Aligning new apps with IT Infrastructure Management cycles

Taking a 30,000-foot view of the importance aligning software developers processes with IT infrastructure management cycles for successful delivery of IT services

The intent of this post is to help ensure that IT infrastructure managers:

  • Understand the concept of software lifecycles
  • Recognize how software lifecycles can be used to build good practices for IT infrastructure managers
  • Appreciate how lifecycle support processes can improve the quality of IT services delivered to customers

Our book, ITIL and the Information Lifecycle, gives lots more detail.

Communicate, coordinate

The closer the dialog is between the creative team and the delivery team, the better the end result. That’s why it’s important that software developers and IT infrastructure managers communicate and coordinate when planning IT service delivery. The focus should be on ensuring that captured information is processed so that it aligns with required business information outcomes.

We’re not saying that infrastructure managers should take over responsibility for selecting software lifecycles for development work, and we’re not advocating interference. Quite the opposite: Software developers must retain responsibility for software lifecycle selection and associated process modeling.

What we are recommending is that key personnel (IT service customers and IT infrastructure managers) should participate in a coordinated approach to the service planning processes, and that software developers should seek the input of IT service customers and IT infrastructure managers.

Lifecycle modeling

Lifecycle modeling should be used to identify and document every stage in the life of an IT service. The happy result of that effort will be that all information requirements and associated interactions with IT infrastructure activities will be completely captured. Delivery of desired outcomes is dependent on ensuring that all parties involved in the design agree on their roles and cooperate throughout the lifecycle of service design, development and deployment.

Third-party software development

In cases where an enterprise retains control of IT infrastructure and IT service delivery but relinquishes software development to an external supplier, the enterprise needs to be aware of and plan for the software’s impact on the IT infrastructure. For that reason, the enterprise needs to ensure that the third-party software developer uses accepted, preferably structured methods.

The cost of maintaining software is considerable, but it can be reduced with software specifically designed to run on the client enterprise’s existing IT infrastructure. It should also be easily adaptable to foreseeable changes to the client enterprise’s IT infrastructure.

Ultimately, bad application design leads to services that require expensive maintenance. Good application design carries a higher initial investment, but the benefit is a reliable service that is less expensive to maintain.

Plan for multiple scenarios

One more mistake to avoid: Don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge by imagining that you need to consider only one project and one lifecycle. Service design covers a huge variety of definitions, and the myriad services constantly being created will embrace many different lifecycle types. Think big and long-term and you will be much better prepared for contingencies.

Be sure to catch one of our authors, Darren Arcangel, at his CA World presentation (AMX185) titled “Slaying the Dragons of Agile, DevOps and ITSM Information Flow,” in which he will discuss how IT Service Management plays out in the application economy and the world of automated application delivery. How does Operations know that a change to an app has impacted the CMDB? And how do we transform new information into knowledge for the Service Desk? Find out at CA World! Darren will share copies of the new book with the audience. Hope to see you there!

Rob Zuurdeeg is a Principal Technical Information Manager at CA Technologies. He has consulted on…


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