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Episode 3: DevOps vs. ITIL - Do they Compete or Complement?

Episode 3: DevOps vs. ITIL - Do they Compete or Complement?
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And we’re LIVE with Episode 3 of the Refresh IT Exchange - your one-stop destination for healthy conversations on everything IT!

We’ll be discussing an interesting and a most sought after topic this time -

DevOps vs. ITIL - Do they Compete or Complement?

 

Here’s a short video to introduce the topic - 

 

We’d like to hear your thought on DevOps & ITIL:

  • Do they compete or complement your business?

  • Do you consider them to be mutually exclusive? 

  • Which of these two do you follow to achieve your business goals, and why?

Share your thoughts with us on the comments section.

 


19 replies

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What a great topic to discuss! Love the videos so far, they are well done and engaging. Regarding ITIL and DevOps:

A1: When implementing methodologies in IT it is common to come across those that are opposed to change. Making it difficult to unify methods from different sources. In this case we have been working to adopt both methods to unify all of our departments. Whether that is the service desk, infrastructure, or development teams. Our goal for this is that the complement the business but as of now they maybe competing. 

A2: I don’t believe they are mutually exclusive as they incorporate a number of the same ways of thinking. Primary regarding automation and collaboration.

A3: As I mentioned in the first answer as an IT Organization we are working to implement both, but I as an individual focus mostly on the ITIL practices and how I can work to implement those across the organization.

Hope this helps and look forward to hearing from others as well!

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I’ll answer in more detail later but I think it can be hard to talk about the reality rather than the theory of this because there’s a spectrum of scenarios from DevOps personnel not wating to play with ITSM to the reverse.

We’ve not run a survey question on it recently but I’m sure last time we asked ITSM personnel they weren’t in the DevOps fold like they should have been. I’ll track that down.

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Team ITIL feels that technology controls most of the authorizations that development and releases dictate. They argue that ITIL gives them more control.

This aspect of ‘control’ is what the DevOps squad is worried about. 

Going through too many CABs, for example, slows down deployment and negates the whole ‘fail fast and fix fast’ aesthetic. Continuous deployment gives developers and admins an edge

The underlying promise and lure of DevOps is speed. The advantage that continuous deployment gives developers and admins is significant. And in a world where ‘move fast & break things’ is like a Biblical reference, speed is not just important. It might mean the difference between a billion-dollar startup and a damp squib.

There is just one flaw in this argument: ITIL was never about control in the first place; it just started being used and referenced that way. If your ITIL processes are slowing your deployments and releases down, it’s your adoption that’s the problem, not the framework.

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There is no reason to assume that ITIL isn’t compatible with agile development methods. You just have to tailor the ITIL practices to fit your development and deployment strategies. This ensures that you have the safety and robustness of an industry-recognized ITIL framework with the ability to, in effect, ‘move fast and break things.’

Like @zachary.king pointed out, the challenge lies in making the best of both worlds. I’m curious to know what @manns is going to add later. :D

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Q1. Do they compete or complement your business?

They should complement each other (but then people and their opinions potentially get in the way).

The latest ITSM best practice (ITIL 4) has brought in elements of DevOps based on it being better than what was previously recommended ITSM guidance (especially for change). However, we still have so much more to do to find and provide a better (two-way) balance though. Especially when many ITIL deriders still quote the ITIL of old (last updated in 2011) rather than the more recent version. 

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Q2. Do you consider them to be mutually exclusive? 

Definitely not mutually exclusive. There is so much overlap between these two plus other IT management approaches. For example, the Ops in DevOps can benefit from ITIL guidance, along with elements of ITOM good or best practice. 

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Q3. Which of these two do you follow to achieve your business goals, and why?

I can’t answer this question as asked, only my own version in terms of what I write about. This does raise an important point though - be careful who you take guidance from. For example, I don’t right about DevOps because I’ve never had a DevOps-related role and reading a book on a topic doesn’t make you able to advise others on it. It’s something to be careful of when seeking help with DevOps, ITIL, or anything else.

Userlevel 7
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Q3. Which of these two do you follow to achieve your business goals, and why?

I can’t answer this question as asked, only my own version in terms of what I write about. This does raise an important point though - be careful who you take guidance from. For example, I don’t right about DevOps because I’ve never had a DevOps-related role and reading a book on a topic doesn’t make you able to advise others on it. It’s something to be careful of when seeking help with DevOps, ITIL, or anything else.

Doh! How did I not spot right instead of write. I’ll never get writing work again.

Userlevel 7
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Q3. Which of these two do you follow to achieve your business goals, and why?

I can’t answer this question as asked, only my own version in terms of what I write about. This does raise an important point though - be careful who you take guidance from. For example, I don’t right about DevOps because I’ve never had a DevOps-related role and reading a book on a topic doesn’t make you able to advise others on it. It’s something to be careful of when seeking help with DevOps, ITIL, or anything else.

Steve, great point. I have seen your example of “reading a book, now I am the Subject Matter Expert” mentality and it is detrimental. I try to make sure I a question the validity of the people I take advise and guidance from. And when we talk about “Guiding Principals” I sure hope others put in the due diligence necessary to gain insightful information from reputable resources.

Userlevel 7
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Q3. Which of these two do you follow to achieve your business goals, and why?

