No one has ever called an Emergency Physician, ‘they are just doctors’. In the life saving business they are the first line of defense. But when it comes to Information Technology (not to be confused with Business Ops), the very first line of defense in an organization, they are easily called, ‘they are just ops’. I often wonder if the dogma of improper branding consumes the true paean of production support / IT Operations or is it over confidence that nothing falls below them so they remain low in the food chain. Besides, being a proud leader of an amazing such team, a strong believer that true character of a professional is built during crisis, I struggle everyday to change this perception of reality because the idea gurus i.e. Architects and the subject matter experts called Engineers have stolen the thunder time and again in the name of strategy. Even though there is no strategy fruition if the Operations teams were not to exist, it is easily a conundrum of what matters first, egg or chicken.
I was talking to someone recently who’d been in the workforce for two years and I was surprised that they thought it was less prestigious to be working for Ops. If I ever had the option into how a career path progressed for a newbie, sans my obsession towards my metier, I’d have them starting in Operations. There are several reasons why. Firstly, it inculcates dignity of labor which depends not on what you do but how you do it. That attention to detail, the microcosm that it encapsulates towards the big picture and basically the problem solve environment it creates. My boss, who is an ops enthusiast has just begun calling us Navy Seal team considering we are slowly but surely wallowing in cloud too.
Secondly, a sense of operational innovation comes ahead of operational excellence. For those who care less, both these words could mean the same just because it has Operations in them. But one is categorically different from the other. Harvard Business Review in the article, ‘Deep Change: How Operational Innovation can Transform Your Company’, came out with sensible demarcation of the terms. “Operational innovation should not be confused with operational improvement or operational excellence. Those terms refer to achieving high performance via existing modes of operation: ensuring that work is done as it ought to be to reduce errors, costs, and delays but without fundamentally changing how that work gets accomplished. Operational innovation means coming up with entirely new ways of filling orders, developing products, providing customer service, or doing any other activity that an enterprise performs”.
Thirdly, decision-making here is stepping stone to judicious ones. Without understanding the tactical roll-up, any strategy is inutile. Also, it is the glue that holds the organization and their strategy together. Whether ITIL or not, operations is core for any organization and important to for serviceability and sustainability. A continuum that binds processes, procedures, resources, humans, monitoring and projecting of software, hardware, network and security. It is nothing but a humbling experience to start a career and probably find passion even farther along in one’s career like me!
#ITOperations #quotidianblessing #InfoSecOps