Using a DevOps Compass with an ITIL Map

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to attend Pink14, Pink Elephant’s ITIL conference, and DevOps Day LA in the same week.  What an experience in contrasts.  The ITIL crowd was made up of incident, service and release managers focused on process improvements to manage IT and mitigate risk.  The DevOps crowd was system administrators in charge of moving the bits from development to production.  It was all about speed, quality and revolution with the Sys Admins. While initially the differences were night and day, the more I listened to these very different groups, the more I saw an incredible opportunity and the need for both of these different views of managing IT to interlock and work more closely.

The ITIL V3 set of manuals is now 1900 pages, across 5 volumes and weighs 15 pounds. ITIL needs to lean out, optimize and leverage the DevOps Principles of Culture, Lean, Automation, Measurement and Sharing (CLAMS). ITIL is not moving fast enough and IT is still struggling!  DevOps is just starting to catch the attention of the ITIL crowd.  Serena Software was one of the few vendors evangelizing DevOps for the enterprise ITIL crowd.  I actually gave a presentation on the subject to a full house.  You can view the presentation here.  So, there is a lot of interest from the ITIL folks on how we can move faster, be leaner and still manage risk.

In order for DevOps to work in the enterprise, the DevOps movement needs to provide practical and pragmatic ways to integrate and evolve the current enterprise culture, processes and infrastructure.  It’s about going from point A to B.  That is the challenge.  Not sure you will be able to burn down the silos, at least not short term. I’ve seen people try and it’s very expensive.  It has to be more about evolution, not revolution, and ITIL could provide the map or blueprint for that evolution.

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