I can’t answer this question as asked, only my own version in terms of what I write about. This does raise an important point though - be careful who you take guidance from. For example, I don’t right about DevOps because I’ve never had a DevOps-related role and reading a book on a topic doesn’t make you able to advise others on it. It’s something to be careful of when seeking help with DevOps, ITIL, or anything else.

Steve, great point. I have seen your example of “reading a book, now I am the Subject Matter Expert” mentality and it is detrimental. I try to make sure I a question the validity of the people I take advise and guidance from. And when we talk about “Guiding Principals” I sure hope others put in the due diligence necessary to gain insightful information from reputable resources.

I’m sure it’s so easy to read a book and then advise others. That is until one needs to start fudging the answers you don’t know and not realizing the context of things and potential for mistakes when translating your “theory” into reality.

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Loved the video team!! Comprehensive & to-the-point.

Also, the topic makes much sense as we progress on the ever-rising DevOps practices. @rashmi.nag 👏

 

I like to raise my question to the forum: 

Is ITIL still relevant in a DevOps world?

 

Context: The IT world is markedly different from the last several decades. The emergence and proliferation of cloud-based technologies have introduced a slew of challenges around managing and securing more endpoints, devices, and services that ITIL framework developers couldn’t possibly have envisioned. 

Today’s IT doesn’t just play a supporting role. It’s an active, willing contributor to organizational success, the driving force behind the modern enterprise. 

Forward-thinking IT organizations have realized that empowering service and line-of-business owners with a management model aimed at first maintaining websites, apps, portals, and other customer touchpoints is the real key to gaining a strategic edge. 

 

Took a bite from this blog: https://www.itopstimes.com/itsm/is-itil-still-relevant-in-a-devops-world/

Userlevel 7
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Loved the video team!! Comprehensive & to-the-point.

Also, the topic makes much sense as we progress on the ever-rising DevOps practices. @rashmi.nag 👏

 

I like to raise my question to the forum: 

Is ITIL still relevant in a DevOps world?

 

Context: The IT world is markedly different from the last several decades. The emergence and proliferation of cloud-based technologies have introduced a slew of challenges around managing and securing more endpoints, devices, and services that ITIL framework developers couldn’t possibly have envisioned. 

Today’s IT doesn’t just play a supporting role. It’s an active, willing contributor to organizational success, the driving force behind the modern enterprise. 

Forward-thinking IT organizations have realized that empowering service and line-of-business owners with a management model aimed at first maintaining websites, apps, portals, and other customer touchpoints is the real key to gaining a strategic edge. 

 

Took a bite from this blog: https://www.itopstimes.com/itsm/is-itil-still-relevant-in-a-devops-world/

The short answer is that ITIL covers more than just DevOps practices - so, yes. The longer answer is that as with any guidance an organization should take what they need. So if parts of ITIL can help, then use it. If not, then don’t.

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I still am learning about these methodologies, and I am really curios how organizations have taken from both and put into practice those ideas. How has it worked for you? 

I read a great book just last week from the DevOps world. It’s called “The Phoenix Project” and I can’t recommend it enough! It was informative, enlightening, and entertaining. Gave me a whole new look at the relationship between IT Operations and Development as both work to improve an organization’s value stream.

How can we put these practices into action? Let’s keep the conversation going on this topic. Would really like to hear more about it! What resources have you found useful?

Thanks!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

I still am learning about these methodologies, and I am really curios how organizations have taken from both and put into practice those ideas. How has it worked for you? 

I read a great book just last week from the DevOps world. It’s called “The Phoenix Project” and I can’t recommend it enough! It was informative, enlightening, and entertaining. Gave me a whole new look at the relationship between IT Operations and Development as both work to improve an organization’s value stream.

How can we put these practices into action? Let’s keep the conversation going on this topic. Would really like to hear more about it! What resources have you found useful?

Thanks!!

Great call out. This book has stayed so, so relevant since it was published around 2013 (based on my Kindle version).

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Re @zachary.king’s great book call out, there was a newer version written too: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/ although I haven’t read this one.

Userlevel 7
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Re @zachary.king’s great book call out, there was a newer version written too: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/ although I haven’t read this one.

I am currently reading this book, and the 5th edition of the Phoenix Project is great. Also have “The DevOps Handbook” in my possession now too 😁

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Re @zachary.king’s great book call out, there was a newer version written too: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/ although I haven’t read this one.

I am currently reading this book, and the 5th edition of the Phoenix Project is great. Also have “The DevOps Handbook” in my possession now too 😁

Gene Kim is a great guy too :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Re @zachary.king’s great book call out, there was a newer version written too: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/ although I haven’t read this one.

I am currently reading this book, and the 5th edition of the Phoenix Project is great. Also have “The DevOps Handbook” in my possession now too 😁

Gene Kim is a great guy too :)

I found out that George Spafford who co-authored “The Phoenix Project” is from and lives right here in my home town. Wonder if I can persuade him with a cup of coffee and pick his brain!!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Re @zachary.king’s great book call out, there was a newer version written too: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/ although I haven’t read this one.

I am currently reading this book, and the 5th edition of the Phoenix Project is great. Also have “The DevOps Handbook” in my possession now too 😁

Gene Kim is a great guy too :)

I found out that George Spafford who co-authored “The Phoenix Project” is from and lives right here in my home town. Wonder if I can persuade him with a cup of coffee and pick his brain!!!

Who doesn’t like being bought coffee? ;)

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