What do ITIL and DevOps have in common, you may ask – apart from the syllable “Ops”? So far these two items have had little overlap, but that may now start to change significantly.
Historically, ITIL has often been focused on the IT operations of an organisation.
ITIL management activities, for example for service levels and catalogues, availability, capacity, service continuity and security, have been applied to systems in production, serving end-users, and keeping organisations functioning day in, day out.
How then does this picture change with the introduction of DevOps, where development and operations work together for greater efficiency?
The big idea behind DevOps is to eliminate the difficulties and wastage caused by silo operations. When developers work in isolation and “throw their code over the wall” to the operations staff for deployment, there is often a cycle of to-ing and fro-ing, before the code works well in production.
The problem is largely caused by developers developing and testing on configurations that are not the same as those of production machines.
By collaborating closely with operations, and by development and operations together using DevOps tools for automated continuous integration, delivery and deployment, these problems can be eradicated.
Developers then make not only the code for the application, but the code for the infrastructure configurations too. Developers and operations staff then start to speak one language, instead of two.
Logically, the next step is for developers to design in additional real world requirements. This has already started in the domain of security (SecDevOps), where security is built into code as it is developed, instead of trying to layer it on to the finished product.
Facets of ITIL and service management can be built into applications and code in the same way, making it easier and more efficient for operations staff to align IT services with the needs of business.
Accomplishing this requires education for developers about ITIL. However, with development teams now aligning to marketing and business requirements, and the other IT operational needs (system configurations, automated deployment), the learning curve should already be easier to handle.