Q&A with David Roth of AppFirst - Page 2
VSM: Can you share a bit about these new initiatives?
DR: Our three new initiatives are about recognizing and supporting today’s CIOs who must deliver a customer-obsessed technology model. The new programs are built on our platform and solutions, and they support an organizations’ move to seamlessly align business and IT goals. Jumpstart allows first-time users to get up and running quickly and focus on managing system risks. Our System Risk Management Solution provides a 360-degree view of risks and use baselines so any technical action is executed from a common set of data. Our Business Risk Management Solution moves organizations to a truly aligned Business/IT state – it enables business performance metrics to be integrated into the risk framework, making IT the go-to source for business risk management.
VSM: There seems to be a trend toward DevOps -- can you explain what that is and what has caused it?
DR: Well, today a company’s applications and online services are really its business – its customers don’t see a difference and don’t really care. In their minds if an application doesn’t work then your business is failing. So that’s a pretty heavy burden for a DevOps organization – but it’s also a great opportunity. DevOps is responsible for all of those apps and online services that shape the customer’s experience. DevOps occupies the very nexus between customers and the business – if DevOps and IT leaders don’t have a seat at the business table, then that business has its head in the sand.
VSM: Is this a fleeting trend or is it here to stay?
DR: Not only is it here to stay, it’s getting to be more critical. With more companies delivering applications as a service (Software-as-a-Service) using the Agile methodology not only is the development team responsible for development but they retain responsibility as they run in production. These days development teams are pushing changes in production on a daily basis, depending on the organization it could be many times a day. There isn’t the divide of what’s in development, in QA, in staging and in production. Something could be in development in one moment and in production the next, and that can be true many times a day. Therefore it only makes sense that development becomes DevOps.
VSM: Some say that the roles of IT and IT executives are actually being diminished – swallowed up by finance or becoming marginalized. What are your thoughts on the role of the CIO and IT executives today and moving forward?
DR: Yes, there’s been a lot written and discussed lately about how CIO roles are changing, expanding and evolving in today’s business. I’ve seen predictions that range from CIOs roles shifting to finance, to disappearing completely, or, as I think, elevating to the strategic business roles of other C-level executives.
The role of the IT department and of the CIO and IT executives is more critical than ever! Technologies like the cloud, virtualization and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are freeing up CIOs from daily asset management and tools and solutions available today provide insight and visibility into the business like never before. I think the smartest business leaders recognize that the CIO has unique visibility and insight from technical operations into critical business metrics and can help drive innovation and drive the business forward.