Since DevOps first entered the stage, it has been pitted against ITSM. DevOps is agile and flexible, deploying services at lightning speed. On the other hand, the intensely controlled and risk-averse approach of ITSM has come across as too slow to meet the current pace of innovation. DevOps teams, charged with quickly deploying software improvements, don’t have the time to consult with the change advisory board for every step, as ITSM dictates. But operations staff, focused on structure, governance and control of services under ITSM, can’t blindly let changes whizz by with no record of them.

DevOps and ITSM seem fundamentally at odds with each other in their approach to software delivery and overall corporate culture. Businesses have either completely abandoned ITSM for DevOps, limiting their ability to oversee the IT environment or placed roadblocks to limit the speed of DevOps teams in an attempt at a risk-free rollout of services and upgrades. Neither route fully harnesses the power of the two approaches.

DevOps and ITSM are not the bitter rivals that many believe they are. In fact, DevOps needs the stability of key ITSM practices to ensure that new services and upgrades to existing services can be delivered without affecting the production ecosystem. DevOps is merely the reimagining and rebranding of a well-established framework for the modern IT era. A combination of ITSM and DevOps principles can only benefit organizations, deploying faster changes without disrupting operations.

A winning combination

An important function in ITSM is change management, which evaluates changes and any potential impact deployments have on production cycles. With the right people and resources, enterprise-level CABs can only benefit the DevOps environment. The goal of DevOps is to create many small changes rapidly. Change management can be modified to facilitate changes rather than controlling them. Change managers don’t curb the pace of deployment, but ensure that high priority changes don’t clash with each other.

ITSM puts in place a strong and extensive incident management process, which acts as a base to DevOps methods like review process automation and cross-functional team ownership. The two together can ensure faster resolution times and checks can help lower incident volume. Similarly, ITSM provides a solid base for establishing a process and with DevOps support, businesses can truly achieve effective process optimization. Both ITSM and DevOps promote greater end-to-end visibility into the delivery lifecycle. Together, they form a greater performance monitoring setup with cross-functional KPIs that break silos between teams and encourage greater ownership of specific services.

DevOps heavily promotes direct communication channels between development and operation teams and end-customers. Modern software like ServiceNow ITSM promotes a similar approach. Such platforms set up centralized control for processing and tracking all requests, automatically assigning them to the right people so important issues are identified and resolved quickly.

Integrating ServiceNow and Azure DevOps

ServiceNow integration with Azure DevOps simplifies change controls, a fundamental part of the DevOps pipeline, while contributing to seamless delivery of services. The integration ensures smooth change authorization and easy tracking process for developers, who may otherwise have to deal with delays, which in turn would impact production deadlines. Including ServiceNow change management in CI/CD pipelines of Azure DevOps can reduce the risk that comes with changes. Essentially, businesses can follow tried-and-tested ITSM methodologies while getting all DevOps benefits like reduced deployment time and transparency.

ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration gives businesses greater visibility into end-to-end relationships and key data insights, which would help development and operation teams work more closely together and boost productivity. In addition, ServiceNow DevOps module extends out-of-the-box integrations to a variety of third-party tools so the entire DevOps tool-chain can reap the benefits of ServiceNow’s automated workflows.

By bringing ServiceNow ITSM and Azure DevOps together, businesses get the benefit of bi-directional data exchange and record synchronization. They also gain more visibility into the end user’s needs. Enterprises are provided with automatic status updates for easier follow-ups and can bolster effective communication between different teams.

A Premier ServiceNow Partner, Aspire Systems has aided several businesses in their ServiceNow journey. Our experts helped a leading US telecom company optimize its ServiceNow instance and enhance its release management cycle. Read our case study to know more about Aspire’s solutions that resulted in shorter lead time for release cycles and the impact of automated workflows.