Is Agile ITIL an Oxymoron?

Agile ITILBy Dick Stark

Last month, BMCer, Cheng Dong Zhao wrote a blog article,“Will ITIL Die or be reborn in the DevOps Era?” The world is becoming more and more Agile, and BMC is finally starting to focus on DevOps, or what Cheng Dong Zhao calls, Agile ITIL.   Will DevOps replace ITIL and what exactly is Agile ITIL?

There is no doubt that ITIL is changing. After more than 20 years, ITIL v4 is looming just around the corner. In that span of time, more than three million people have earned some type of ITIL certification. Now, several training companies are ready to go with v4 training and certification programs in the works. But, thanks in part to the rising popularity of DevOps, ITIL has lost some of its luster.

It’s not like this message has come as a surprise. ITIL’s waning popularity has not happened overnight.  First, not everyone embraces change.  At RightStar, we know from experience that a shiny new toolset, (and Pink certified to be sure) doesn’t always equal customer satisfaction, increased efficiency and lower overall costs. Sometimes the users don’t cooperate making adoption more difficult.  Additionally, some customers go for a “huge” go-live of everything rather than taking an iterative phased approach.  Finally, we’ve seen ITIL / ITSM projects take years, not months which has opened the ITSM door to DevOps and why Gartner asserts that “DevOps is the bimodal bridge to Mode 2.” (Meaning DevOps/Mode 2 is focused on agility, while ITIL / Mode 1 is focused on stability.)

Speaking about agility, DevOps is a discipline that is all about speed, faster time to market, real sense of urgency, IT modernization, and doing more with less. Culture, tools, vision, now must all be managed alongside different processes. A single best practice is not enough. What’s needed, according to Cheng Dong Zhao, is Agile ITIL

This means that traditional IT Operations must adopt agile methods or it may be overtaken by more agile DevOps systems and processes.  IT Operations must connect all the dots. Enter ITIL v4.

ITIL v4, or Agile ITIL will be detailed in early 2019. Training courses start in February, with signups at organizations like Pink Elephant available now.  ITIL v4 expands on the previous versions by providing a practical and flexible basis to support digital organizations. It provides an end-to-end IT/digital operating model for the delivery and operation of tech-enabled products and services and enables IT teams to continue to play a crucial role in a wider business strategy. ITIL 4 also provides a holistic end-to-end picture that integrates frameworks such as Lean IT, Agile and DevOps.

Finally, I was happy to see a diagram of BMC’s Agile ITIL focused on BMC’s full stack consisting of Remedy, Digital Workplace, Atrium CMDB, and TrueSight. Agile ITIL is alive and well!

About dick1stark

I am the President and founder of RightStar, Inc, an XTIVIA company. RightStar is a leading ITSM and DevOps consultancy and BMC Software Elite Solution Provider and Atlassian Gold Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. In 2019, BMC selected RightStar as its DSM North American Partner of the Year for its sales and partnership excellence. Finally, in November 2020, RightStar was acquired by XTIVIA, an innovative IT Solutions Provider. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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