Business Service Management
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IT organizations are working hard at understanding the critical relationship
between business goals and IT services. By understanding this relationship,
they can prioritize workloads and resources based on business metrics, react
to situations and help businesses operate more effectively while reducing
costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
To create such priorities often requires the implementation of Business
Service Management or BSM. BSM's methodology can help IT organizations develop
an IT service approach, ensuring that it can support and activate goals based
on business priorities while giving significant value. Because IT must
effectively monitor, measure and deliver the service levels required to meet
these priorities, BSM facilitates developing meaningful, tangible connections
between the IT organization and business teams.
BSM also helps IT company's focus on what matters to the business and helps
improve the quality of service and customer satisfaction. By understanding the
relationship between IT components and how they support the user experience,
IT organizations can strengthen their ability to meet business-user demands
with a powerful combination of information, processes and automated solutions.
Problems can then be identified and prioritized immediately, making the
business more responsive and therefore more successful because problems are
more quickly resolved.
Simple steps can help IT align itself with business requirements. This
process starts with the identification of goals to be achieved and then is
followed with the next three steps:
1.Identify and prioritize which processes should be updated in preparation
for an implementation 2.Update processes and focus on specific applications
3.Expand the scope of the project to include more applications, enlisting
professional assistance where needed.
Asking the right questions from the beginning will help IT deliver the
right amount of service at the most appropriate cost. A checklist such as the
following can help begin the conversation. 1.Why is this system being
implemented? 2.Will it drive revenue or reduce costs? 3.What will it cost if
this system is unavailable? 4.What is the relative priority? 5.Who is going to
use this system? 6.How will they use the system? 7.How will IT know if the
user is satisfied with the system? 8.Is this the correct, cost-effective
combination of hardware and software? 9.Is the system/solution delivering what
it is supposed to deliver?
After reviewing and analyzing this initial checklist, the IT organization
should go back to the business and fully clarify the requestor's real need for
the implementation. At that point, IT can offer options for response times and
provide the associated costs based on service level agreements that support
those response times.
To best align IT with the goals of the business, negotiation needs to take
place between IT and the service requestor. How does IT know where to
compromise? It must meet with the business managers to identify what the
requirements are going to be worth to the business. If the business manager
has no idea of what this service is going to be worth, then why should IT be
looking at how much it will cost to deliver this service?
IT should question all project requests from the business before automatic
implementation. When any IT project or service is requested, the first two
questions asked should be "Why does this need to be done?" and "What is the
worth to the business."
Next, IT organizations should monitor what matters - this is followed by
identifying the quantifiable benefits of delivering on that vision.
Understanding the vision and the benefits enables IT to attack and resolve the
Once support processes are in place to align IT with the business, the next
step is to focus on the technology needed to integrate and automate these
processes based on ITIL best practices. The technology that is selected to
implement BSM should support the reasons why you are doing the implementation.
The more functions you can automate effectively the better. Last, break down
BSM into manageable elements and get assistance. That is, break down the
implementation into segments of what matters. Rather than trying to fix
everything end-to-end in one fell swoop, consider bringing in professional
help such as professional services, partners or business-managed services.
Have someone who understands the issues help determine how to solve them.
Upon following these BSM processes an IT organization should be well
aligned with the organization it is assisting in the most effective and cost
About the Author
Stephen J. Richards has 25 years experience in Data Management and
Information Technology. This information is provided as a public service by Neon
Enterprise Software, a leading provider of
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-05-16 23:47:03 in Computer Articles