Seven Tips to Rapid Service Transformation
Albeit the challenge in doing so, IT departments must start to view themselves as providers of business services and not just the supporters of applications, servers, networks and storage arrays. While the latter is true, business users and customers are generally not concerned about the details of making technology work, but rather they are concerned about whether an agreed-upon service is available or meeting their expectations. Understanding a new or existing services utility (what a service does) and its warranty (how well it does it) will help ensure that the service meets the requirements of the business. With that knowledge you should be best positioned to document repeatable and integrated processes for managing your services and operations.
In many IT organizations, day to day support is provided and managed by technology groups such as Windows Support and Unix Support. Most often these independent support silos operate independently with a myopic focus on technology outcomes such as server uptime. However siloed organization and behavior makes it much more difficult to reach business goals or targets due to alignment with IT-focused Operational Level Agreements rather than business-focused Service Level Agreements. This leads to less-efficient use of staff resources and poor interdepartmental communication.
Best results are often achieved when companies break down isolated support silos and work to create integrated support teams. Integrated support teams collaborate to support a service end-to-end, from desktop (or user!) to server, and focus on achieving business outcomes.
Tip Seven: Establish Service-based versus Operational Metrics
Dont expect what you dont inspect, and when you inspect, ensure you are measuring what really matters. A formal reporting and measurement program is a key component to quickly identify areas for improvement. The trick here is not to get bogged down at the lowest level of a reporting strategy by only viewing operational metrics. A good reporting strategy should include operational metrics, key performance indicators and critical success factors which encompass an end-to-end service operation. This effort can be further expanded by introducing a sound Continual Service Improvement process. By doing so your organization's ITSM measurement and reporting activities will provide the basis for identifying and prioritizing IT service improvements.
To assist with guiding your IT service transformations passage through the rough waters of implementation, these seven tips can help ensure that you not only get off to the right start, but can ease the concern of how to get there. This approach leverages the integration of services, process, people, and tools which leads to infinite synergy. By understanding this and executing on these tips, you can calm and navigate the waters of IT service transformation without drowning.
Mr. Likier is an ITIL V3 Expert certified consultant within Forsythe's IT Service Management Professional Services Group. Most recently, he has been responsible for the delivery of IT Service Management best practices which provide value to customers in a wide range of vertical markets. His experience encompasses ITSM, ITIL, and process design/implementation and project management.