When it comes to software and IT service quality, nothing holds more promise of smoother cooperation and operations than the burgeoning movement toward DevOps, which, as the mashed-up term suggests, is an agile-type collaboration in which developers and operations teams work together. Rather than developing an entire application and throwing it over to operations to see how, and if, it all runs, developers build and test each phase of a project with operations in mind.

The importance of DevOps actually first came out of automobile manufacturing – as part of Toyota's quality initiatives many years back. As Steve Bell, a lean IT advocate, put it at a recent conference, developers tend to be creative and work in an unstructured way. On the other hand, operations people are concerned about structure and standardization. The purpose of DevOps is to bring these two opposing forces together for the common good.

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