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INNOTRAIN IT

IT-Service-Management QUICK – SIMPLE - CLEAR Preview

Extract

Chapter 1 + 2

2011


IT Service Management

Authors

Dr. Mariusz Grabowski, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau Dr. Claus Hoffmann, Beatrix Lang GmbH Philipp Küller, Hochschule Heilbronn Elena-Teodora Miron, Universität Wien Dr. Dariusz Put, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau Dr. Piotr Soja, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau Dr. Janusz Stal, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau Marcus Vogt, Hochschule Heilbronn Dr. Eng. Tadeusz Wilusz, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau Dr. Agnieszka Zając, Universität der Wirtschaft Krakau

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1 Introduction As a manager of a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), you have surely asked yourself: !

Does my IT provide added value that contributes to my business success?

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Does my IT fit my business processes?

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Is my IT infrastructure being maintained properly?

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Am I paying too much for my IT support?

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Why are IT management methods so complex? Can't it be done in a way that is more understandable?

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What are the benefits of IT management for me as an SME?

To find the answers to these questions, read on. If you have never asked yourself these things, follow the explanations provided below. If these key questions about your company's IT management are never asked, unused potential of its employees and resources will go untapped or be wasted frivolously. If you have already found satisfactory answers to some of these questions, INNOTRAIN IT can help you to close potential gaps, find motivation for innovation and improve existing IT management. Despite the fact that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the majority of the economic structures in the European Union, rarely are they in the focus of research, IT providers, or ITSM developments. The objective of INNOTRAIN IT is to convey knowledge related to IT management to small and medium-sized enterprises in an understandable and time-saving way. With INNOTRAIN IT, you can manage your company more efficiently and effectively in the very near future, whether it is a bakery, carpentry shop, hotel, or auto repair shop. In today's world, information technology has become a firmly entrenched part of everyday business. It accompanies all business workflows, from the simplest to complete processes. Even the smallest one-person company uses a computer, if only to write up an invoice. In any case, the importance of IT is evident as soon as the technology malfunctions and the computer will not work. When this happens, the one-person company may fall back on the neighbour's computer and thus has, without even being aware of it, applied IT management methods successfully and created a fallback plan ("business continuity plan"). This simple example illustrates one possible meaning of IT management. However, it only scratches the surface of a more complex issue. Those who own or work for SMEs should ask themselves: What aspects does IT Service Management include and what does it mean for me as an employee or owner of an SME?


IT management has existed almost as long as the first computer. Over time, however, it has evolved from technology-oriented management to service management. Unlike the early years, the focus is no longer on the technological way of looking at things, but rather on IT services, which are enabled by using computers and other technologies (e.g. networks, Internet, mobile phones) and which are now a fixed part of our business processes. One result of the increasing service orientation has been IT Service Management (ITSM). ITSM took its first baby steps in 1989 when it was developed by a government agency in the United Kingdom, the "Office for Government Commerce" (OGC). The agency considered classic IT management methods to be inadequate, as they all were concerned almost exclusively with technological management. A connection between the technology and support of the business processes was lacking. Therefore, they developed the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the current de facto standard for ITSM. Today, the ITIL is still being maintained by the IT Service Management Foundation (itSMF), but the current version spans a total of five books, each spanning several hundred pages. In addition, other institutions and companies developed still other standards (e.g. MOF, COBIT, CMMI) that discuss other aspects of IT Service Management, but are nearly as voluminous and complex as ITIL. These frameworks are, as a first step, too complex for an average small or medium-sized enterprise.

Figure 1 - INNOTRAIN IT approach

The INNOTRAIN IT approach is not to develop and teach a "new" ITSM standard. Rather, INNOTRAIN IT unites the concepts of the various ITSM standards that are truly relevant for SMEs and makes them available in a greatly simplified version. Moreover, the content is taught in training courses and web-based training units in a way that is specially tailored to ITSM beginners from business and IT. In doing so, the fundamental principle is reducing the complexity of existing frameworks and methods, largely refraining from English technical terms and instead using an easy-to-understand presentation. As is nicely illustrated in Figure 1, there remains an upward


compatibility to existing frameworks: If a company grows and needs more extensive ITSM processes, it can build on the existing processes and comprehensive standards (e.g. ITILv3). What goals can you reach by applying ITSM methods? !

