Breaking down barriers for more resilient systems
Service Management The DevOps model could enhance your organisation's IT systems, says Barclay Rae, CEO of ITSMF UK — although, for those using the waterfall approach, it does mean a big culture shift.
What is DevOps?
It's a collaborative approach to agile methodology. Traditionally, organisations have taken a 'waterfall' approach to systems and software development and its IT teams have tended to be siloed. The Development team and the Operational team don't really interact with each other. The goal of DevOps is to pull them together in a collaborative culture based on mutual respect and avoidance of blame. By breaking down barriers, the idea is that systems can be built that are more resilient and need less support.
Is it popular?
It's the way that many of the big firms have been developing over the last 10 years and the availability and quality of their systems has massively improved as a result. That's because more work is put into quality so that issues can be sorted out before they happen. DevOps teams don't simply create things quickly and then try to keep the plates spinning afterwards. However, DevOps is still a mystery to many organisations because it challenges the status quo.
Is it a challenger to ITIL?
It's sometimes portrayed like that — but no. ITIL and DevOps work well together. There are elements that are shared between ITIL and DevOps: relationship management and service design and customer journey mapping, for instance. For any organisation considering the DevOps method, this common ground is a good 'in' — a way to start building collaboration and trust between teams.
What is the future for DevOps?
It sounds great. But the problem is, if you are a big organisation working to the waterfall and ITIL model, it's like turning a supertanker — it can take a long time for change to happen.