IT Service Management Hits Its Stride with ITIL 4 — and Integration

Service Desk ITIL Processes

IT Service Management (ITSM) has been a cornerstone of IT support for decades. It began its journey nearly 30 years ago with the debut of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), a set of documents describing a best practices framework for technology service management. With the release of ITIL 4 Foundation in Q1 2019, however, ITSM has taken a major step forward. This latest version introduced a number of new concepts, one of which is the service value chain.

To further define the service value chain, ITIL 4 also outlines guiding principles for value chain achievement including rightsizing and using process and tools, and automating wherever possible. It is Orasi’s and ConnectALL’s position that process and tool automation for ITSM is most easily achieved when ITSM solutions such as Service Now and Cherwell Service Management, can be directly integrated with development and testing tools.

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

The guiding principles outlined by ITIL 4 are the core messages of service management that resonate across many other frameworks, standards and methods including agile, lean, and DevOps:

  • Focus on value – Generate value directly or indirectly.
  • Start where you are – Preserve good capabilities and improve where needed.
  • Progress iteratively with feedback – Improve often in small steps and measure your way forward.
  • Collaborate and promote visibility – Transparent work in the teams, with the stakeholders and partners.
  • Think and work holistically – It’s an end-to-end responsibility – the service and the SVS.
  • Keep it simple and practical – The right size and use of processes, tools, and resources matters.
  • Optimize and automate – Manual work is a bug. Reserve human intervention only for really needed activities.

The Road to the Value Stream

In the course of its work over nearly two decades with thousands of customers, Orasi has been at the forefront of the DevOps evolution. Well before the debut of ITIL 4, our experts recognized the value that Guiding Principles such as these brought to the table — from team collaboration to iterative work product and tool automation. However, one element not directly addressed in ITIL 4 but that we view as critical to optimizing ITSM, is tool integration.

With corporate development efforts increasingly relying on continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), the ability to automate the flow of defect reporting and service requests across the toolchain is vital to maintaining release velocity. Over time, software visionaries identified the solution — a tool that would enable seamless integration and synchronization across the entire delivery pipeline, from the ticketing system, to the engineers, to the development and test tools and back again, creating a complete, end-to-end value stream.

In doing so, teams not only achieve their release efficiency and quality goals more readily — they also expedite service delivery to their stakeholders.

Reaping Full Value from ITSM

With a complete, bi-directional ITSM pipeline in place, enterprise software users not only can seamlessly request and get assistance with bugs, change requests, configuration updates and more, they can monitor their statuses and receive reports. Equally important, high-level visibility gives decision makers the information they need to monitor statuses and make strategic decisions.

Here’s an example of how the process works, using Cherwell Service Management and the Orasi integration tool, ConnectALL. (To view an on-demand webinar that visually illustrates how ConnectALL seamlessly integrates Cherwell with JIRA and other software tools, as well as a variety of webinars about the many integrations that ConnectALL supports, click here.)

  • A user logs into Cherwell Service Management and submits an Incident Request.
  • An IT support engineer receives the Incident Request trigged by the user submission to Cherwell Service Management.
  • After analysis, the support engineer logs the problem in Cherwell Service Management, which generates a Business Object (Incident).
  • ConnectALL picks up the request and maps it for the destination system (in this case, Jira.)
  • As the engineering team starts to work on the Jira issue, any subtasks created under the issue are also seamlessly synchronized by ConnectALL between Jira and Cherwell.
  • As the Incident is being addressed, Cherwell tracks the comments and record modifications and ConnectALL synchronizes them between from destination systems and Cherwell. All information related to the request and its resolution, including attachments, flow bi-directionally between the systems and their teams – providing end-to-end traceability.

ConnectALL Screen Capture

Once the request is complete, the engineering team closes out the request and the user and any other stakeholders will receive notification of its completion.

When such a bi-directional, end-to-end pipeline for ITSM enables a seamless information flow from front-end incident and change management all the way to the DevOps tools and back, the value stream is inherent. Overhead waste is reduced, duplicate effort is eliminated, solutions are expedited and both management and users are delighted.