Infrastructure Management and Strategic Design: Part 4 – Service Management Frameworks

Infrastructure Management and Strategic Design: Part 4 – Service Management Frameworks

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by jcannon on August 01, 2006 02:51pm


Today, the IT departments offering and managing various IT Services might find themselves in what I would call a “pressure-cooker”. They are faced with a multitude of tasks and added pressure to maintain daily operations while driving efficacy, managing the growing complexity of Service Offerings and most importantly, doing so while keeping pace with the industry best practices. This has been one of the most explosive areas of growth and re-examination for the past few years. Back in my Ops days, I trained under ITIL i.e. IT Infrastructure Library and MOF i.e. Microsoft Operations Fundamentals to get a first hand look at some of the best Service Management practices in the industry. No matter how good I thought our Service Management practices might have been, I could not help but to think in terms of the maturity level of the Services that can be achieved by applying these principles. When you get down to it, you realize that the heart and soul of effective Service Management lies in how mature the offering and support model is.  I have learnt a lot from the ITIL Service Management Essentials course, which I attribute to research and practices that have gone into developing these models. I’d like to share w/ you what made sense to me:

    • Bridge Concept: As described in various ITIL formats, Service Management can be referred to as the “bridge layer” between Business and Technology. It is through the conduit of Service Management that core business needs as well as core technologies find their match with each other. This is attained by aligning the Business Needs and Goals of the organization with the various technologies and IT functions that can map to these overall goals
    • Think Framework: Once you have scoped out, what may be a void in the service hierarchy of your organization, make a commitment to implementing a Service Management and Delivery framework that is suitable for your org. One size DOES NOT fit all and although I am only talking about ITIL concepts here, there are several methodologies you can explore before making the plunge.
    • Benefits of implementing a Service Management Framework: In just a few minutes after sitting in the ITIL Essentials Training class I was able to get a very crisp idea of what the benefits of implementing a Service Management Framework are. To name a few –
      • Raising the bar on Service Delivery Quality
      • More accurate alignment w/ Business Needs
      • Enhanced relationship between service provider and consumer
      • Deeper visibility into service complexity
      • Driving efficiencies with optimal resource utilization 

    • Goals for implementing a Service Management Framework: if and when you do make the commitment to implementing a Service Management Framework, here’s a quick set of goals you can set when you proceed with the implementation of Service Management:
      • Put an SLA ( Service Level Agreement) or an SLO (Service Level Objective) around the critical and non-critical services you offer, respectively
      • Manage and monitor the implementation and practice of these SLA’s and SLO’s
      • Create and publish a service catalog describing the services offered by your IT department/division
      • Monetize the service management offerings, even if your customers are internal. This will help quantify the service effectiveness and bring measurability across the board

    • Additional Resources: the itSMF or IT Service Management Forum (www.itsmf.com) is an independent,  non-profit, user group distributed all across the world that has dedicated itself to exploring and promoting IT Service Management concepts and practices.


I am very eager to hear back from those of you that are an integral part of the Service Management Lifecycle. Please share your experiences, challenges and learning with us.

Kindest Regards and have a great week ahead!

Comments
  • Hi,

    very nice article...IT infrastructure is the backbone of any enterprise, irrespective of its size. Aligning IT with business objectives continues to be the biggest challenge for CIOs today.

    Thanks

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