What is Service Management?
IT is a key component of almost all organisations, no matter what size. In fact I believe that all organisations are technology organisations, just providing different services. However, it can also be seen to be an area that accounts for the highest percentage of an organisation’s operating costs.
Very few internal IT departments can afford or even are allowed to continue to operate with similar or higher budgets than the previous years, and so Service Management can help organisations control IT spend while continuing to deliver the required levels of service and the value that goes along with that.
Service Management is a professional practice supported by internationally recognised frameworks and practitioners and consultants with many years experience and skills, both of which can assist organisations to identify improved methods of delivering and supporting services in order to reduce risk and improve delivery.
What’s the value?
By adopting Service Management, whether through the use of the relevant components of frameworks or not, organisations are able to often reduce operating costs, improve the quality of service delivered to the organisation by IT and reduce risk through the reduction of downtime or failed changes and to increase customer satisfaction. It is of course essential that any policies, processes and procedures adopted or implemented are reviewed and improved upon on a regular basis. You shouldn’t just “do ITIL” and you shouldn’t just implement a way of working and never review it.
How does this value get delivered?
By following a standard approach to providing services, IT puts itself in a better position to be able to demonstrate a more efficient and effective method of service delivery. This standard approach starts with understanding the requirements of the customer’s or wider business’ service and leads through, for this service, to the management of:
Importantly, this is not just a case of telling people what to do, but ensuring they understand, are engaged and committed to delivering these levels of service. In order for this to occur, senior managers within the organisation must demonstrate, often as part of a wider organisational change programme, their on-going commitment to Service Management.
All services, whether future or live, should also be reviewed and validated by a governance group, made up of senior stakeholders who ensure that they have directed IT to deliver services of value to the organisation in the same way that a Board directs the senior leadership team of an organisation. This governance group is essential to all effective IT departments and needs to be closely involved with the CIO to provide guidance and feedback when needed.
With good governance, CIOs are able to focus their teams on the delivery of the services required and ensure that risk is reduced in the shape of outages, failed changes, delayed delivery of projects or information security issues.
With a greater reliance on information and technology within organisations, the IT department and the CIO are the key to success for businesses. Without effective Service Management, the value that is required to be delivered by IT and the CIO cannot be demonstrated or delivered.