Once again, it's time for the BCS' Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG) to have its annual conference. This is only of interest to people who depend on good configuration management (CM), and its related disciplines, of course - but frankly, that's all stakeholders in business automation, these days.
How can you do DevOps, for instance, unless you know what you are streaming through to production; how it is configured; who is using it; and what it impacts? How can you manage security unless you know what you have; how it is configured and who is responsible for it?
In fact, how can you claim to have good "corporate governance" of an automated business generally, unless you know what you have; how it is configured; who is responsible for it; whether it is licensed and how (and what the licence commits you to); and you know about the relationships between the things being managed - which change over time? And you must understand all this for all stakeholders (not just across development and operations: CM, and indeed DevOps, are not just about the software code but about the entire application system).
I'm going to miss the conference itself (I have a prior booking representing Bloor at a CISO security forum), which is annoying, because the keynote by Chris Rae, a specialist in digital transformation and mobile business, looks really interesting. I also note that Shaun Adams will be attempting to define the terms now being used, redefined and abused by DevOps practitioners and vendors - something that is sorely needed, I think. What I'll miss most, however, is the chance to talk face-to-face with practitioners, people really at the sharp end of CM.
The conference has DevOps; Change, Configuration and Release Management; and Software Asset Management streams - the abstracts for the conference are becoming available online, here. Plus, an impressive range of sponsors: Matrix42, Cherwell Software, Perforce, Flexera Software, Bytes software services and SHI. I've been "buddying" with Mark Warren of Perforce on his presentation, and I like the way he explains the complexity and importance of the CM role to the whole business, not only to programmers and the IT group. CM is fast becoming a very good career choice - there's a shortage of good people in the field.
You can register for the CMSG conference here.