New Definitions Added to the Ultimate ITSM Glossary

As noted here previously, there are numerous words, phrases, and acronyms which are either unique to the IT service management and ITIL world, or have a specific meaning within those contexts.

To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data has compiled definitions for nearly 60 items in our ITIL – ITSM glossary.

ITSM-ITIL glossary - new terms addedBut the IT discipline is constantly evolving, with new practices, technology, concepts, models, trends and ideas being introduced. Reflecting these ongoing changes, four new entries were recently added to the glossary of ITSM terms.


Few terms in the realm of ITIL and IT service management are as controversial to define as DevOps; there seem to be nearly as many definitions as the number of people trying to define it.

What’s common across sources is that DevOps is a joining (in practice as well as in the term itself) of development and operations in order to improve the design and execution of operational services through the application of development processes including policies, metrics, QA and automation. It’s a philosophy and methodology focused on collaboration between development and operations professionals to apply agile principles to improve operational performance, encompassing organizational culture, techniques and tools. (Kinetic Request and Kinetic Task are helpful tools in applying DevOps to request-oriented operations.)

Popular though differing definitions of the term include:

  • “the philosophy of unifying Development and Operations at the culture, practice, and tool levels, to achieve accelerated and more frequent deployment of changes to Production” (The IT Skeptic);
  • “the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support” (The Agile Admin);
  • “a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration, integration, automation, and measurement of cooperation between software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals” (Wikipedia);
  • a “philosophy…which emphasizes people and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams (and also attempts) to better utilize technology—especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective” (Gartner); and finally
  • “the idea that developers and operations should collaborate more closely than they traditionally have, so neither side is caught with their pants down when something blows up” (ScriptRock Blog).

Enterprise Service Integration (ESI)

An approach to sharing data between systems driven by the need to provide services. The ESI approach allows employees in key functional areas to utilize their systems appropriately as process stakeholders, using specialized applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

By providing a centralized hub for service design and integration, not only can data be integrated across systems, but approvals, notifications and messaging can be centrally managed via a workflow automation engine. Unlike point-to-point data integrations, the service integration approach provides integrations that are manageable, secure, and scalable while eliminating technical and governance challenges.

Service Integration and Management (SIAM)

SIAM (service integration and management) is a business-oriented approach to delivering customer-facing service where fulfillment is coordinated through multiple suppliers. This approach is an effective method to extend ITIL, or other service management practices, across complex multivendor environments with a focus on consistent customer service delivery. To execute an effective SIAM strategy, service providers (or internal service groups serving multiple business units / departments / divisions) must leverage automation where possible, to enable scalable service delivery in a continuous-improvement environment.

Very few (if any) organizations today have a single, centralized system of record-managing processes end-to-end across the enterprise. Often, outside vendors and business partners participate in the service delivery process, which entails interaction with additional systems. In order to keep data and processes synchronized across these boundaries, service providers need to integrate ticket, order or other data across multiple applications, platforms, and hosting environments, which can be swapped in and out as needs dictate.

To ensure the level of data accuracy required to effectively automate processes, data must be translated, converted and synchronized across delivery towers using an application integration and workflow automation engine.

Shadow IT

The development or purchase of technology solutions by business units or functions directly without the knowledge, involvement or approval of an organization’s IT group. The direct acquisition of technology, bypassing IT, is often justified by the need for speed to address urgent business requirements and the perceived slowness and/or obstruction of the IT function.

While shadow IT can unquestionably reduce technology acquisition timeframes, it also entails a number of risks to the enterprise including excessive or duplicate spending, application compatibility and integration issues, absence of documentation and support, and data security risks.

Collaborative approaches such as DevOps for application development and enterprise request management for procurement can reduce the perceived need for and attendant risks of shadow IT activity.

Check out the ITSM – ITIL glossary for the full set of definitions.

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