Last updated 11/10/2019
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a Service Management framework. The framework is defined as a supporting structure around which something can be built. It is descriptive and flexible.
ITIL was initiated by Government of UK in 1989, initially handled by Central Computers and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) which was later renamed to Office of Government Commerce (OGC). Now it is owned, managed and supported by AXELOS.
As we are in the era of 4th Industrial revolution, business is growing multifold and so is the demand for services to support a growing business. Business is adopting all emerging technologies (IOT, AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, etc) for enhancing the consumer experience. Owing to this demand from business, technologies are growing faster than ever before and have made IT a very important driver for Business. Therefore, the ways and procedures for IT Service Management have also evolved.
ITIL is an industry-wide most commonly adopted framework. ITIL has evolved from process-based delivery of services to end to end value delivery. ITIL4 has a focus on co-creation of value through service relationship. It introduces Service Value System for enabling Value co-creation. Service Value system provides guidance to the organisation in all circumstances and scenarios. It includes 5 components (Guiding Principles, Governance, Service Value Chain (SVC), Practices and Continual Improvement)
Know more about ITIL here: What is ITIL
As mentioned in one of my previous blogs (Differences between ITIL V3 and ITIL4), ITIL V3 unintentionally missed guidance on Build part of products and services. As per ITIL V3 once service design is created it moves to the implementation phase. There was no guidance on a build of products and services as per design. It directly moved to implementation/transition post design was created. This gap in the lifecycle stages created an opportunity for adopting other practices like DevOps, Agile, SRE and many more for supporting build.
ITIL4 has introduced guidance on Obtain/Build as one of the SVC activities. ITIL4 suggests using DevOps, Agile, SRE, etc in Obtain/Build activity of SVC.
Let’s Understand what is DevOps before we discuss the relationship of ITIL4 and DevOps.
DevOps is defined as a set of practices that builds a culture of collaboration between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) by using principles of Lean and automation along with high-end technologies to reduce the distance between Dev and Ops by increasing velocity and success rate of changes or releases.
DevOps is based on 5 core values (CALMS – Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement and Sharing).
DevOps implements the following practices
DevOps works really well with other methodologies like Lean and Agile. DevOps’s primary objective is to increase the speed from Development to Operations so it focuses on the reduction of waste and maximizing value for consumers. DevOps creates a shorter feedback loop so that defects can be corrected while working on new components. This improves the wider acceptance of the product as well as reduces the rework on correction of the final product as compared to the waterfall method. DevOps emphasizes on building an Automated Deployment pipeline in order to increase the velocity and reduce the defects/failures.
Read the full article here: What is DevOps and all you need to know
Misconception: If DevOps is implemented then there is no need for ITIL.
While automating operations may seem to be the goal of DevOps (NoOps), there will always be a need for human competencies and roles. Role of Ops is evolving significantly similar to the role of Dev. This is called as NewOps.
ITIL4 and DevOps are here to complement each other. ITIL being Service Management framework provides the support for products and services that are being built and deployed using DevOps practices. ITIL 4 has introduced 7 Guiding Principles as one of the components of Service Value System.
ITIL4 suggests that these guiding principles should be established as core values of an organization and they would help in the continual improvement of products and services. These would serve as guardrails while delivering products and services. These guiding principles are aligned with 4 values of Agile Manifesto as shown in the diagram below. Thus, ITIL4 is also referred to as “Agile ITIL”.
ITIL4 has focused on Continual Improvement and suggests that everyone in the organisation should focus on continual improvement in every step of their day to day activities. ITIL4 emphasizes on implementing improvements to existing products and services, and implementation of digital transformation projects. Wherein new applications and technologies would be built and implemented. This would involve different teams mainly Dev and Ops. DevOps can be used in building new application and toolsets and also deployment of these.
DevOps can also contribute to improving existing products and services. DevOps would increase the pace of change/releases and also the success rate of changes/releases, through the automated deployment pipeline. Automation would further help in better collaboration between involved stakeholders.
ITIL 4 has introduced 34 ITIL Practices, 14 General Management Practices along with 17 Service Management Practices and 3 Technical Management Practice. ITIL 4 is more focused on enabling co-creation of value and to do that Value Chain activities are spanned across the business and not only limited to IT. This approach would enable more collaboration amongst internal and external stakeholders in the organization. ITIL4 is flexible and can be easily used with other frameworks and practices such as Prince2, PMP, Agile, DevOps, etc.
SVC helps in capturing the business requirement for new products and services or enhancement to existing products and services. The first activity in SVC is to “Engage” with stakeholders to capture their requirements. Second activity is to create a “Plan” for those requirements. The third activity is to create a “Design & Transition”. Then components are built under the “Obtain/Build” activity, tested under “Design & Transition” activity, deployed in Ops and finally supported under “Deliver & Support” activity of SVC.
DevOps can be used to automate the deployment pipeline to reduce human efforts and errors. This would help in capturing immediate feedback on deployed components, would increase the speed of change/release deployments. As we are going to follow one of the ITIL guiding principles “Progress Iteratively With The Feedback” this would increase the success rate of changes/releases. In turn, enabling co-creation of value for Consumer and Business by reducing the overall impact and improving ROI.
DevOps also enables the use and implementation of Agile& Lean concepts. This helps in the reduction of waste by maximizing the value and improvement in ROI, creating a solid foundation for the integration of ITIL4 and DevOps.
Here are the benefits of ITIL4 & DevOps which we can conclude from above:
Vikas is an Accredited SIAM, ITIL, PRINCE2 Agile, DevOps, ITAM Trainer with more than 17 years of industry experience currently working with NovelVista as Principal Consultant.