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What binds ITSM and ITIL® to Agile and DevOps?

Ultimately it’s the customer.

In a world where every company is a tech company to some degree, organizations are struggling to identify the best way to introduce and upgrade technology, provide customer support and maintain stability. Where do ITSM and ITIL fit into Agile/DevOps? Are these all or nothing concepts?

Charles Betz, digital consultant, advisor, and author; Christoph Goldenstern ‪VP of Strategy & Service Excellence at Kepner-Tregoe, Inc.; have taken a hard look at the intersections of Agile and DevOps with ITIL-based IT Service Management. By understanding the flexibility written into ITIL and acknowledging the breaking down of silos that Agile and DevOps bring to ITSM, Betz and Goldenstern offer a nuanced look at tech’s trends and history.

“The scaling process of an organization can help us put a context around current debates in the industry, such as “DevOps versus ITIL,” Betz and Goldenstern write in “The New World: What do Agile and DevOps mean for ITSM and ITIL®. “Think about IT processes in these terms. Would you recommend a full-blown change management process for a 10-person firm? Could you run a 3,000-person company without one?”

As the Agile and DevOps methods used in independent, innovating teams bring more speed and scalability to change, ITIL’s emphasis on a common language and approach for ensuring stability and problem solving remains a constant. The “teams of teams” must speak the same language and use data efficiently. In addition, cloud technology combined with efficient incident/problem management is a foundation for minimizing backlogs of unresolved issues to make the road ahead clear of obstacles and misunderstandings.

The success of Agile and DevOps in bringing speed and new functionality to tech needn’t be weighed down by the structures of service management. Betz and Goldenstern maintain that ultimately what should bring these approaches together is the customer experience. What matters is maximizing the customer’s experience with products and services that deliver the most value—now and going forward.


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