DevOps + ITSM - working together
by Brian Jennings
The DevOps approach to program development is being adopted universally with enthusiasm and is reportedly achieving much success in meeting the demands of business for the rapid delivery of new or improved IT based services. This success is seen to be due chiefly to (a) the willingness of software developers to accept radical changes to the way they work, (b) the use of cloud computing that can rapidly meet demands for more compute capacity, (c) the availability of tools for automating testing and (d) streamlining normal change and release management processes.
Whilst commendable results are being achieved by DevOps, their approach is challenging the conventional processes employed by service management in that (a) ITSM people are naturally reluctant to accept unorthodox changes to their traditional and accepted way of managing services and (b) some key services are being overlooked or even ignored. These are mainly in the areas of Service Level, Availability, Capacity, Information Security and Continuity Management. There will also be issues with early life support, which by the nature of the DevOps approach may be an ongoing requirement and which may require normal incident and problem management activities to be bypassed. These challenges need to be investigated to confirm the above impressions and if real, to develop approaches that will result in a win-win situation where there is open communication and collaboration between the developers, operations and IT service management.
Many blogs, white papers etc. have been written on DevOps, explaining what it is and how it is achieving these results. However few describe in any detail the actual methods that DevOps is using, thus making it difficult to arrive at practical ways for IT service management practitioners to work collaboratively with DevOps people, for mutual benefit. It is suggested that strategies and policies are needed to provide clear direction as to how best to achieve both short and long-term objectives. Also more research is needed into DevOps methods and lines of communication set up with DevOps practitioners and associated professional bodies to fully understand their operations and to develop guidelines for adapting current ITSM practices to the DevOps approach, such that the objectives of both are met within required timeframes.
The key is believed to be the willingness of both parties to communicate, cooperate and work together collaboratively. Anyone involved in ITSM and/or DevOps activities who are experiencing any difficulties in these areas are urged to communicate these to us, to assist in developing guidelines that address any such issues. Please send to email@example.com