As a couple essential to the success of the digital transformation of companies, CIOs and business units have not always been able to move forward hand in hand. However, nearly one out of two French companies is “sensitive” to the DevOps approach and the sharing of a common language.
Not a single day goes by that the digital transformation of our economy and its cascading impact on businesses is not mentioned in the press or in professional discussions. Public authorities, consulting firms and employers’ organizations are constantly promoting the digitalization of companies, presented as one of the main levers for renewed growth.
French companies are therefore under pressure. And they are still lagging behind in the digital field. “French citizens are ahead of many countries when it comes to using digital tools, but French companies are not that far ahead, they’re actually behind.Philippe Lemoine, president of the Forum d’Action Modernités and author of a 300-page report on the digital transformation of our economy, recently declared.
Many projects are initiated by entities without technical skills
One of the reasons for this delay is due to the technical difficulties that French companies face in their digitalization projects. The deeper they go into the lower layers of the IS, the more problems seem to accumulate. The explanation is simple: many of these digitalization projects are initiated by entities without real technical skills, such as business units or general management, in more or less close coordination with the IT department, but without any real involvement of the operational production or IT operations teams.
Why this sidelining? “It’s not necessarily because of a lack of consideration for what production could bring to the project. Very often, general management and the IT department simply prefer not to disturb their daily work, which is already a heavy and complex burden, punctuated daily by numerous processes that must be dealt with quickly,” observes Michaël Tartar, co-author of the book “Digital transformation: 5 levers for the company”.
The main consequence of not involving production is simply to fall behind in the digital transformation project. “The main pitfall is that the “graft” does not take, that is to say that the new solutions are not totally interoperable with the IS,” explains Bernard Schmitt, president of Lucernys. The production teams then have to catch up with the project as best they can. And sometimes even take it from the beginning.
The DevOps approach helps reconcile CIO and CTO
To avoid this situation, a growing number of companies are approaching their digital transformation projects in closer collaboration with operational teams. As many testimonials show, they have successfully completed their digitalization project thanks to the active participation of the production teams.
So how do you get the production and development teams to work together? One solution that is increasingly used is to exploit the DevOps approach. “To reconcile CIOs and CTOs, the DevOps method suggests making small, regular changes to solutions, rather than making large, sudden changes once a year,” explains Sébastien Preneta, Chief Technology Officer at Kisio Digital – Keolis. According to a recent study conducted by IDC (2): 44% of companies in France are aware of a DevOps approach. “With the digital transformation, the “Dev” and “Ops” have seen their way of operating called into question. This organizational upheaval is resulting in an intensification of their collaboration, requiring the sharing of a common language,” says IDC.
Opinions converge: reconciling the challenges of digital transformation with the constraints of IT production is a key factor in the success of a digitalization project. “The CIO has been our best ally,” says Sylvain Rogé, CTO of the Loxam group. “Thanks to the support of the CIO, we were able to obtain the requested budgets. If there’s one thing we learned from our experience, it’s that the IT department and production must be perfect allies to successfully complete a digital transformation project,” he concludes.