Less IT downtime

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Structured processes for troubleshooting

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An optimised cost-benefit ratio for IT investments

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A sustainable IT infrastructure

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Long-term cost and time savings

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Resources (personnel, financial and material resources) are freed up for innovative projects

Regardless of the many benefits, changes and innovations encounter resistance. That is only human. This book helps you understand and apply the structure of successful IT Service Management quickly. The first part provides an overview of the ITSM philosophy and basics of service management. Chapter 3 outlines strategies and processes of service management. It provides an overview of which aspects are to be considered and how individual modules can be set up. In addition, it explains important technical terms from the ITSM environment in a simple manner. The following Chapters 4 and 5 are intended to help you bypass stumbling blocks in the introduction, be well prepared for discussion and ensure that all employees are on board. If you stand behind your new IT Service Management as the initiator, all the conditions are right for you to awaken the enthusiasm of others and introduce and implement ITSM successfully in your company. Accordingly, we begin by outlining the introduction path in Chapter 4 as a blueprint of sorts, but expand it in Chapter 5 by adding the human component. Last but not least, Chapter 6 provides a brief introduction to the subject of managing innovations, making use of the familiar Blue Ocean Strategy.


2 IT Service Management: Introduction & philosophy IT Service Management (ITSM) is more than just a management tool. To understand and use it correctly, it is important to comprehend ITSM as an all-inclusive concept, internalise it and integrate it into everyday work. We might compare it to the process of learning how to drive a car: at the beginning, concentrating on traffic and learning the controls of the vehicle demand a great deal of attention. After a while, the driver has memorised all of the motion sequences and remembers to look around; he or she carries out these actions without having to think about it. In practice, those responsible for IT frequently spend their time on maintenance and provisioning tasks. That ties up financial and personnel resources. The objective is to use ITSM to quickly attain small successes which together enable reliable, target and cost-effective provisioning of IT. Reserves that are freed up can be used for new innovations.

2.1 IT Service Management philosophy Large companies are increasingly learning that the resource of information is one of the most important strategic goods for setting oneself apart from the competition. Companies without an information management plan will have difficulties in the market over the long term. The success of all strategic and operational initiatives stands and falls with having the right information at the right time. This principle does not apply only to large companies; SMEs can also benefit from good information management. The basis for collecting, analysing, producing and distributing relevant information is the quality of information technology (IT) or IT services. The service philosophy is the greatest difference between ITSM and classic IT management. When talking about ITSM, we do not talk primarily about bits, bytes, megahertz and gigaflops. Technical jargon confuses the majority of employees. ITSM, on the other hand, tries to connect business processes with information technology by defining IT-based services that support the operational business process. A critical factor for ITSM is that IT services (such as saving documents or creating invoices) are viewed as business process-critical and thus require enough investment to provide optimal support to the business process without wasting resources (known as IT/business alignment, see below). The challenge for each SME is to always bring business processes and IT into alignment and to define IT services that reflect an optimum relationship between the costs, benefits and risks. In ITSM, this is attained by user-oriented service definitions. The foremost goal of ITSM is to align IT services and the associated technologies (hardware/software) to the business process and to guarantee the best possible support of


financial processes by the IT organization. IT Service Management describes the conversion of the information technology to customer and service orientation. Conversely, innovative information technologies can affect the business model and the underlying processes. Therefore, IT should not be seen as a supporting function, but as a means for preparing the way that enables the SME to open up new business areas. By introducing simple ITSM principles, an SME can manage its IT processes and IT services efficiently and effectively and thus provide users with an optimal IT landscape that is less susceptible to interruption and thus also more cost-effective over the long term. A simplified ITSM method as presented in this book can support an SME in the following points:

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Making it clear what value is contributed by IT. In many cases, IT is viewed only as a cost factor; therefore, SMEs often cut costs in the wrong places. However, if the added value of IT is clearly evident, the investment decision is on a different basis.

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Planning the IT / business strategy. Precisely for SMEs, planning ahead is important. Therefore, the IT landscape should be structured so that it can respond flexibly to changing requirements of the business processes. The objective is to integrate and align IT so that it provides optimum support to business objectives (business alignment).

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Legal assurance (IT compliance). SMEs are subject to an increasing number of legal regulations related to data and IT (e.g. Data Protection act); when granting credit, a company's IT landscape also plays an increasingly important role (see Basel II). If SMEs follow the ITSM philosophy, they will be in conformity with many of these regulations and be able to recognize the corresponding gaps.

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Monitoring IT effectiveness and efficiency based on clear performance indicators. You can't manage what you can't measure. Therefore, for SMEs, it is important to define corresponding performance indicators and operating figures (known as Key Performance Indicators – KPI) to verify the quality of IT services and take appropriate measures.

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Introducing an IT optimisation process (Continual Service Improvement). Business process changes and new technologies are reviewed continually. Things that seem "optimal" today can already be out of date tomorrow.

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Improved change management. We are all familiar with the situation: soon after a new computer or software program is purchased, it no longer works the way it should. ITSM processes help SMEs identify these kinds of problems before they occur and eliminate them directly.

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Better outsourcing, insourcing and smart sourcing options. An SME cannot and should not deal with all IT questions on its own, as comprehensive management ties up too many


resources. ITSM gives SMEs a way to easily identify which IT services should be outsourced. It also helps to manage external service providers so that there is neither too much nor too little capacity.

