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Users Don’t Perceive IT as a Business Partner

In a new survey of 200 IT professionals conducted by Serena Software, an orchestrated IT solutions provider, it’s clear that what’s missing from IT service management is service. IT has no one to blame but itself.

How serious is the problem? Very serious. “The survey shows the majority of those polled (92 percent) agreed business groups do not perceive IT as a true partner and in some cases report that IT actually impedes their success.”

If ever it was clear that IT is not properly focused (or its staff is misaligned), it’s in the survey, which found that when asked to identify the source of the problem, the development and operations groups are pointing fingers at each other. “Three quarters cited operations as a roadblock to agile development, and 72 percent cite development as not supporting the goals of operations. The research shows a clear divide between Development and Operations, helping to explain the aspirational popularity of DevOps this past year.”

A press release from Serena quotes Amita Abraham, Group Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software and the report’s author: “There is massive interest in DevOps within enterprises today, as there should be. What our survey revealed, however, is the distance that IT organizations need to evolve to realize the promise of DevOps. This data was telling in that we were able to learn about today’s key ITSM issues, in particular, the need to improve Service Transition, the ITIL set of processes that cover the juncture of Development and Operations.”

What juncture? It sounds more like a complete disconnect. The report lists as its first key finding: “Business-IT and Dev-Ops distrust abounds.” Now there’s an understatement.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • ITSM practices are inconsistent or manual; they’re too slow for an online, agile enterprise. Seventy percent rate their release management processes as “poor.”

  • Disconnected processes are making it difficult for development and operations to “collaborate and rapidly fulfill business requests.” Nearly three in four respondents (72 percent) say that “operational change and release management, which are central to the Service Transition prescribed by ITILv3, were the most disconnected.”

  • Visibility of planned changes are limited because of “rudimentary communication practices” such as e-mail, spreadsheets, and word of mouth. The survey found that 60 percent claimed to have “little to no visibility into planned changes.”

  • Status updates are inaccurate thanks to poor reporting. A measly six percent said they share release calendars across development and operations. Are you kidding me?

The full report, IT Service Management Trends 2012: The State of the Dev-Ops Union, including recommendations for streamlining the development and operations team, is available here (no registration is required).

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 11/30/2012

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