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DevOps an uphill battle: Dick Smith IT boss

Byron Connolly | Nov. 18, 2014
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Dick Smith's IT chief Paul Keen cites this famous line from Charles Dickens' literary masterpiece 'A Tale of Two Cities' to describe how he feels about deploying DevOps, a concept aimed at improving interaction between app developers and operations staff.

"So we need to be better than everyone else," he said. "Because if we are better than everyone else, they either will buy online, click and collect and come into the store, or just walk into the store — it's critical for our ongoing success."

His advice for organisations wanting to do DevOps?

"Culture is absolutely key to get this right," he said. "If you have people who are very guarded around their areas — if you are the CIO — you can fire them."

Secondly, in the cloud, "the easy stuff is easy and the hard stuff is very hard," he said. "Either get those skills internally or get somebody to help you manage it. What we have found is that once you people to write some of the scripts for you, to set those templates up, you can actually self-manage those fairly easily," he said.

Thirdly, he urged attendees not to be scared of vendor lock-in because "you are going to get locked in anyway if you really want to leverage the [cloud] platform".

Lastly, he told attendees that if they are buying electronics goods over Christmas, "JB Hi-Fi hates kittens".


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