4 Ways of marrying ITSM with DevOps

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Initially, ITSM and DevOps may appear as not only different processes but processes with opposite value systems and objectives. ITSM focuses on structure, control and governance of services while DevOps avoids traditional methods in order to create more Development Changes at a higher speed. However, both these frameworks can come together and benefit the organization by focusing on faster delivery without disturbing the operational structure.

In most organizations IT departments are playing a more and more significant role with the passage of time. They now play a crucial role in sales, customer services and corporate strategies. The importance placed on the IT department increases almost in correlation with the increasing demand from the business. Every business is looking for faster and cheaper IT solutions without compromising on the services and quality. 

To achieve this many IT departments are based on the structure of ITSM or IT Service Management offering guidance on the ultimate delivery of services based on certain functions like strategy, design, improvement, transition and operation. However, ITSM Software has come under a lot of flack lately for being too traditional and very non-flexible. This is where the DevOps methodology scores.

DevOps is the method by which software development units with IT operations to provide better results at a faster pace. It focuses on risk reduction, consistency and decreasing the time of the operation with the help of frequent releases. It uses automation and coordination to replace human inputs which were previously required in the provisioning of infrastructure, integration, testing and deployment. 

A true DevOps operation, along with automation, also depends on culture, measurement, sharing, lean and AGILE. Its successful implementation in any culture works by breaking down and reducing the silos between functional teams. Several small and disconnected teams working through queue control are merged and their interaction is felicitated by in the development lifecycle. This allows teams to reduce waiting time and deliver results faster. This method also helps in sharing of knowledge and skill sets to the benefit of the entire organization.

The Lean and AGILE principles enable DevOps to eliminate waste by eliminating time-consuming steps in the design and release processes. It creates documents and artefacts through a lighter process allowing more development processes and response to feedback into the system, while the non-value added services are removed via the process of automation. 

While being an expensive investment for most organizations, DevOps is very important as it reduces the time takes in a process and also reduces the risk of bottlenecks. 

ITSM, on the other hand, brings visibility and guidance to the lifecycle of delivery. It offers a standard network to address IT incidents and problems. This, in turn, allows the IT leaders to notice, locate and seek solutions by getting valuable insight into the most crucial issues faced by the organizations. However, time spent in controlling change and reducing risk can lead to increased release timelines and CAB processes or authorization control points often lead to a steady increase in non-value added activities.

To create an analogy ISTM is the steady , traditional worker in an office going through all the processes with meticulous and traditional methodology which to a certain extent increases the time of the whole operation while DevOps is the whiz kid of the block, working with a team, creating shortcuts and delivering better results at a faster pace. The question was whether these two can work together as a good team or not. We think in spite of the difference in their methods they can create a splendid team together.

Both of them have different approaches but they aspire towards similar goals like customer engagement and customer satisfaction. 

Shared Values: In order to integrate both the processes together, an organization has to be aware that there is no one singular right way to reach an objective. DevOps while being focused on flexibility still requires some formal processes while ITSM practitioners must realize the trappings of tradition as realizing that they can’t remain stuck in traditions all the time. In other words, the older and traditional worker needs to be open to newer tricks and shortcuts while the whiz kid must adopt some of the formal values. A little bit of giving and take can go a long way in creating a healthy partnership, between systems or between people.

Change Management combined with Automation: ITSM offers a systematic and valuable approach towards change management, however, the slow change approval boards are an operational nightmare. Automating the implementation of known good changes allow for agility iteration and innovation.

Merge the Tools: Many organizations perceive ITSM to be a monolithic, slow process requiring manual inputs through telephone or data entry. In many organizations, silos still exist between ITSM tools and DevOps tools. ITSM teams need to bridge this gap technologically. 

Many of the latest ITSM tools have integration points to make this process easier but many organizations still use older versions without these facilities. 

Agile Service Management: Agile service management can develop flexible ITSM which can work at par with DevOps. It can take various forms like streamlining a traditional processor discovering the scope of automation in an area and building out the operation in an incremental way.

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TechFond - Latest Technology | Analysis | Enterprise | Startups | Product Reviews | How Tos: 4 Ways of marrying ITSM with DevOps
4 Ways of marrying ITSM with DevOps
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