Recently Daniel Breston posted the following question on LinkedIn.


IT Revolution recently posted this in Facebook:

“Agree or disagree?? “Software systems in today’s enterprises are composed of hundreds of different systems & technologies that interact in surprising ways. As complexity has increased, the ITIL framework has not evolved to deal with the messy reality.””

Provocative? #ITIL3 or #ITIL4? Do they really believe this? Are they trying to compare #DevOps and its problems with #ITIL and theirs (only to discover they are the same)? Or are statements like these only good for the agencies that provide certification?

Do you believe that ITIL and DevOps and Agile have just become marketing words with little defined meaning unless the leaders that want these approaches plan to learn them and make them come to life based on their modeling of these practices?


There are areas in ITIL (whatever flavor) that have not kept up with the times and remained too focused on certification industry etc. In DevOps there are areas to be found wanting. It only covers so much and does so much. Neither will fill all the gaps.

But DevOps is newer and can rain on what came before. The challenge is not which is better. It is not how do we make them work together. And how to people from each tribe work together.

The challenge for organisations today is what is the right way to do things. These frameworks and models are just tools.


The challenge is to get off framework life support and do some critical thinking about what is right for your highly complex organisation and it’s highly complex digital / cloud / traditional / legacy environments.

The individual frameworks of the past, present and future will not save us during these times of digital endeavors unless you learn how to stitch them together and make them work for you.  And then your tribes work together i.e. people and teams. We need to leave behind the old ‘cut-and-paste’ method and do some critical thinking.

Mark O'Loughlin

Mark is a global authority in helping organisations achieve the very best from their investments in people, technology and digital services. He has served on the Board of Directors of itSMF Ireland and Cloud Credential Council. Mark is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society, awarded for his achievements and contribution to the IT profession and industry. His prolific publishing includes two books published in four languages, 100’s of articles, and whitepapers. He developed the world’s first certification for the business management of cloud services accredited by Cloud Credential Council. As a member of the international standards group ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Mark contributed to the development of global standards for IT, cloud and digital services.