As we are quickly coming upon the second annual DevOps Enterprise Summit, we have a question for you: Where do people go shopping?
Our shopping habits have changed significantly over the past several years, as the consumer spending landscape continues to evolve for department stores and brick-and-mortar retailers. For examples, Nordstrom reported e-commerce accounts for 19 of total sales. That’s big business.
As consumers now spend an increasingly larger portion of their money online (and on their mobile phones!), large retailers are leading the charge to transform the way they do business: they’re becoming software companies! While the convenience and large selection of the online shopping experience is great for the consumer, it can introduce quite a few challenges – particularly in IT – for traditional retail businesses, that were born more for the Mall than for the Web.
So how are retailers navigating this shift online? How are they nurturing an internal culture to rapidly deliver better online services and solutions for their customers? By becoming agile and driving a DevOps transformation that spans the entire company.
We are pleased and honored to have some of the very people driving this business revolution within some of the largest retailers in the world presenting at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015:
Courtney Kissler, Vice President of E-Commerce and Store Technologies at Nordstrom
Courtney has been with Nordstrom for more than a decade and is an instrumental part of leading the IT transformation at the company, since the teams she supports are accountable for engineering technology solutions that provide direct customer value. She appreciates that “We have an organization committed to constantly raising the bar. We are never satisfied with status quo and are always looking for ways to improve. Our teams hold themselves to high expectations and have high trust and respect for each other. It’s great to be part of a team that is always focused on the path forward and demonstrating our commitment to the customer.”
When we asked Courtney about the top 3 challenges enterprises face today, she explains:
- Keeping up with the pace of change – our customer expectations are evolving quickly and we need to evolve to keep up.
- Transitioning away from big batch, monolithic code bases, and traditional models for delivering. This is related to #1. All of these are constraints, preventing enterprises from moving fast.
- Not confusing moving fast with compromising on quality. I hear this a lot from people – that if we move fast, we won’t focus on quality. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Without the focus on quality, your speed/cycle time is absolutely impacted.”
Ross Clanton, Senior Group Manager at Target
Accomplished technology leader with over 17 years of IT experience in the retail industry, Ross is a DevOps enthusiast whose mission is to drive culture change, LEAN principles and extensive automation across technology service delivery. He has broad experience across IT functions and is currently focused on enabling and accelerating the DevOps movement at Target. Ross also co-hosts The Goat Farm with Michael Ducy, which is a podcast specifically focused on DevOps in the Enterprise. Since fostering and enabling the internal DevOps movement at Target is one of the most interesting parts of Ross’ job, one piece of advice he’s likely to share with the broader business and tech communities is “You need change agents at all levels to drive a DevOps transformation. Find and empower them.”
When asking Ross about one success or failure that he’s learned the most from, this is what he had to share:
“I had been in roles where I provided Infrastructure services for most of my career. Then I shifted over to become a customer of those services. While I had been largely successful in my previous infrastructure roles based on how I was invented and measured, I quickly learned how painful the services actually were for our customers. I learned a lot about what I wanted to fix and ultimately came back to Infrastructure to start fixing our service delivery problems.”
Heather Mickman, Senior Group Manager at Target
Heather Mickman is the leader for the API and Integration team at Target and she is also a DevOps enthusiast. Throughout her career, Heather has continuously embraced hard technology challenges, from consulting with large Fortune 50 companies on supply chain approach, implementing warehouse automation technologies, running large Ops and support organizations, to establishing enterprise security approaches. She has a passion for technology, building high performing teams, driving a culture of innovation, and of course, having fun along the way.
Heather will be one of the first to tell you that “It takes a lot of technology to run a modern retailing company.”
When Heather discusses how consumers are driving a retail technology evolution, she says:
“How we shop has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. I think about myself and how differently I shop now than I did even six months ago. My expectations continue to evolve because Target guests have changed how, where and when we want to shop. Technology is in everyone’s hands and it’s not enough for us to be a big box retailer anymore, it’s about connecting with our guests anywhere, anytime, anyhow.”
Furthermore, she adds “Retail has broken away from brick-and-mortar. We need technology to be flexible, scalable and have the ability to quickly test new strategies whether if that’s for our guests, in our stores or even in our supply chain.”
Check out Ross and Heather’s talk at DOES15: (Re)building an Engineering Culture: DevOps at Target
Hear more from Target ahead of DOES:
Ross has recently been a guest on our video chat with the DOES15 speakers – see him in action here.
Heather will be joining us for the next video chat on September 4 – click here to add to your calendar (we are using Google Hangout).
Big Business is doing DevOps.
If you would like to learn more from all three of these fascinating technology leaders and DevOps practitioners – as well as other real-world stories of how large enterprises are transforming their business with DevOps – we invite you to join us at the 2015 DevOps Enterprise Summit. Courtney, Ross, Heather and many more will share their insights and experiences with driving a DevOps transformation.
Don’t miss THE DevOps event of the year:
We’ve heard you! and extended our promotion until 9/7!
Get your pass before 9/7 to save 20 off ticket price
Latest posts by Electric Cloud (see all)
- 10 Do’s of DevOps Webinar with Gene Kim: Key Technical Practices - March 25, 2019
- ElectricFlow 8.5 – Webinar Recap - November 14, 2018
- Doing Cloud Right: Takeaways from Our Recent Jez Humble Webinar - November 6, 2018