Maintaining continuous, 24x7 business uptime involves all parts of IT, not solely the production environment. Specifically, said Rezolve Group CIO Robert Reeder Robert Reeder in the September 4, 2012, Peer Incite Meeting, the development group, which in many businesses is seen as non-critical, needs to work under the same business uptime requirement as production. This means that investments in infrastructure for the dev group are just as important as those for the operational side of the house.
Regarding it any other way is a serious error, he argues. The little that a company saves by running its development on older, sub-optimal systems is more than lost in the cost of the productivity lost when those systems run slowly or crash. And treating dev as a lower tier also sends a message to the development staff that can only result in lower morale and productivity when those systems are working optimally. It also means that in some cases the dev staff has a different experience than production and may produce code that does not run optimally on production systems.
This is taken to its extreme in the dev/ops approach used by the Internet giants, the ultimate 24x7x365 companies. There development staff is part of operations and runs on the same systems. Reeder has not moved to a dev/ops model – yet at least. But he does treat his development staff as equal in importance to operations and says that pays dividends.
Action Item: Reeder says his high school coach taught that “you will play the way your practice, so practice the way you want to play.” Applying that life-lesson to IT requires that all parts of the organization, and specifically development, need to be prioritized for 24x7 uptime. CIOs should give development equal priority to mission-critical operations in both treatment and equipment allocation. Anything less will have a negative impact on productivity which will cost the organization much more that it will save on equipment costs. And it instills a constant uptime mindset throughout the organization.