The 4 Pillars Of IT Service Management
What does ITSM require?
I propose these four pillars:
1. A service-focused view of IT. This means that the end service as the customer experiences it is paramount. Not the server, not the network, not the database, not the software - no more finger-pointing. This is not a hard concept; technologists can understand it as anologous to contract-specified interfaces on a component. The implementation (or the sourcing) can vary as long as the contract is fulfilled.
2. Process orientation. What are the measurable and repeatable activities? How well do we understand them? Are we continuously re-evaluating them for efficiency and effectiveness? What capabilities and functions must support them? What activities do we have that are not easily measurable, yet still apparently critical?
The above two concepts are broadly accepted as essential to ITSM. I propose two more:
3. Master data management. Just as my business customer understands their systems of record for Products, Customers, Locations, and Accounts, I need to clarify my systems of record for Servers, Databases, Applications, Services, Projects, Programs, Service Requests, Incidents, Problems, and Changes. Do I have multiple systems trying to house essentially the same data, perhaps under differing names? Am I allowing the same data to be updated in multiple locations? Do reports across my IT Service Organization agree?
4. Well-architected internal IT. Do I have outdated or poorly maintained ITSM systems (change, incident, project, portfolio, configuration management, monitoring, service request management)? Spreadsheet-driven processes? Redundant systems? Manual or non-existent integrations across systems that really should be sharing data or services?
There's much to be done in any ITSM initiative but considering it from all four of these dimensions may be useful.
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About the Author:
Charles Betz is a Senior Enterprise Architect, and chief architect for IT
Service Management strategy for a US-based Fortune 50 enterprise. He is author of the forthcoming Architecture and Patterns for IT Service
Management, Resource Planning, and Governance: Making Shoes for the Cobbler's Children (Morgan Kaufman/Elsevier, 2006, ISBN 0123705932). He is the sole author of the popular www.erp4it.com weblog.
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