Where do you stand on self-service and automation? Tell us the pros and cons from your viewpoint

The us-versus-them mentality between dev and ops is still alive and well, we see

Reader survey In an online survey, we asked Register readers for their thoughts on workplace automation and self-service within on-prem environments. That survey is still open, though we took a sneak peek at the data collected so far, and whoa, there are some strong feelings out there.

Here are a couple of the more extreme responses to the question: what, if anything, scares you about moving to more of a self-service approach?

The enormous lack of knowledge, experience, and judgment among those most interested in serving themselves. We have a complex and interlocking architecture with many specific requirements that non-IT staff are simply unaware of, so we end up having to repair, replace, redefine, rework, or even scrap many of their enthusiastic "adventures" due to issues with the parts of IT that they can’t see. Then there’s the web development team, some of whom are prone to "drinking the vendor Kool-Aid" simply because they don't know enough to evaluate what is being sold to them.


For decades, ops and admin people have held back developers' access to and use of resources, often for no good reason. Public cloud, the way we've implemented it, made our business so much more agile, so much more efficient, and so much more productive. We can't kill on-prem fast enough, and that’s mostly due to poor attitudes among on-prem staff rather than to any genius by AWS.

Not all of the responses are this polarized, and others filling out the survey seem more focused on how to make things work. We’re surprised, though, at how much the us-versus-them divide between dev and ops is still very much alive and kicking in some organisations. The reality is that neither off-prem cloud nor on-prem systems are totally going away any time soon, so in most businesses, it probably isn't be a good idea to let these opposing sub-cultures become too deeply ingrained. That said, there are clearly some real concerns and practicalities to be worked through.

With this in mind, how do you see things panning out in this area of cloud and hybrid cloud? We want to hear your views, regardless of where you stand on the automation and self-service debate. And in the interests of gaining insights into how to overcome the issues, we are particularly interested in hearing from you if you’ve successfully implemented self-service in a corporate IT environment. The survey will still run for a while, and when it's closed, we'll share a summary of the results.

Click right here to fill out the survey.

As expected, your responses will be kept anonymous, and your privacy assured.

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