A quest for a unified theory of IT management is not a flag of ITSM surrender

Some folk have interpreted my last post on A unified theory of IT management as surrender to the DevOps movement: "OMG DevOps was right all along, what a fool I have been". Not at all. I'm saying both the DevOps and the ITSM communities need to move on and find something that works for everyone.

I still have concerns and reservations about DevOps. Not so much the theory as the movement. I'm concerned about the attitudes and culture of the DevOps community more than the ideas, though I still need convincing on some of those too. I'm still concerned the DevOps movement wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to tear down the control edifices that protect our massive investments in existent data and systems in the name of an infatuation with speed and newness.

I've never thought DevOps people are stupid, well no more stupid than ITSM people on average :) I'm willing to accept that thousands of intelligent IT professionals can't be totally wrong - there must be substance, there must be value worth mining. You should too. ITSM isn't a dead process-bound mainframe bureacracy and DevOps isn't a bunch of childish whining developer cowboys trying to be exempt from sensible controls.

My personal revelation was that a model exists (antifragility) that allows for a non-chaotic alternative to robustness and stability, and hence a common ground is possible between the current DevOps and ITSM worldviews. That is miles away from saying I just embraced DevOps.

My personal change of heart is that I need to be less combative and more conciliatory: we need to all move to that common point, both the Devops and ITSM communities. That will only happen if we open minds, reverse polarities, abandon entrenched positions, and start to build a mutually acceptable model.

Remarks like

I don't believe that ITSM has any future. The basic premises are designed from construction projects and fails to address dynamic systems. ITSM has bred a culture of approved failure and constipated process.
Time to grow up and move on. Ditch the MBA-driven prejudice on process and consider new methods for service management - we don't have them yet, but goodness knows we need them.


The latest buzz in IT is of course Agile, and its bastard spawn DevOps... nothing warrants the frenzied hype around agile right now. And most of all, nothing warrants letting the IT cowboys out of the corral.
Just because small teams of cool-tool developers can knock up websites with an agile approach has little relevance - yet - to monolithic corporate operational systems. Agile developers remind me of those testosterone idiots who fizz about on jet-skis on a Saturday afternoon in sheltered bays and wonder why ships need lifeboats and harbour pilots.

are unlikely to contribute to any positive movement. (The second quote is from me).

We need to let go of such prejudices and look for a way forward so we can benefit from each other's wisdom. I'm willing to give that a go. How about you?

There is a Google+ community here to discuss this or you can comment on this blog.

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