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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated May 06, 2019 — DevOps Expert

Solving the ITSM/CD Puzzle


IT Service Management (ITSM) processes and tools help IT departments effectively design, build, deliver, and manage IT services for other teams within their organization and for the end users of their organization’s products. Many large enterprises rely on ITSM practices to effectively handle IT problems and service requests, and to enforce governance around software changes—especially changes that will affect their customers.

ITSM principles promote structure and control for IT activities, while DevOps practices like Continuous Delivery enable teams to deliver software to users faster... and sometimes, the two can appear to conflict. Developers feel like ITSM processes will slow them down, while Operations teams see Continuous Delivery processes as chaotic or lacking sufficient control and oversight. But both Continuous Delivery and ITSM are important for delivering secure, compliant software to users, quickly and reliably.

XebiaLabs’ integration with ServiceNow helps enterprises solve the ITSM/CD puzzle by automating activities in their ITSM and Continuous Delivery pipelines, and by ensuring that valuable information is automatically passed between those pipelines—saving time and effort for everyone who’s involved in the software delivery process. A connection between ITSM and Continuous Delivery gives all teams access to accurate, up-to-date information in their preferred tool; and it means that reporting and audit requirements can be satisfied automatically.

Automate code-to-Production feature tracking for development teams

Connecting ITSM processes with Continuous Delivery pipelines at the story or sprint level is an ideal way to automate code-to-Production feature tracking. A connection between the user stories in your development backlog and the process that releases those stories to Production gives unmatched visibility to both technical and business stakeholders—from the moment that development starts to the moment that customers can start using a new feature.ServiceNow Agile Development allows development teams to create a backlog, prioritize stories, and manage their day-to-day workload, while XebiaLabs makes it easy for those teams to move code changes through environments as they promote stories from Dev, to Test, to Acceptance—with powerful automation, real-time logging, and complete pipeline visibility along the way. When the sprint is complete and it’s time to go to Production, XebiaLabs can fetch the stories that were successfully tested, deploy them automatically (with no scripting required), and close the sprint in ServiceNow, with complete reporting on which features made it to Production. XebiaLabs continuously updates stories in ServiceNow with work notes that track release and deployment activities, so you’re fully covered for IT audits—without requiring extra manual work from developers, operations teams, or product owners.

Connect pipelines by integrating change management with Continuous Delivery

ServiceNow Change and Release Management provides control over IT change processes, with support for change management best practices, change scheduling, built-in risk assessment, and Change Advisory Board management. XebiaLabs makes it easy for development teams to automate change requests as part of their Continuous Delivery pipelines, ensuring that all changes comply with ITSM policies—without additional manual work. For example, when an application deployment requires authorization via ServiceNow, XebiaLabs can automatically create a change request ticket with the required information and watch the ticket for approval. This capability ensures that your Change Advisory Board (or similar group) always has an accurate overview of which changes are up for discussion. In addition, XebiaLabs can continuously update change requests with work notes as release tasks are completed, so ServiceNow users don’t have to log in to XebiaLabs to get a complete picture of what’s happening. ServiceNow can also trigger a release pipeline in XebiaLabs when a change request reaches a specified state. For example, your operations team can create a ServiceNow ticket to request that the development team fix a high-priority issue. When the team updates the ticket to indicate that the fix is ready for Production, ServiceNow can start a release pipeline in XebiaLabs. XebiaLabs will deploy the code and take care of any system-of-record changes that are needed, such as updating information stored in a CMDB or closing tickets in ServiceNow Agile Development.

Start solving the ITSM/CD puzzle with XebiaLabs’ app for ServiceNow

XebiaLabs’ integration with ServiceNow ensures that everyone who is involved in the software delivery process has access to the information they need, in the context that makes the most sense for them. Teams can take care of the work they’re responsible for, in the tool that they normally use—whether that’s ServiceNow or XebiaLabs. To take full advantage of XebiaLabs’ integration with ServiceNow, be sure to get the latest version of the XL Release app from the ServiceNow Store.

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