Skip to main content

DevOps and the Service Desk

DevOps is a cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, and integration between software developers and IT operations professionals. DevOps responds to the demands of application and business unit stakeholders for an increased rate of production software releases. Driven by the adoption of agile development processes by IT development organizations, DevOps aims to help organizations rapidly produce quality software products and services.

Although the “Ops” in DevOps is often viewed as the technical and application management professionals that deploy and manage applications and their associated infrastructure (e.g., application servers, web servers, and database servers), the service desk supports the goals of DevOps in a number of ways. A goal of DevOps is to produce more frequent software releases. This means the service desk must be prepared to handle a faster rate of change. One way to ensure the service desk is prepared is to engage the service desk earlier in the service lifecycle. For example, some organizations are involving the service desk in testing activities. This enables the service desk to gain early exposure to releases and also capitalizes on the service desk’s ability to log and track incidents. In some organizations, incidents logged during testing are referred to as pre-production incidents. The service desk can also log problems and known errors. Although some problems and known errors may be resolved before a release is moved into production, some may be carried forward into the production environment. Before the service is even deployed, the service desk can ensure knowledge articles are in place that enable efficient handling of those errors when they are encountered. The service desk plays another invaluable role in that it captures data and about incidents and problems affecting production systems. This data not only allows the handling of those incidents and problems, it is also an important part of the feedback loop that enables the development team to improve the quality of the next release and reduce the cost of handling errors associated with that release.

DevOps aims to not only improve Ops’s visibility into development activities, it also aims to improve Dev’s visibility into the impact of changes on the production environment; particularly during early life support. ITIL defines early life support (ELS) as the stage in the service lifecycle that occurs at the end of a deployment and before the service is fully accepted into operation. During ELS the service desk works closely with development and deployment teams to ensure incident and problem management activities are occurring as efficiently and effectively as possible. This includes using and refining provided diagnostic tools and knowledge resources, ensuring clear escalation procedures are in place, and capturing and communicating user and customer complaints.

Key goals of DevOps include better alignment of IT responsiveness and capabilities to business needs and enabling companies to gain a competitive advantage by delivering better software, faster. To contribute to these goals, the service desk must build solid working relationships with development teams and other IT operations teams. 


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with