Service management becomes self serving

28 Mar 2008
00:00

Nobody disputes the importance of IT to modern businesses. Without systems modern organisations simply cannot compete. But often what's hidden is the huge cost of creating and supporting the underlying infrastructures that enable our virtual worlds to exist. So how is IT service management responding to demands to demonstrate tighter business alignment‾

Business processes are evolving fast and networked IT services are struggling to keep up. Yet experts point out that an agile service orientated infrastructure is essential for survival. It is no longer acceptable to build a function-specific fabric that's impervious to change.

Current best practice involves self-service where customers use plain business-oriented commands to order new services or reconfigure existing ones. The ultimate goal, however, is the truly intelligent network that 'listens' to what business processes are telling it, understands those changing demands, and adjusts itself accordingly (and virtually instantaneously).

Today, service specialists take customers' requirements and translate those requests into physical actions. The sophisticated machine-to-machine and software-to-software communication protocols for genuine automation is still sometime in the future. In order to proceed, standardisation is vital.

The Emergence Of ITIL

Fortunately, however, help is at hand. The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework has become the most widely accepted approach in the world to deliver standardisation.

ITIL's principles enable organisations to use a common language, assuring clarity in both the customer supplier relationship and between different service providers. The framework has already helped BT to increase efficiency and achieve leading service delivery quality.

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