With another holiday season and a new year ahead, it’s time for organizations to reflect on the past year of explosive digital transformation and plan for new technologies and challenges on the horizon. It’s also a good time for technologists and team leaders to consider how they might better understand the different types of people within their IT organization and what can be done to break down the silos that often exist between developers, security, and operations teams.
Enterprise teams involved in application development and deployment include many different personalities, but understanding what they as teams and individuals have gone through during the pandemic helps foster understanding and leads to better collaboration. Here’s what leaders can do to help each team reach its full professional potential.
Give SREs the Room to Shine
For site reliability engineers (SREs), the digital transformation of the past two years has presented a significant set of challenges and opportunities, as highlighted in this previous DZone article. This is going to continue as SREs pursue their ultimate goal of bridging the gap between innovation and business risk – both ever-present and ever-changing elements in today’s world.
With new technologies and solutions being developed every day, SREs will need to have specialized tools to lead the charge for their organization in order to ensure peak performance and automate fixes, including investments to support them, and must absolutely feature automation. This is where a full-stack observability strategy that incorporates business context is critical since it automates the task of developing tools and opens SREs’ bandwidth to focus more on the needs of the business in collaboration with other teams.
Developers Deserve a Wide Lens
With more teams shifting to SRE and DevOps responsibilities, the roles of developers are going to expand while their responsibilities grow to encompass not just the functionality and quality of code, but also the performance, scalability, and security of that code.
To effectively pull this off, organizations need to integrate all domain experts and their perspectives into the application development process earlier. As technologies become more integrated and the lines between application, infrastructure, and network become increasingly blurred, the entire architecture needs to be better understood – not just small individual components.
For IT team leaders, this means giving developers a clearer view of what is most important to the end-user and to the business from the very start of the development process. Developers can then utilize this knowledge to understand the business goals to build better-performing and longer-lasting applications.
Continue to ShiftLeft with Security Teams
When it comes to providing a top-notch user experience, security teams need to be involved as early on in the application development process as possible. For consumers and end-users, a security breach – for example – automatically creates a negative experience. And as the AppDynamics 2021 App Attention Index showed, 61% of consumers said they will no longer tolerate poor digital experiences, which directly and negatively impact brands.
Application security changes the way security is included from an app-first approach so it’s ever more important for security teams to have a faster avenue to triage potential issues or breaches with development teams. By driving an application-first security approach, team alignment is achievable and enables them to focus on ensuring the customer is the priority.
To help security teams, organizations can implement more automation of security events and responses. As threats are coming in from all angles, an immediate automated response is no longer optional – it’s a must-have. An app-first approach eliminates the guesswork for security teams and allows them to gain visibility on the first day of the change within the application topology.
Support IT Teams, Then They Can Support You
Organizations have to be able to adopt strategies to help them enable new features and capabilities at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen. Top that off with the move to hybrid work environments, and the pressure for IT teams to manage all of this and still find ways to innovate and support employees reaches an all-time high.
Getting multiple teams to deliver the solutions that drive business outcomes can be a daunting task as there are still legacy mindsets, processes, and delivery models that are at different stages and across different parts of the business. For example, a network team may be working in a silo to add new connectivity points at a slower pace than the teams promoting cloud infrastructure or development teams rushing to put out new applications. To manage all of this, full-stack observability with business context can provide IT teams with the alignment needed to effectively do their job and show value to every other team in an organization.
Important Question: Are You Laddering Up to the Business?
Finally, it’s important to consider giving the business leadership teams what they want as well this holiday season! Showing that IT teams are laddering up to the organization’s business goals and ultimately, the bottom line is increasingly critical for technologists. By ensuring all the teams within an organization are taken care of and have what they need to succeed in the context of the business, there is a better-organized, higher-performing organization.
By considering the needs of SREs, security teams, IT teams, and developers, leaders can create an environment that has all the collaboration, empathy, and motivation to face whatever comes next in an ever-changing world.