When IT Support and DevOps work as a team everyone benefits

Bringing DevOps and Support Together

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Exploring the IT Value Chain

5 Ways Your IT Support and DevOps Teams Can Work Better Together

There is a division in the workforce: developers build and maintain software while the support team keeps everything up and running. While developers are tasked with continuously shipping product updates, support must attend to customer problems, uphold satisfaction and maintain business productivity.
Their goals are unified under the customer, who wants both reliability and innovation. Customers want more features, new technologies, and frequent updates to support competitiveness and rapidly changing business requirements. At the same time, they want their services to be stable. But change is often the nemesis of stability. The more you change something, the more likely you’ll break it. In fact, 80% of all incidents are due to changes (Gartner).
Anyone working on either of these teams will tell you there’s a silo. Silos happen unintentionally, but because they exist, problems arise:

Teams aren’t talking

When teams are separated, there’s a real lack of communication. Deployment failures have a high risk of downtime. And too often, changes are made that IT support doesn’t know about.

Development is out of the loop

Support feedback often represents customers and doesn’t get communicated with development, product owners and product managers.
But how do you break down these walls of communication, and improve business value?
IT support and development teams must work together, and with all other IT functions: development, operations, QA, support and testing. Everyone. Here are five ways you can start to improve collaboration:
1) Go from trapped knowledge to shared knowledge
Known errors should be tracked at the time of deployment and communicated to support. Support should link articles to incidents and problems, so everyone understands what’s causing the issues.
2) Shift from orphaned tickets to linked tickets
All teams should be responsible for ticket linking and documentation including the service desk, admins, developers, and operations, so everyone knows what’s going on. Link incidents, problems and requests to changes and releases.
3) Don’t just deploy, but support
Continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment are core to the First Way of DevOps—thinking about the performance of the overall system. Your team needs to be prepared to support, operate, and ensure their ability to restore services. They need to know what’s being deployed and when, so they can give the right answers to the customer.
4) Help with testing
Automated testing is key to a DevOps environment. On top of that, support teams hold data about various customer environments that should be continuously fed back to testing.
5) Keep up with monitoring data
Support should know about any proactive monitoring and provide requirements for monitoring, with events linked back to incidents, problems, and changes.

Better and faster IT is about culture, sharing and tools that unite your teams

A collaborative culture is critical to success in DevOps. Aligning support and development is the first step to understanding and delivering services your customers want and need.
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Sid Suri

Sid Suri is the Vice President of Marketing for JIRA Service Desk. He's working in various technology marketing roles over the last fifteen years at Salesforce.com, Oracle (CRM), InQuira (acquired by Oracle) and TIBCO Software. He has an MBA from the Haas School of Business and a bachelors in Economics and Italian from Middlebury College. He lives in San Francisco, California

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