This world is defined by technology, speed, and innovation – and this applies to products and the companies that make them. It is important for companies to continually shift to meet increasing needs so they can get a useful product to market as quickly as possible. Vital to this process is the information technology (IT) team. Every company in the 21st century must rely on technology; indeed for some companies it is their product, perhaps an app or a vital piece of hardware.
There are some prevailing theories on how to structure your IT teams to address your needs. Historically, IT departments seemed to be one single-minded team, but recently IT teams can be structured into separate departments that have specific goals and responsibilities.
A simple reason for a need to differentiate IT needs and responsible teams is that a lot of IT can be divided into two areas: the hardware and software of running a company, and the actual development of software, both internal and external products.
In this article, we are exploring ITOps, DevOps, and related concepts that help companies be as agile and secure as possible. Understanding these concepts is key to structuring your company in the way that works best for your products and customers.
What is NoOps?
While many companies still strive to reach a DevOps culture, providing separate but vital teams of IT operations and developer operations, some industry experts consider the step beyond DevOps.
Shorthand for No IT Operations, NoOps is a theory that extends from DevOps: that ITOps shouldn’t be involved in any tech-related actions. NoOps holds that an IT environment can eventually be automated to the point that no in-house team is required and dedicated to manage the network.
In some ways, NoOps seems like an idyllic concept. Let’s consider the positive effects of a NoOps environment:
- With ITOps automated, the likelihood of human error decreases significantly.Many issues that arise in IT environments are based on humans making a change in a complicated and complex network. If the change isn’t vetted through every single possibility and later stages of the lifecycle, there can be issues that create network outages, reducing work time for many employees. NoOps would eliminate downtown and improve performance because no human intervention would be required in a fully automated system.
- DevOps can accelerate all collaboration. In a NoOps work culture, there are no ITOps, so the friction that exists between their regulatory and compliance role and the speed and innovation role of DevOps.
- ITOps can elevate their role. ITOps proponents worry that a fully-realized NoOps culture would remove any need for them. Industry analysts recognize this, but also believe that ITOps can become a more consultative and strategic team, partnering with developers and other teams in the company to ensure better access to the tools they need. Some suggest that ITOps can even embed into the developer team, though working with the agile framework of DevOps.
Still, some in the industry believe that NoOps isn’t the automated utopia we imagine it to be. With only a single team of developers, and no ITOps, the burden of too much responsibility could hinder app developers from rapid production. This burden means that a subdivision of developers could be possible, such as infrastructure developers separated from application developers.
This subdivision inherently questions whether a true NoOps environment is possible, or whether a re-imagination of ITOps is preferred. If ITOps can become more automated-focused, they can continue to provide a consultative and innovative approach to IT across the entire company – while still allowing DevOps to move forward with as few tethers as possible.