DevOps is becoming more popular among service desk operators. Some of them are convinced it will outdo IT Service Management (ITSM), others can’t wait for it; others believe DevOps is not a threat at all.
There isn’t probably a definitive word about this, but we need to acknowledge DevOps is establishing a new dynamic in relationships between business people, who set goals and dictate requirements for new corporate applications and tools, software development teams, and IT operations, who have to ensure business continuity, data availability and the highest possible efficiency.
Customer experience and satisfaction is the top priority for ITSM professionals, taking care of end-user support, incident handling and issue management. The increased speed of software development, together with the greater number of features and releases each application has, makes their job more difficult. Customers are sometimes scared by new business tools and, if delivered too quickly, there might be lots of bugs and problems to be fixed. On the other hand, when innovation is delivered too slowly, users will not be happy to work with obsolete applications.
If business, development and operations teams work in separate and scarcely communicating silos, it would be tough to achieve superior customer satisfaction levels. As corporate growth and success should be the common goal for all, it’s important to encourage a collaborative approach, designing workflows and practices to circulate relevant information, give constructive feedback, and share meaningful ideas.
Development teams should, for instance, liaise with ITSM professionals before a new application or feature is released, discussing how it might affect the customer experience. The way back, there might be an integration between ITSM and bug tracking tools, so that any news about detected bugs is quickly received and examined.
Even more important is building a common knowledge base, which requires the availability of proper technical documentation. Sharing customer satisfaction reports and insights is also useful to favour a ‘service broker’ culture across different teams.
So, DevOps is not going to pinch ITSM, but the two could generate promising synergies and allow the organisation to achieve excellent customer service.