2.2 IT Service Management basics To understand how ITSM works, we need to know what an IT service is. An IT service is provided for one or more external customers (companies) and/or internal customers (internal departments). It provides the customer with added value by supporting, optimising or simplifying the use of information technologies. In the process, the underlying aspects and capabilities are abstracted for the customer perspective, i.e. the customer does not have to worry about detailed questions of the implementation. Therefore, the customer (such as the internal department) is not responsible for provisioning and operating the IT service unless he or she takes on multiple roles in the SME. Very small companies are the exception. In a one-person operation, the customer serves simultaneously as the CEO, IT director and user. However, even if he or she is not aware of it, he or she takes on different functions in each of these roles and has different tasks and priorities as a result. The following example, based on our INNOTRAIN IT sample company, illustrates what we mean when we talk about an IT service that puts the customer in the focus of its considerations. Example: online registration and online reservation in Charly's service shop: Charly inherited an auto repair shop from his uncle. As a business student, he is not very mechanically inclined, but has the great idea to rent the spaces in the shop to people who fix up cars as a hobby. This allows handy folks who do not have their own workshop to repair their own cars at a reasonable price. Charly's "do-It-yourself" workshop is born. After an initial boom, however, Charly notices a drop in the number of rentals. An online registration and reservation remedy this situation. Now, Charly's service shop can be reached round the clock, even outside usual business hours (private customers can make contact even after closing time). Each customer can register online for Charly's workshop and then receives a username and password that enables him or her to reserve a space in the shop in just seconds. Charly's new website allows users to see at a glance which spaces are already reserved on which day. For the IT service, this means: a website with clearly arranged content that can process data quickly and bring it to up-to-date, and which runs 24 hours a day while remaining stable. As this example shows, it is possible to define an IT service from the customer point of view with just a few items of information. From the specifications provided by users, an IT director can derive technical specifications that serve as the basis for purchasing IT applications. Therefore, service management, which controls the IT services, can be seen as a collection of tried-and-tested


methods (called "best practices"). These methods, in turn, are based on predefined roles, functions and processes. Best practices Best practices are tried-and-tested, optimal and/or exemplary activities, methods, practices or processes, the use of which has been proved to be successful in multiple organisations. Good practices If best practices are used selectively and adapted to the situation for one's own company, this is called a good practice. Role A role can be described roughly as a "behaviour pattern." Roles define properties, tasks and permissions. Roles are independent of persons and job titles; as a result, one person or position may have multiple roles, and one role may be taken on by multiple persons or job titles. Typical roles include, for example, process owner, transmitter, decision-maker, human resources officer. Job title A job title is defined by the roles it can take on. A classic job title is, for example, IT Manager, CEO or clerk. All of these job titles can take on different roles; for example, the clerk is not necessarily the "human resources officer," but can act as a "middleman". Process A process is a series of activities with a defined beginning and end. Processes are initiated by certain results ("triggers") and end with a defined result. In doing so, each process consumes resources (money, labour, goods etc.). The result of a process can be the trigger for another process.

2.3 IT Service Management frameworks Frameworks such as COBIT, ITIL or CMMI can help to implement good practices into existing business practices and to realise the added value described above. These frameworks provide companies with a structured method for applying ITSM. If we compare the function of a framework with the workflow of automakers, we can come up with the following analogy: The manufacturer only provides one frame (chassis) for the vehicle, but the customer himself or herself can vary his or her features within a range from the minimum equipment to the complete package. It is similar with the framework. Based on the best practices, each IT service can define its own processes based on the framework. However, the existing frameworks, such as COBIT or ITIL are fairly complex due to the wide variety of aspects they take into account. Accordingly, it takes a certain amount of time to adapt them to the requirements of an SME.


In most cases, introducing a framework requires highly time-consuming projects and corresponding adaptations in the company. The simplified ITSM method of the INNOTRAIN IT project addresses precisely these hurdles and describes the procedure for fast and successful implementation of ITSM in SMEs. Despite being simplified, this ITSM method is still based on existing frameworks and standards. Some of these we should mention are: !

ISO 20000 – ISO standard for IT Service Management

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ISO 27000 – ISO standard for IT Security

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ISO 38500 – ISO standard for IT Governance

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IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – Framework for IT Service Management

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Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) – Framework for IT Governance

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Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) – Framework for process optimisation

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Val-IT / Risk-IT – Framework for investment and risk management

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Microsoft Office Framework (MOF), Hewlett Packard’s ITSM Reference Model (HPITSM) and IBM’s Process Reference Model for IT (PRM-IT) – ITSM frameworks from commercial providers that are very similar to ITIL

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Enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM) – Framework of the telecommunications industry


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Cartlige et al., "An Introductory Overview of ITIL速 V3", itSMF, 2007.


ITSM Guide - Extract Chapter 1+2 - Introduction