A ‘cloud-first’ way of working
Twenty years ago Sean O’Sullivan and George Favaloro predicted a world where cloud computing was the norm and the world would look to cloud first, rather than considering in-house service options.
ServiceNow commissioned ReRez Research (Dallas) to conduct a survey which targeted 1,850 respondents in seven countries, on four continents. They talked to IT, DevOps and Line-of-Business owners to ensure that they covered all bases. To me, this is a good and comprehensive sampling, so we should put some weight on the findings. This extensive survey released by ServiceNow indicates that we have now reached a tipping point in this journey. It may have taken longer than predicted, but this is the new world, and it does not look like we will ever go back to a time where a purely in-house IT capability is common practice.
What the survey showed is that 52% of respondents indicated that they are now taking a ‘cloud first’ approach to new services, and furthermore, this percentage rises to 77% when people were asked where they thought they would be in two years’ time.
DevOps as the driver
One of the most interesting, and I feel exciting, findings from the survey is that 76% of those surveyed see a rise in the adoption of DevOps as driving the shift to ‘cloud first’. The majority of respondents saw DevOps as something that belongs in existing departments, rather than a specific ‘DevOps’ division of the organization. One of the most staggering figures was that 94% of people surveyed indicated that they are engaged, to some level, in the DevOps movement. Whether this result is simply due to participant bias or not, we are heading rapidly up the hype curve.
These findings are both exciting and frightening. The skillsets that kept IT Service Management professionals employed 20, 10 or even 2 years ago, are becoming irrelevant, and, to be blunt, if they don’t lift their heads up, have a look around and adapt to a new way of working, there is a good chance that they won’t be employable in 2020!
I don’t think a place for the ITSM professional is going to disappear completely, but it is going to change to the point that current knowledge and skills are going to diminish dramatically in their value to the business. I am already noticing a change in focus for posted ITSM positions with less focus on ITIL and more on DevOps.
A report worth reading
I would strongly suggest that you take a look at this report from ServiceNow, it does contain some excellent recommendations that give sound advice on moving from being a builder of IT services to being a broker. If you haven’t made that change as yet, I believe it is a change that must be made sooner rather than later.
The changes in our profession have been fast and dramatic over the past 5 years and it seems to me that the speed of change will continue to increase. If you needed any motivation to examine your current knowledge and skills, you won’t after reading this.