The IT vs Ops war

We’ve all seen and/or heard about the subtle (or unsubtle) war that goes on between operations (OT) and IT within many organisations. The “balance of power” often shifts depending on the relative skills (technical, persuasion, etc) within each of the teams.

Convergence to IP (Internet Protocol) and concepts such as IoT (Internet of Things) are shifting the power base more heavily towards IT teams (to the point of imminent convergence of IT and ops teams). Some IT teams are using NFV as the trigger to fire ops teams.

I had an interesting discussion about this concept with a customer recently. He said that as a vendor he had a delicate balancing act to be able to shift backwards and forwards between dealing with IT and ops to cater for who had power and budgets at any point in time without getting either group off-side. He also indicated the need to change in his use of terminology to suit each group (which can be worlds apart – intentionally I wonder?).

Despite both groups managing networks, the requirements identified by each group can often be vastly different. An interesting concept that this customer raised was that he felt ops teams had a mission-criticality thinking of five nines (ie 99.999% uptime) on every component in the network, whereas the IT teams had a mentality of just rebooting network equipment and hoping that load balancing and clever routing would provide resilience.

All of this means the feature set required of OSS are also perceptibly shifting. As if it wasn’t already tough staying abreast of all the changes in our daily lives in OSS… but it still gets back to the need to develop tripods in your organisation. They are the valuable resources that understand IT concepts (programming, virtualisation, databases, security, etc), comms networks / operations and business imperatives.

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