G U E S T A R T I C L E
Blast from the Past
Information Technology Source Management
By Arthur Skuja
Capital Quality News
Contributed by : Candice Carter
So how do you get your workstation updated to that Pentium 4 with Windows 2000? With greater and greater reliance on technology and increasing costs and complexity, efficient IT management is becoming more important. Traditional system management focus has been on technology, but Kim Orava from Cognicase Infrastructure Solutions showed that organizations need to focus more on service management, not just system management. Service management looks at both the technology and the people associated with it.
Kim explained that the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a nonproprietary collection of best practices that provide a framework to manage and operate an organization’s infrastructure, helps efficient service management. Used by organizations throughout the world and locally, ITIL was developed in the 1980’s and continues to evolve. DND is a major user. Although not a formal standard ITIL does provide a systematic and professional approach to the management of IT service provision. An increasing number of organizations are adopting the ITIL approach and certification is now available.
Kim provided an overview of some of the key elements of ITIL sections that cover service support through sections on Configuration Management, Help Desk, Problem Management, and service delivery, including Secret Level Management, Availability Management Capacity Management and Cost Management.
Configuration Management covers tracking of assets, process and people. One of the considerations is the cost of lower level tracking of information. It is important to verify the level of tracking is appropriate E.G. do I really need to know the serial number of my mouse? (3882A611-ed)
An IT help desk processes first level calls, opens cases, and escalates to second level when required. An important aspect is getting details from callers and differentiating between incidents and problems. Incidents should be tracked with an incident control system which in turn can drive deeper requests. A Problem Management Process needs to be in place to look at data from multiple incidents, considers the impact frequency and set the severity accordingly.
The Change Management process accepts and classifies change requests so that they can be done efficiently. Consideration is given to procedures for SW control and distribution ensuring that correct versions are applied. This is covered under release management strategy. A SW library tracks patches, evaluations and impact.
Service Level Management needs to be in place to set expectations. As with any call center operation a service level agreement should be set and published e.g. Is someone paged at midnight to change the printer toner? Appropriate metrics are monitored to confirm the level of IT service.
A number of factors come into play for the service level for an IT operation Availability Management– setting goals for system availability which ties into monitoring, maintenance, scheduling, redundancy, etc. Cost Management- tied to the change policy and cost of maintenance and upgrades; Capacity Management- consider the quality of service as it changes – consider more users, greater demands on technology all need to be considered in the problem, configuration and change management processes.
ITIL is a source of best practices, which can save your organization time and money. As Kim summed it up, you need IT for an organization to function and you need a quality IT process for organizations to function well.
The post has been contributed by Candice Carter. You can contact her using our contact form.
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