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More on Ops: ITIL and DevOps

November 5, 2018

With this post, I finish my focus on computer operations. Last week, I discussed CloudOps and DevOps after previously exploring SysOps, NetOps and WebOps. In this post, I discuss ITIL and DevOps. Does one eliminate the need for the other? How do they interact (if at all)? Let’s explore these topics.

ITIL is a set of comprehensive practices for IT service management (known in the industry as ITSM). ITIL has a simple focus—aligning IT services with business needs. So much is already written about ITIL (if you need a refresher try this), so I won’t repeat it here.

When ITIL came along, it immediately played an important role. Organizations with mature ITSM practices looked at ITIL to see what they were missing (if anything). Companies that were struggling with service management used ITIL as a catalyst to help them address their issues in a more comprehensive manner.

ITIL has a high rate of adoption, which is a statement about its usefulness. According to a recent HDI report titled “The State of Today’s IT”, ITIL has a more than 74 percent adoption rate in a variety of organizations from those that are business-aligned to those that are both high and low maturity organizations (for more information, see page 8 of “The State of Today’s IT”).

Unlike ITIL, DevOps is a recent development (Patrick Debois helped with the name) but one that is maturing rapidly. According to an article in ECS Digital titled “7 DevOps Adoption Statistics for 2017,” DevOps adoption is at 67 percent. See the infographic link in the article for more telling statistics.

The ECS Digital article is full of interesting findings. Here are just three:
  1. Cultural change is a false barrier to DevOps
  2. Enterprises are more concerned about cultural change than SMEs
  3. The true DevOps benefits are only understood by those using it
If you have any doubt about the current importance or future of DevOps, consider these seven DevOps trends:
  1. DevOps will be the mainstream and garner a lot of attention; hence, 2017 is going to be the “Year of DevOps.”
  2. Along with DevOps, the three C’s—continuous integration, continuous deployment and continuous delivery (CI/CD)—are going to gain huge momentum.
  3. A number of new DevOps automation tools will be released that change the way we do software development.
  4. “Containerization” also will be in the limelight.
  5. Many software firms will move to a microservices architecture.
  6. Automation and continuous testing will become more popular—and more important.
  7. Must-have tools and platforms including Docker, AWS, GitHub and JIRA will become even more popular within developer zones.
These trends are part of the wave that DevOps is pushing along—CI/CD, automation, containers, microservices, packaging tools and run-time platforms. This alignment amplifies DevOps’ importance. Is it pushing or being pulled? You decide.
Where Do ITIL and DevOps Intersect?
ITIL is focused on ITSM whereas DevOps is a software development methodology. Where do these different methods about different processes intersect? They intersect where the developed application is deployed and supported. Organizations embracing ITIL should have no problem with DevOps—why would such an important innovation like DevOps be a problem?

Certainly, some ITSM desk procedures will change to acknowledge and embrace the various DevOps changes—roles of people, tools, authorizations and support. If I were the person responsible for my organization’s ITIL support, I would be on the DevOps rollout team as well. I would be there with bells on.

Posted November 5, 2018| Permalink