How DevOps and Docker are Changing Legacy IT

RightScale for the last couple of years has produced the State of The Cloud Report, which provides some interesting insights. For those that may not know, RightScale allows IT organizations to deliver instant access to a portfolio of public, private, and hybrid cloud services while maintaining enterprise control.

I encourage you to download a copy of the report for yourself and dive into the numbers. I want to highlight just a few items from the report that, I thought, were fascinating.

New skills needed for the road ahead

I want to focus on the last three points about DevOps, Docker, and  automation & orchestration. IT admins need to stay relevant and  become a competitive advantage for the businesses they support.

There is a new set of skills necessary for the next generation of IT  admins. This new breed of IT Admin will break down silos within  traditional IT organizations and deliver on business outcome much more quickly.


As we’ve seen in the report, the DevOps model has been rising, as more companies need to improve on how quickly they can respond to changes in the business with the support of continuous integration. I should also mention, that DevOps is more than just set tools or products – it’s an operational mindset that manifests in how your development and operations team deliver services.

New to DevOps, and need to get started, check out this training course on Udacity Introduction to DevOps, the authors of the course are my colleague Dwayne Lessner and Karl Krueger.

Some of the DevOps tools used for configuration management tools — such as Chef, Puppet, are also making inroads. As these tools grow in acceptance so does the demand for IT admin’s who know how to deploy and use them.

Docker is very popular at the moment, and it will be interesting to see when and if it will pass virtual machines in its deployment base. I am not very familiar with Docker, but will be spending time to get it up and running – it’s almost crazy to say, but it feels like virtual machines are now legacy. It’s also amazing how quickly Docker has become a player in this space. As outlined in the report.

Docker, in just its first year on the market, is already being used by 13 percent of organizations. Even more impressively, more than a third (35 percent) of respondents report plans to use Docker.

Time is now to get ready

The IT admin’s role is changing, and the future is demanding a new skillset from today’s IT admin’s. If any of these terms and concepts are new to you – don’t worry, there are plenty of resources on the web that can get you up to speed.


Download the software outlined in the report and get familiar with it. Find ways to have this deployed in your test/dev environments, and begin experimenting with new ways to deliver IT services.

What skills do you think are important for the next generation IT admin? What skills would you advise a new IT admin to learn? Has your role changed, how so? Let me know on Twitter, and thanks for reading.