Survey Highlights Divide Between Development and Operations
December 11, 2012

Pete Goldin

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IT is struggling to keep up with the resulting pace of service demand, according to a new survey by Serena of 200 IT professionals that focused on the current state of IT Service Management (ITSM), with a particular focus on what ITIL calls Service Transition.

In addition, 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.

Development and Operations blame each other, the survey indicates. Three quarters cited operations as a roadblock to agile development, and 72 percent cite development as not supporting the goals of operations.

“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,” said Amita Abraham, Group Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software and the author of the survey report. “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.”

Other key findings include:

· Inconsistent and manual ITSM practices are too slow for online, agile business. 70 percent reported poor release management processes.

· Disconnected processes limit Development and Operations’ success. 72 percent revealed that operational change and release management, which are central to the Service Transition prescribed by ITILv3, were the most disconnected.

· Rudimentary communication practices lead to limited visibility into planned changes. 60 percent cited they had “little to no” visibility into planned changes. Survey data showed antiquated communication practices such as email, spreadsheets, and word of mouth are still relied upon for sharing critical and time-sensitive information about planned development of operational changes.

· Poor reporting leads to inaccurate status updates to the business. Only six percent reported having shared release calendars across development and operations.

In addition to the Dev and Ops divide, the survey also highlighted the gap between IT and Business:

· Only 9 percent responded that the business views IT as completely aligned with its goals and as a true partner.

· 56 percent indicated that their organizations were yet to define and automate request management. The lack of a single place for business users to submit requests and automatically get status updates results in further discontent with IT.

The Serena survey was conducted at itSMF’s FUSION 12 Conference last month. Respondents were polled from a variety of industries, including financial services, government, healthcare, online services, manufacturing and more. The sampling of participants included general attendees and speakers.

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