2009: The Year Of Doing More With Less
Consistent, repeatable, measurable service management processes can help you to save time and money. Examples of this include assuring services are designed out of the gate to meet the functionality and service level requirements of the business (and in such a way that they are easily monitored and manageable). This requires the inclusion of expertise from the availability, capacity, security and continuity management processes for both up-front design and ongoing proactive management. Good design processes minimize downtime when new services and changes to existing services become operational and provide trickle down benefits to the operational processes used to support the services on a day-to-day basis.
Maximize your contracts through active supplier management. This includes assuring that underpinning contract service levels are being met via visibility into third-party contracts across the IT organization. Consolidate to leverage the best vendor pricing where appropriate.
Reduce risk and costs of rework or downtime associated with failed changes, through well implemented change, asset, configuration and release, and deployment processes. Assuring that these processes are appropriately streamlined for both agility and compliance or risk reduction is key to maximizing the benefit, value and cost reduction.
Efficient and effective management of assets can help to assure that the technology refresh cycle is optimized for value and minimal total cost of ownership.
Well executed incident and problem management processes can also minimize the effect and cost of down time to the organization. Streamlined troubleshooting and service restoration coupled with root cause resolution of service disruption enable quick and permanent removal of issues maximizing staff productivity and minimizing revenue loss.
Of course, it is important to note that depending on your level of maturity, it will take some time and require some up front investment to achieve results. But the payback over time should be worth it. Even for mature IT organizations, continuous improvement around prioritized work efforts, clearly defined service levels, and streamlined IT processes will continue to refine efficiencies and improve cost-effectiveness.
Valerie Arraj is principal and managing partner for Compliance Process Partners, an IT compliance focused consulting and training company that uses service management and control objectives to help organizations lay the groundwork for compliance to regulatory and governance guidelines.