ITIL is a fundamental part of any modern IT organization in ensuring IT business strategy aligns with deliverables. ITIL has gone through several revisions, with the latest version, ITIL 4, launched in 2019 in response to modern technology and business requirements. As stated in a Gartner article, “ITIL 4 promises to enable ITSM with a new operating model for digital transformation”.
IT service management — often referred to as ITSM — is just a way for IT teams to keep track of IT services at every stage. This includes all of the processes and activities related to designing, developing, delivering, and supporting IT services. ITIL is a framework that supports ITSM.
One of the core requirements for digital transformation in modern businesses is node automation. With node automation, they can rapidly deploy and implement changes in the production environment while maintaining ITIL compliance. That includes monitoring changes and issue tracking, providing change alerts, report and document generation, and version control.
In this article, we will attempt to provide an insight into how node automation fits within ITIL.
ITIL —or Information Technology Infrastructure Library— provides software professionals and businesses with a set of best practices to help them align their IT services with customer requirements. The ITIL guidelines describe the best ways to deliver IT services. They rely on empirical data gathered and compiled over time.
To a large extent, these IT services encompass IT-related assets, resources, and accessibility that provide benefit and value to customers. ITIL also covers other IT services, such as Cloud services, data processing, network security, IT consulting, backup, help desk support, print management, and IoT.
In the dawn of enterprise IT, the IT department was often chaotic and regarded as an unnecessary expense. Many organizations lack formalized processes for requesting services or reporting IT incidents, which results in poor communication and collaboration between IT and the end-user. Therefore, there was a widespread perception that IT wasn’t adding much value and wasn’t serving everyone’s needs or goals.
The first ITIL standard was developed in the 1980s by a UK government agency named the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). Initially, it aimed at standardizing the process for IT support and service management. With the ITIL framework, organizations can reduce risk, establish cost-effective practices, and improve customer relations, leading to a more stable IT environment for your business.
There are several businesses and IT benefits of ITIL. It complements other best practices and frameworks, enabling companies to be more agile. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of ITIL 4:
A new version of the ITIL Framework, ITIL 4, was launched in 2019 and follows the success of version 3. With ITIL 3, the IT service management processes were streamlined and aligned with ISO 20000 standards. But the new ITIL 4 focuses on user experience and digital transformation. As a result, it incorporates the reality of modern IT, which includes cloud computing and machine learning.
The ITIL Framework enables organizations to deliver IT services at high speeds while achieving efficiency and quality. In addition, it’s a tool to implement new working approaches like DevOps, LEAN, and Agile. That way, you can react and mitigate risk as the digital technology landscape rapidly changes. Basically, it aims to align IT services with broader business goals by using a Service Value System. The Service Value System is an ITIL architecture that identifies the key elements/capabilities that businesses require to implement, run, and maintain an agile, efficient, and effective service management organization.
The service lifecycle is a five-stage process according to ITIL. The stages all have a set of procedures and functions that align with the IT organizational structure. Because of this, ITIL is flexible when it comes to adoption. Let’s take a look at the five stages of an IT framework:
Through these practices, organizations can identify ways to improve the status quo by evaluating the status quo and making improvements. A Change Advisory Board (CAB) helps in implementing ITIL. It comprises a group of individuals responsible for assessing the changes made to the IT environment.
The following are the best practices and core concepts of implementing ITIL:
Businesses require faster agility to meet modern demands. For CAB to approve new changes, they have to weigh the risk and impact of those changes. With CAB, Change Management involves documenting every detail of each request for a change to make tracking and auditing easier.
The CAB process flow encourages improvement in processes, services, organizational structure, and technologies. Continual improvement is not merely a process or a set of roles.
Similar to the ITIL Change Management process, this practice is designed to ensure the IT-related changes you make in your organization are of higher quality, faster, and at a lower cost. It shouldn’t be confused with Release Management. Deployment Management is the application or execution of a plan, idea, model, design, specification, standard, algorithm, or policy.
The handling of incidents is a collaborative process. There is no escalation between support groups because there are no tiered support groups. Instead, someone takes responsibility for resolving the issue, leveraging the right support if necessary. It is a process that borrows from ‘Swarming’. Swarming provides a variety of advantages. For example, they can improve employee/customer experiences and business outcomes by reducing problem resolution time and cost.
This concept describes how an organization can identify the value of new information, incorporate it into an existing knowledge system, and leverage it to accomplish business objectives.
Monitoring and Event Management
This ITIL practice encompasses a set of monitoring and event management guidelines for ITSM practitioners to follow. The business can continue normal operations while detecting and escalating exception conditions. Events are described as any detectable or discernible occurrence in regards to IT infrastructure management or IT service delivery. The software can be leveraged to support and deliver Monitoring and Event Management that can be accelerated with the automation of IT infrastructure solutions.
This practice involves both error prevention and problem-solving. However, there’s a greater focus on incident prevention rather than responding to an incident after it has happened. It is reactive as well as proactive to identify problems.
Unlike Deployment Management, Release Management is the process of managing, planning, scheduling, and controlling a software build, IT service launch or update through different stages and environments. Some businesses may deploy changes through Test and/or Development (Dev) systems before deploying the changes in a Pre-Production (Pre-Prod) or Staging system followed by deployment into their Production (Prod) system. Test and Dev systems are for the test and development of the software changes to be released. The Pre-Prod systems are a like for like including hardware and integrated applications used in the Prod system to test the software changes against the hardware, infrastructure layout, and integrated applications used in the Prod system.
Node automation is the process of getting rid of repetitive daily operations and performing automation tasks such as automating rollout and rollback procedures, generating documentation, building labs, setting up applications on various systems, and more. Automation goes beyond saving time; it also ensures your processes run smoothly and without error.
ITIL is a framework that standardizes the process of selecting, planning, delivering, maintenance, and overall IT services in an organization. It involves the following:
Node automation and ITIL go hand in hand. With the efforts of CAB, ITIL defines the processes and methods for delivering applications to higher-level environments. Node automation plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of ITIL through features such as deployment and rollback capabilities, documentation generation, incident management, server health monitoring, alerts, and change enablement.
Indeed, node automation can help increase developer productivity, minimize release risks, and give stakeholders better control over the Change Management process.
Attune is a node automation solution that automates several ITIL processes such as automated rollout and rollback, document generation, knowledge capture, version control, auditing, error, and logs capturing. It simplifies and streamlines the process of automating server/node processes, providing unique features for rapid debugging automation, assessing quality, and more. With Attune node automation features, eliminate repetitive tasks and enable automation.