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DevOps and Service Brokering: Are you prepared to make the most from these concepts?


Guest post by Bert van Rij, IT Strategist



During the last five years the IT industry has been overwhelmed with a series of new IT delivery concepts. ITIL was introduced in the mid-nineties, followed by ITILv3 in 2007. Since 2009, a number of major new IT management concepts have been introduced with an increasing pace. Samples of these concepts are: Cloud computing in 2009, DevOps in 2013, the new style of IT in 2013, and service brokering 2014.


These new concepts are in fact not new or recently invented. Most of them are between 20-40 years old. However, somehow the IT industry now is “ready” to embrace them and customize them for usage in the IT industry. What is it that makes these concepts popular now and not ten years ago? Apparently there are underlying management concepts that need to be adapted within an industry, before new IT initiatives like DevOps make sense.


The successful introduction of new IT concepts can be related to a few key developments in the developed world of the last 30 years.


General Management Concepts.PNG


What’s the relevance of this?


If these IT concepts are put in the context of the bigger picture, questions about why, when, how and in what context to use these concepts becomes a lot simpler. Per this example, the institutionalization of a service broker in an IT organization that has the policy to always look for the cheapest solution is a project that is doomed before it starts. Broker concepts are related to optimizing added value of IT, not only to look for the cheapest IT resource.


The formalization of DevOps work structures in a traditional, hierarchical managed system is a mission impossible. This is because the dominant management style does not work in a multi-functional team. This type of team needs a serving or coaching management style. You can implement all of the possible technology available—but without the right management style, the project will fail.


Key Performance Indicators are supposed to provide the boundaries that the subject system should operate within. By not using the system’s thinking as the foundation of KPI usage , the numbers degrade to ordinary, old fashioned management targets to meet. This bypasses the benefits that stability of a optimally managed delivery system provides. Make sure you are utilizing KPIs correctly to maximize the benefits.




Always ensure you understand the bigger picture behind the IT delivery concept before you dive in. This ensures you do not fall into the trap of misusing these concepts by over-utilizing technology without gaining real benefit for the enterprise.


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