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TechNewsWorld.com

Manifesto Hatched to Close Gap Between Business and IT

By Jack M. Germain
Oct 22, 2020 3:11 PM PT
BizOps Manifesto

The BizOps Coalition hopes to bridge the gap between technology investments and business outcomes through an effort called the BizOps Manifesto, which offers numerous guiding principles to help organizations achieve business outcomes based on trust, confidence, and collaboration.

The group published the document on its website Oct. 13 as a framework to address its key issues: to scale and accelerate the advancement of the BizOps movement.

The BizOps Coalition advocates for fundamental change in the way business and IT collaborate in modern software development by using this new framework designed to connect technology investments to business outcomes. The BizOps movement has gained traction with leading organizations, helping them reduce waste and inefficiencies, break down silos, and improve collaboration to better align IT with business outcomes.

But more needs to be done. That led to the Manifesto's creation.

Agile and DevOps approaches have enabled rapid development and continual improvement of software quality. But these approaches fail to connect the development to business outcomes. That causes wasted productivity and money.

Project Management Institute reported a million dollars is wasted every 20 seconds on IT investments that do not align to business value, according to the coalition.

The scale of digital business is growing very rapidly. This mandates continual changes to how organizations view automation and collaboration. Today's digital transformation mandates the concepts of this manifesto, noted Thomas Hatch, CTO and co-founder at SaltStack.

"I think that the need for a BizOps coalition is real. The challenges that companies face in the growing world of digital business can be very difficult to keep up with. The BizOps coalition is helping to simplify the core points of digital transformation and digital business in a way that can be leveraged more easily by companies today," he told TechNewsWorld.

Extended Relationship

BizOps is a logical extension of the core ideas of DevOps, noted Hatch. Both communities share several common goals.

"This is about the convergence of communication in companies and watching as the ideas of DevOps push business change as they accelerate the business to be able to push more product and garner greater revenue," he said.

DevOps is focused on improving the speed of software delivery, added Serge Lucio, vice president and general manager for enterprise software at Broadcom. He is one of the manifesto's authors and a founding member of the coalition.

"That does not necessarily translate to delivering the right software to meet business needs. BizOps helps put business outcomes at the center of everything, from value management to development to IT operations," Lucio told TechNewsWorld.

This approach enables DevOps teams to build on established concepts like continuous feedback loops. It also enables their expansion to incorporate strategic planning and enterprise business context, he explained.

Why Add a Coalition?

Is a new business group really needed? After all, enterprise and technology groups already working together.

Yes, and no, according to Lucio. A recent Forrester survey found CEOs and IT leaders are at odds when it comes to the importance of speeding software delivery to meet business requirements.

"CEOs viewed this as 2.3 times more important than software leaders. That is obviously a big challenge. At the same time, software and business leaders focus on different success metrics," he remarked.

Development teams track and report on metrics related to speed and quality. Business leaders track business performance metrics such as revenue growth, customer retention, and profit margins.

"BizOps can help bridge the gap between these two groups and their metrics. In this way, Bizops can help unify dev and ops," Lucio clarified.

Today's harsher, new normal reality requires a significant focus on connecting business metrics and outcomes to every IT product and project, said Stephen Elliot, program vice president of management software and DevOps at IDC in the coalition's written announcement.

"To accomplish these objectives, IT leadership teams require pragmatic operating models and frameworks that reduce business risks and increase operational and team efficiencies.

"IT and business leaders who adopt BizOps have a great opportunity to win now, drive more team collaboration, deliver business outcomes, and thrive in the future," Elliot added.

Guiding Principles

The BizOps Manifesto outlines 12 guiding principles to help organizations achieve business outcomes. This framework celebrates trust, confidence, and collaboration.

The Manifesto includes these key ideas:

  • Business outcomes are the primary measure of success.
  • Business leaders need to make informed technology investment decisions that drive business growth, improve customer experience, and increase profitability.
  • Requirements can and should change frequently, based on changing market, customer, and business requirements.
  • Changes are welcome even after the software is in production.
  • The most efficient way to build trust and confidence is through transparency, communication, and shared objectives.

The complete list contained in the manifesto is available here . The coalition encourages supporters to sign the manifesto.

The manifesto brings to the table several factors that are not provided by other business and software communities. The BizOps Manifesto builds on the work of the Agile and DevOps manifestos. But it focuses on the cultural transformation necessary to bridge the gap between software development and business, Lucio said.

"It is less about the process of developing software and more about aligning software development with the broader needs of the business," he added.

The Time Is Now

A series of recent events have forced rapid changes or influences on BizOps. Business transformation has exploded during this pandemic. Organizations of all types and sizes are adapting and pivoting their business focus and operations to best meet the needs of their customer base and continue to drive business value.

It appears the effects of the pandemic will continue well into 2021. Therefore, it is imperative organizations streamline the efforts of their IT departments and ensure all spending and activities are supporting the organization's overall goals, according to Lucio.

"There are three main drivers that have come together that make now the time for BizOps. The first, as we just discussed, is the rapid transformation brought about by COVID-19," he said.

The second event driver is the new generation of CIOs. Their experiences have been shaped in a culture focused on delivering business value.

The third driver is the data explosion resulting from this transformation. That data explosion is vast and is accelerating the use of AI and machine learning to make sense of it all.

"This trifecta is driving both the need and opportunity for BizOps," Lucio insisted.

Coming Together

The manifesto will help align IT investments with business processes and outcomes. It was developed to better define BizOps and the values and principles needed to successfully implement BizOps in the enterprise.

The BizOps framework leverages AI and ML to help business and software leaders break down silos, improve collaboration, and work toward the same objectives. Agile and DevOps have taken software development forward in huge ways, Lucio observed.

"But ultimately, we have to ask if we are delivering on the business outcomes the CEO cares about. That is really what has been missing -- that true business context and alignment between IT and business. The BizOps movement is focused on helping drive the cultural transformation required to actually deliver on that," he concluded.


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.


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