Published on 17 August 2011 by

The actions of IT Operations teams influence the efficiency, availability, cost of delivery, and customer satisfaction of the services your organization is delivering to your customers. This means getting IT right, particularly IT Operations, has become a crucial part of doing business in the modern market. IT Operations managers face three major challenges—finding the right people, building the right culture, and creating the right processes. This won’t be a surprise to most managers, as they are the building blocks of any good team or organization. But IT has often lagged behind in tackling these challenges.

Of all of these challenges, finding the right IT Operations people has perhaps become the most serious and potentially has the most impact on improving your operations. The methods and incentives for recruitment have changed. Premium candidates expect challenging workplaces, cutting edge technology, excellent benefits, and a competitive salary.

The best candidates also expect companies to provide environments where they can share their skills and ideas with the wider Operations community. This includes allowing them to contribute to open source projects, publishing tools and code, and engaging with the community through social media and technical channels.

By opening up the way you work both internally and externally, companies can begin attracting the right candidates. Internally, look at the ideas fomenting around the DevOps community about communication and collaboration. Externally, publish your successes. Publish your Puppet modules. Look at the tools you develop internally and identify those that you think others might be interested in and open source them. Publish them on places like GitHub.

Follow this up with getting your staff to talk, blog, and present about the tools and techniques they use and most importantly about the difference it makes to how you run your infrastructure. Once you start to treat and view your IT Operations team as ambassadors for your organization in the broader Operations community, you’ll find that their success is reflected in a greater ability to hire.

There is a place where you can meet Operations rock stars and parade your organization’s virtues. That place is the upcoming PuppetConf event being held over September 22nd and 23rd in Portland, Oregon. Send your IT Operations staff, let them share ideas and meet a thriving community and demonstrate that you’re working towards creating a business that employs IT Operations rock stars. It’s more than just Puppet of course, it’s an Operations conference with DevOps, Cloud and Puppet tracks and will be attended by some of the smartest people in Operations and technology. Register today and save 10% using discount code cultureshift.

Cross-posted from the PuppetConf blog.

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