Disclaimer, I already posted this on StackOverflow and got advised to post it on "The Workplace" where I got advised to post it on "Academia". Please don't send me back to StackOverflow. In my opinion, it's deeply related to all three of them, so probably people who are active on all three subs have the best perspective.
We are currently an academic institute of around 50 people. The institute does typical industry research, batteries, metals, magnets, etc. Recently, we began more and more relying on algorithmic developments for evaluation. Most of the recent research results depend in one way or another on custom-built solutions a.k.a software, some even required a User Interface to limit the burden on less tech-savy people.
We are currently building these solutions internally on a per-need basis. I joined the team 1 year ago as a "Machine Learning Expert" but my origin is in computer science and programming. I have some experience in DevOps, Software Project Management, and CI/TDD, and also other people have concepts of how things could be organized. If it's relevant, I will be working on my Ph.D. there. Also, we are doing industry transfer. 4 or 5 more people have at least some experience coding so I am not all on my own with the following mess:
We have data management by chaos and network drives, there is no CI or TDD, no common code-base, everything is pushed on network drives via mercurial (if at all, often it stays local) we slowly have to start using docker because some of the hardware requires it, but we don't have the time to get to the point where it starts saving time, we have high fluctuation and that's only some of the problems you can imagine. Also, we have tons of meetings on how to structure stuff and improve the situation (theoretically). Nothing changed in a year.
The management structure is "by objective" and the DevOps horizon ends at excel. How you do DevOps in excel? You don't. So nobody really cares what we do, how we do, or even who does what as long as you document your stuff in PowerPoint and application guys can use it. There are multiple people supervising multiple students, which sometimes have some sort of coding experience and add to code-abyss. As long as stuff gets published no one cares. Later on, we have a "knowledge" transfer program in cooperation with industry partners ("knowledge" basically means software), that's where everything comes crashing down. In my opinion, working like this and continuing in such a way is tremendously short-sighted, to put it gently. I love this institute and I want it to play in the SotA league. Currently, nobody is holding us back other than ourselves. Freeing time for actual reproducible research by having modern infrastructure and fitting management, sounds too good to be true?
Because it seems we are going nowhere without radical change and external input, I thought I'd give it a shot here as there are people with much more experience than I have. Maybe someone who already completed a Ph.D., started working as a Developer, and now moved into Management. Please share your wisdom. Other institutes could clearly benefit from this, as I can imagine, we are definitely not the only ones struggling.
The best answer from the previous posts was purely from a management perspective: Start with a maximum effect thing and show how much time it saves. This is to convince other people by action and not by words. While that was certainly helpful, that was very unspecific. We need first-hand experiences from institutes that have been transforming and have been adapting to stay relevant to the industry. I promise you, many people will thank you for sharing how you transformed.
The worst answer sadly came from a purely academic perspective which might cost me a few sympathy points here but I tell you anyway. It said I should not care because "it is what it is" and "there are other people who should deal with this". I promise you, they won't be coming. Further, handling the industry transfer under these circumstances is already unbearable. The answer might be true if your scope is really limited to academia only and you solely care about publishing papers, but outside that world, things flow differently.