Friday 23 April 2021

The Future of Service Management in the DevOps Era

By Gary Blower, Solutions Architect, Clearvision

Whether you view your organisation as having an agile approach or not, in 2020, companies had no choice but to drastically change their way of working as the world rapidly pivoted to remote working. Organisations that had already embraced agile principles had the advantage of being able to adapt faster to the pandemic and meet the demands of their employees, who were suddenly all working from home. Now, as we start to slowly emerge from multiple lockdowns and restrictions, one interesting side effect of COVID-19 is that it has lowered our collective tolerance for slow, overly bureaucratic processes. We all crave an agile approach, whatever our definition of agile might be.

COVID-19 has Accelerated Digital Transformation
Digital innovation has fundamentally changed how the world operates. COVID-19 demonstrated just how much we rely on technology. And, as modern technology permeates every area of our lives, our expectations around the availability of information and the speed with which we can obtain it are even higher than they were pre-pandemic. Therefore, as lockdowns ease, the world is continuing to change just as rapidly to keep pace with the demands on businesses, who must accelerate out of recession and aggressively compete to remain relevant.

The knock-on impact of this acceleration is that organisations need their IT teams working together as efficiently and effectively as possible. Likewise, their IT service management (ITSM) capabilities must be nimble and efficient to support shifting organisational priorities, capitalise on new opportunities, and satisfy growing end-user demands for immediate and seamless service, wherever users are located.

To meet this increasing demand and requirement for speed, the flow of work between the support, DevOps and operational teams must be unified, and teams need to be empowered to deliver work with agility. IT teams are under huge pressure and are required to become even more adaptable to the challenges they face. This means that practices and workflows need to remain flexible so that teams are better positioned should situations like we just experienced in the past 12 months arise again in the future.

Traditional Service Management Approaches can’t keep pace with Demand
However, even the smallest request for change is not an easy task for some organisations and must be approved by layers of bureaucracy, which can take weeks or sometimes months. Additionally, this increased demand, combined with the ongoing pressure to lower costs, runs counter to traditional approaches to service management that emphasise risk mitigation and control over efficiency and agility—leaving some IT teams hamstrung and unable to play to their full potential. In our ‘always on’, digital world, this will disadvantage those companies unable to respond, with end-users and customers no longer willing to accept long wait times. And why should they? The COVID-19 experience showed that, when we really need to, we can completely change our way of working overnight. Therefore, many customers are now unforgiving of those that cannot accommodate their requirements or promptly meet their expectations.

One way that organisations can accelerate their service management initiatives and introduce more efficient methods to serve ever-growing business demands is by implementing Jira Service Management. This is the only ITSM solution built on the Jira software development platform. This means that users don’t have to seek the Jira application separately, and they benefit from having everything they need in one platform.

DevOps, IT Support, and IT Operations must all Collaborate
This accessibility is important because IT teams using other service management tools often end up integrating their application with Jira for additional functionality, which can be clunky and not as streamlined. The co-existence of Jira Service Management and the Jira software development platform has huge benefits because it means that support and development teams can collaborate on the same platform and fix software issues and incidents faster. Jira Service Management was also designed with both IT and development teams in mind and provides streamlined requests and change management processes. This allows teams to make change requests without complex approvals and link incidents to problems in one click.

With other service management platforms, siloed tools between development and IT operations can result in context switching, lack of visibility, and decelerated work. As a result, integrations between Jira Software and service management tools tend to be weaker and cumbersome to manage. In contrast, tight integrations between Jira Software and Jira Service Management mean seamless and accelerated workflows between development and IT. Teams can link issues across Jira and ingest data from other software development tools, providing IT support and operations teams with richer contextual information to respond rapidly to requests, incidents, and changes.

Jira Service Management also offers customisable templates for ITSM, customer service, and business teams such as HR and finance. Furthermore, an intuitive portal in Jira Service Management makes it effortless for customers to ask for help, while the simple UI makes it easy for teams to use. And, with easily configured automations, IT teams can prioritise and resolve requests quickly.

Service Management Built for the DevOps era
In today’s world of digitised services and support, being able to deliver a rich and collaborative service desk, modern incident management, and change management is critically important. The world is changing fast and, to keep pace, organisations need a service management platform built for the DevOps era. An open, collaborative platform enables teams to scale operations quickly and ensure the organisations’ critical services are always on and operating at high velocity. This will ensure they can respond quickly to business change while delivering great customer and employee service experiences.

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