I am now Forrester’s global DevOps lead serving infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals!

I’ve been with Forrester for almost a year now, and it’s been a great experience. Last year, I updated our coverage of core IT service management. That included reports on change management, configuration management/CMDB, and incident management (forthcoming). These updates are a basis for an upcoming Wave on enterprise service management. I also had the honor of working with cloud analyst Lauren Nelson on a variety of topics, such as cloud standards.

2018 started with a surprise, however. My colleague and I&O DevOps lead Rob Stroud left for a position as Xebialabs’ chief product officer.

The idea of IT/digital delivery as an overall system fascinates me. This interest led to correspondence with DevOps evangelist Gene Kim dating back to 2004. I’m proud that Gene asked me to be one of the original reviewers of The Phoenix Project. I’ve studied, written, and spoken on DevOps for years now. It’s a key theme in my recently published textbook. I therefore felt confident in raising my hand to be Rob’s replacement. To my delight, Forrester management concurred.

One of our advantages is a deep bench. DevOps is showing up for many of my colleagues as a topic of inquiry. I think we have the best DevOps team in the analyst industry. Depending on your particular interests, you may find yourself talking to Chris Condo, Diego Lo Giudice, Jeffrey Hammond, Chris Gardner, Dave Bartoletti, Lauren Nelson, Glenn O’Donnell, Bill Martorelli, Amy DeMartine, Eveline Oehrlich, Margo Visitacion, or others. This shows DevOps’ broad impact on a wide variety of practices. We cover it in terms of systems management, cloud, software development, CI/CD/release automation, services, security, and even portfolio management.

And of course, you can ask our other analysts about DevOps as well. It’s one of the most important trends in digital and business technology in decades.

With all these talented folks doing their thing, what are my interests and research plan for the forthcoming year? My research agenda is still formative, but some initial thoughts:

  • Choreography and release automation (a core topic I will be leading on).
  • Workforce and organizational boundaries especially between I&O and AD&D, and broader cultural questions.
  • The transition from traditional practices (e.g. PMBOK/ITIL/ITSM) to DevOps.
  • Major incident management and the influence of safety-critical practices.
  • Chaos engineering.
  • The intersection of machine learning and cognitive technologies with DevOps.
  • Skeptical scrutiny of everything. DevOps is entering Extreme Hype.

One of Forrester’s capabilities I have come to appreciate more and more is our Technographics® data team. The surveys we field are truly massive. Randomly sampled panels up to 20,000 respondents worldwide. At least 20 DevOps questions have found their way into our surveys. With panels like these, we can make reliable statements about the reality of global DevOps adoption. I’ve already started pulling some unique crosstabs together. We’ll be working more with the data team to develop DevOps hypotheses.

Looking forward to an exciting 2018! Drop a line if you want to talk.