DevOps in India and ITIL 4


Over the past 10 years, the idea of combining development and production within IT operations – known as DevOps – has spread throughout the world of IT.

A report by Markets and Markets estimates the global DevOps market growth at up to $10.31 Billion by 2023. The demand for DevOps will be driven by several factors such as lower costs, flexibility, agility, and fast application delivery. Therefore, this opens up significant career opportunities for DevOps engineers in India and worldwide.

The benefits of complementing DevOps with the ITIL framework should not be underestimated: balancing the needs of fast turnaround in software delivery offered by DevOps with the stability in managing IT and digitally-enabled services provided by ITIL.

Abhishek Maitrey, Project Manager at the British Council Shared Service Centre in Noida, India, said: “DevOps as a cross-functional approach fits each part of software development including development build management, testing pre-deployment, release management, configuration management and monitoring. It values collaborative work and increases the frequency and quality of a complete software product.”

The fast delivery of quality products through DevOps practices is, according to Maitrey, making a huge difference to the Indian IT market and playing an important role in the stable growth of industry and business.

Heightened interest in the DevOps movement has led to events such as the DevOps India Summit which – in 2018 – was reputedly the first-ever, large scale DevOps event in the country. Marc Hornbeek – Principal Consultant DevOps with Trace3 and DevOps – speaking in The Economic Times in August this year, ahead of the DevOps India Summit 2019, said: “I see India as the capital for DevOps workforce for the world. DevOps takes a lot of effort, focus for execution and maintenance, but the benefits of DevOps are worth it. For an effective DevOps it is important to have a respectful collaboration of People, Process and Tools.”

He added that DevOps in enterprise is still in its early stages with few “unicorns” and suggested that, in the next five years, there will be an ongoing need for DevOps, with early signs of smarter tools being used to integrate its application with artificial intelligence.

The potential identified for IT in India is clear, while – at the same time – it should be measured with some caution and a recognition that other frameworks, such as ITIL, are there to apply sound governance.

DevOps in MNCs and start-ups

A report from Indian employment technology company, Belong, noted that the Indian DevOps skills base is “concentrated in Bangalore, National Capital Region, Pune, and Hyderabad, comprising 63 percent of the overall talent pool”.

Manu Siddharth Jha writing on the Great Learning website also highlighted India as a destination for global IT multi-national companies (MNCs), with the growth in development centres leading to a boom in DevOps jobs to support technologies such as cloud and artificial intelligence.

Equally, the Indian technology start-up market is notable for its “fast-paced work environment” in which “getting their products out on time will be crucial for their business”, therefore, increasing the demand for DevOps executives to enhance the product delivery process.

Speed, while clearly critical, should not obscure the need in all organizations to maintain a stable, business as usual IT environment.

DevOps and ITIL 4

In a world where a variety of different methods and frameworks are used to manage digital product development and service management, how do they work alongside DevOps?

ITIL, the world’s most widely-adopted framework for IT service management, has now evolved into ITIL 4. Its up-to-date structure and content now make it more applicable to working with and integrating modern and emerging practices such as DevOps and Agile and supporting digital transformation.

Organizations are now recognizing the need to incorporate a range of different approaches to ensure digital transformation and service management success – and ITIL 4 supports those concepts. For example, it provides software development teams with additional capability and terminology to work collaboratively with service teams.

As DevOps harnesses Agile software development methods along with service management techniques, extra value is possible when combining it with ITIL 4. This includes streamlining practices such as change enablement, managing unplanned incidents and investigating how failure has happened.

With ITIL 4’s focus on the co-creation of value through managing digitally-enabled services, the involvement of DevOps supports areas in software product development such as operability, reliability, and maintainability.

And ITIL 4’s Guiding Principles, including Focus on Value and Progress Iteratively with Feedback, blend well with DevOps’ approaches of continual experimentation, taking risks and learning from success and failure.

Abhishek Maitrey – who is also ITIL-certified – adds: “Many organizations are already using DevOps with ITIL across the globe, including India, and we also in the planning phase of managing our services through DevOps.”

India – embracing DevOps

Speaking at the DevOps India summit this year, Marc Hornbeek reportedly said that the Indian IT community had really embraced DevOps and particularly the approach of outsourcing the discipline wholly to work on complete projects rather than segments.

According to Entrepreneur India, he added: “It [DevOps] is a great platform for people to connect and meet people who are willing to learn and ask many important relevant questions. In the near future, DevOps will go through transformation in terms of patterns of practice which will be recognized as high performance that has transformed business.”

And while DevOps is helping Indian IT professionals add extra skills to their core competencies, Maitrey acknowledges that the approach is essentially a culture that organizations have to adapt.

Adopting DevOps and ITIL together means software development and service management progress holistically, and benefit is realized across the entire IT function to achieve greater efficiencies and ensure an organization continues to co-create high value with its stakeholders.

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