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How to Modify ITIL to Accommodate DevOps

DevOps Basics

DevOps, at its core, is the idea of combining development with IT (or operations). This in itself is a good idea, as it combats some of the problems that having that separation causes (different groups not communicating, teams waiting on servers or testing, etc), but it also leads to some problems with using ITIL, which was developed with those separations in mind.

ITIL Needs to Adapt

Noel Bruton writes this post in order to share a few ways that ITIL can be modified in order to work well with DevOps in particular, and he begins with incorporating a new “DevOps” process:

ITIL’s go-to solution for running an IT Services activity is to assign a ‘Process’ to it and define an owner. A new DevOps ‘process’ theoretically could be achieved by merging some existing processes and then going through a rewrite to allow for the new requirements like throughput measurement, queue management, SPoF monitoring, Scrum and Sprint.

A word of caution though – ITIL rewrites are risky. It’s only happened three times in nearly two decades. Rewrites are also unnerving because of the expense – new books have to be purchased, training may have to be refreshed, procedures re-examined, trainers reassessed. But there is so much non-ITIL thinking in DevOps, that a brand new process might be the only way of accommodating it properly.

He then continues by suggesting an emphasis on production over process—which is quite a thing to suggest, as ITIL itself is made of processes. In order to make room for DevOps, according to Bruton, ITIL would need to move toward method rather than “towering mechanisms” which are found in the structure of ITIL itself.

He continues by saying that ITIL should focus on throughput rather than output, identify and quantify workload streams, and simplify the IT department structure (ITIL has something like 40 roles).

Read the full article here:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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