PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ARCHIVED POST - Netuitive has since become Metricly, and the tool has matured greatly since the time this was written!

By most common definitions, the DevOps movement is about more agile, responsive software development and deployment while not sacrificing the quality of service levels. But I think this ambition falls short of the ultimate possible goal I’ll call DevOpsBiz.

In order for DevOps philosophies to take root, Engineering and IT Operations staff are usually asked to work together in a more unified, less siloed fashion. But does that go far enough? What about the business stakeholders?

In a project last year to improve service levels for the retail Point of Sales system for a major enterprise, Metricly’s professional services staff wanted to bring together ALL the stakeholders. The goal was not just to improve the service levels for the PoS system, but also to help the company finally understand how the performance of the retail applications and underlying infrastructure impacted key business metrics like items sold, transaction volumes, and sales dollars by store or region (Business Activity Monitoring). We were surprised that when the first planning meeting took place, it was the first time that the developers had met the business analyts tracking those key BAM metrics.

Why was this an important development?

When our IT analytics and algorithms were applied to a complete service model incorporating not just application and infrastructure, but also business metrics, we learned some very interesting things. When one of the minor services in the PoS system experienced some lengthy response times and message queues to a back-end mainframe, we were able to automatically correlate this to a drop in sales in the stores for a particular region. The “cost” was in the tens of thousands in just 45 minutes.

How does this affect DevOps?

In the course of a given day, engineering and IT Operations teams might run into dozens of “anomalies” or potential performance issues. Rather than prioritizing them in an ad-hoc fashion, the incorporation of business activity visibility allows them to focus on the most business-impacting issues.

So forget DevOps. Don’t we really want DevOpsBiz?

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