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May 15, 2018

Business and Tech Go Together Like Chalk and Cheese? Rubbish.

By IT Revolution

DOES18 London Panel Discussion

In a recent live video podcast airing in advance of DevOps Enterprise Summit London (#DOES18), Alan Shimel — editor-in-chief of — sat down with Carmen DeArdo of Nationwide and Jayne Groll of DevOps Institute to take a deeper dive the best practices and patterns of successful DevOps transformations. With only a month until the London event, the panel discussion focused on one of the major themes of this year’s London summit — business and technology alignment for the modern enterprise.

In this live panel discussion, Groll and DeArdo — both of whom are presenting at DOES18 — shared their experiences being key stakeholders in DevOps transformations and spoke about their journeys from the days of when DevOps was still a fledgling strategy.

Register now to see Carmen DeArdo, Jayne Groll and Alan Shimel at DOES18 London here >>>

Read on for some of their top takeaways!

You can also visit for the full transcript here >>>

Do most businesses understand technology?

We need to find better ways to utilize the technology businesses already have and tap into the technological mindset business leaders may not even realize they have, according to DeArdo. “The disconnect comes when we think about how we can effectively utilize the technology that we have to meet the business needs. For example, [people] have Alexas. They may even be great at programming their home devices, but how are we actually taking advantage of that to serve our customers?”

Per Groll, traditional companies need to embrace the paradigm shift that most businesses are now technology companies. “I think the modern enterprise has a few challenges ahead of it. I think every business knows they need technology and they need to accelerate their use of technology. I think they don’t understand how to apply that, and more importantly, I think the big paradigm shift, is that most companies don’t realize that they are now technology companies. It isn’t even just IT does for you, is the core company as a technology company. And those that kind of recognize that, I think, are those that move ahead.”

How do we train — or get people outside of IT organizations — to better understand how technology can help move their business forward?

For Groll, it’s about putting your money where your mouth is. “You know, doing road shows on what technology can do for you isn’t something that you can tell. I think it’s something that you have to prove. And I think IT sometimes runs into an uphill battle trying to prove that, because it is costly and it does change a lot of the way people perform on a daily basis. I know what I did today, and tomorrow, you want me to do something differently, and I may not be as successful as I was yesterday.”

Similarly, DeArdo believes that it is important to use examples of past successes to illustrate the ways technology can provide real, meaningful value to similar business. “Cindy Payne and Jim Grafmeyer told the story at the last conference about Hurricane Harvey and how Nationwide Insurance was able to respond within a day to an event with all the flooded cars and how they got the website optimized to handle those, to take the load off of their customer service center. So I think that’s an example, and I think that’s what you need. I always talk about you need stories, you need examples of how this can actually be done at your company, because reading about it, hearing about it is great, but then when you see the team next to you doing it, and even if it’s not perfect and even if you know it can be improved, that’s where you start to change the culture of not just IT but of the business.”

What human factors, cultural factors should we be thinking of when we talk about a broader DevBizOps opportunity?

One of the biggest cultural shifts is helping organizations understand the ways in which DevOps and digital transformations exist outside of just the IT teams. “Digital transformation is not limited to IT. It’s really business transformation. And so it goes back to every organization having to recognize that technology is their business, and so some of the practices from the business start to assimilate into IT and beyond. I can tell you from the content perspective, we use tools in content development, even though it’s not software development, which are very, very similar to that.”

To hear more of Shimel, Groll and DeArdo’s perspectives on the DevOps transformation patterns and practices, and how these insights can translate across organizations, watch the entire video replay here >>>

For more information on the DevOps Enterprise Summit London taking place June 25-26 at the Intercontinental Hotel – The O2, visit ( And if you have not registered for the event yet, tickets are going fast.

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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