in IT infrastructure security, unresolved conflicts in data management across departments and other missed opportunities. These problems stem from failing to include the diverse network of people that make IT happen. Learn where database administrators, networking teams, line-of-business managers, security engineers and others fit into DevOps organizational structures.

3Promote collaboration and chatting

Whether it's with two pizzas in a conference room or the adoption of real-time collaboration tools and easily updated documentation, organizations must make an effort to bring DevOps teams together. The particular activities and tasks will vary, depending on the existing corporate culture, proximity to like-minded IT folks and leadership. Get ideas from the experts' advice below, and formulate a plan to introduce everyone to DevOps, get them excited about it and ensure ongoing communication.

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