With the business demand to lower costs and improve delivery of IT services, focus on IT Service Management has been at the forefront this year.

The management for the delivery of IT Services includes those organizations that want to manage their internal IT services, manage the external delivery to their customers and in many cases, both.

IT Service Management combines a set of inter-related processes to manage the level of service, quality of service and cost of the service.  IT Service Management also relies heavily on the customer’s input and requirements.

There are a number of “best practice” frameworks available within ITSM.  The most common is ITIL: Information Technology Infrastructure Library.  ITIL is a set of 5 books and has a number of supporting organizations that provide guidance and forums.  Others such as ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 IT Service Management is an ISO standard that can “certify” an organization to specific ITIL lite requirements.  This standard is gaining momentum due to the mandates within certain agencies of the Federal Government that now require ISO 20000 certification as a requirement to respond to a proposal.  Additional guidance is gained through CMMI and Six Sigma methodologies.  Whichever one or many that you chose, the ultimate goal is to be able to successfully deliver IT Services.

Service Management extends well beyond IT and should be looked at more holistically.  As stated before, ITSM uses a set of inter-related processes.  It also includes requirements for supplier management – especially those vendors in the critical path of service delivery.  Additionally, you and/or your customers might be subject to compliance auditing and need proper controls for third party audits.   Using ISO 20000 as a baseline can help achieve process compliance across many regulatory and customer audit requirements.    The inter-relationship of the processes of ITSM ensure that any critical service component is managed within a lifecycle and that all critical inputs and outputs are considered when creating, changing or removing any service. 

High level views of a few critical components are:

  • Management responsibility
  • Change Management
  • Information Security Risk Management
  • Continuity and Availability
  • Release Management

Whether you are an Internal IT department or a Managed Services firm, embracing some form of IT Service Management has now become a critical business requirement.

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