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3 Ways DevOps Impacts Traditional ITSM Operations

11/09/2015 by: The SunView Team

The DevOps movement, quite simply, represents a new way to do IT. Rather than creating clear segmentation between developers and operations teams, DevOps demands that different user groups cooperate with one another and work together as a single unit. Development processes must be informed by the realities of operations environments, and operations functionality needs to be well aligned to development workflows. Traditional IT service management practices are not designed to handle this working climate, and organizations must adjust if they want to maximize the value of DevOps.

This doesn't mean that implementing DevOps strategies represents the end of ITSM. Instead, the stability offered by ITSM can provide a key foundation for DevOps units to build from. With this in mind, let's look at three ways DevOps implements traditional ITSM operations and how modern service management solutions are addressing these issues:

1. Collaboration is Key
Historically, every worker in the IT department had a specific role that he or she was responsible to handle, with was very little cross over between departments. A system administrator may get a specific request for one of the solutions he or she manages, resolve the support ticket, and move on to the next task. If the problem was large enough to require other components of the IT configuration, it would be escalated to a higher level engineer. Those days are gone now as IT workers are increasingly asked to take on multiple competencies, have hands in diverse projects, and provide insight into a wide range of operations. As such, collaboration across your user base is more important than ever.

Simply communicating process through the service desk is no longer going to get the job done. Instead, you need your users to be able to flexibly collaborate with one another through more meaningful tools. Modern service desk solutions are meeting this challenge by building collaboration functions into support modules and automating many documentation tasks so employees are free to engage with one another and think creatively as they work together to solve problems.

2. Flexibility is Essential
ITSM models generally focus on stability above all else. Everything comes with checks and balances and very few things happen within the configuration without managerial oversight or similar red tape to make sure the operations won't cause problems. While DevOps doesn't eliminate the need for a stable IT configuration, the simple reality is that DevOps-focused IT teams operate at such a rapid pace that this focus on stability above all else isn't realistic. Instead, organizations need to get flexible and responsive and build stability around that.

For example, modern change management solutions are focusing on empowering users to make minor changes without much oversight, but also include automatic documentation so people can quickly undo those processes if anything goes wrong. This drives operational flexibility without making a significant sacrifice on the stability front.

3. Automation is Critical
DevOps has emerged as organizations become more dependent on proprietary apps while becoming service brokers for various cloud solutions. With increased release cycles in enterprise IT departments and a need to operate internal IT assets at the pace of the cloud, DevOps makes manual tasks associated with typical ITSM setups problematic. These operational schemes can't keep up with day-to-day demands.

Modern ITSM solutions are increasingly emphasizing process automation as a way to accelerate the pace of everyday operations. Furthermore, automating more tasks frees your employees to focus on creative thinking, special projects, and problem solving; all issues that are key when supporting DevOps.

DevOps may be changing many traditional ITSM practices, but advanced service desk solutions are tweaking traditional ITSM principles to keep up with DevOps demands.