IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) best practices promote a well-functioning, collaborative IT environment that can enable the business and your IT organisation to cope with the effects of economic stress. ITIL can help you to deliver higher-performing technology services that help your business to be both more competitive today and poised for growth when the economy rebounds.
bmc iNDUSTRY INSIGHTSIt is not necessary to do everything ITIL covers, and it is acceptable and often preferable for improve-ments to be made incrementally, based on business priorities. Too many organizations can become over-whelmed by everything that needs to be fixed, and this can lead to inertia. Counteracting inertia requires a first step. IT is a strategic asset of the business and is simply too business critical and complex to man-age in an ad-hoc way. Try to focus on the benefits of a healthy, high-performing IT organization and imple-ment projects that can provide quick wins and value to the organization and its customers.Seven Ways ITIL Can Help Your OrganizationITIL is already helping IT organizations perform well under stressful economic conditions. The most sig-nificant results are being seen in the following areas:1. ImprOved vISIbILITY aNd CONTrOLIf you want greater visibility and control of your IT environment and how it supports business ser-vices, you need a clear understanding of what you are doing, the dependencies in your IT landscape (including skill sets and competencies), and any A balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep all contribute to physical health. When these habits are in place, your body can successfully cope and even perform well during periods of stress. If you don t follow healthy habits, then stressful events are more likely to slow you down physically and sometimes can negatively affect your long-term well being. Similarly, the best practices outlined in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL ) promote a well-functioning, collaborative IT environment, enabling the business and the capabilities and resources of the IT organization to cope with the effects of economic stress. In addition, ITIL can help you to deliver higher-performing technology services. This helps business to be both more competitive today and better poised for growth when the economy begins to rebound. seven WAys ITIl cAn help you In An economIc doWnTurnBy Anthony Orr, Global Best Practice Director, Educational Services, BMC Software, and Erin Casteel, Director of Consulting Services, SolismaUntitled Documentareas of weakness or constraints. An ITIL process maturity assessment is a key starting point a baseline health check. Ongoing measurement of IT service management processes can then help you gain visibility into how to prioritize improvements based on business objectives and your customers needs. Clearly defined IT service management metrics also make it possible to address some of the greatest challenges CIOs face today, such as defining the impact of service delivery and support on business services and quantify-ing the cost of service improvement. Achieving end-to-end visibility and control of your IT environment also requires the ability to see every aspect of your IT environment from the business and service levels down to the component level including all the relationships and dependencies.For example, a large IT service provider deployed a solution that enabled decision support to rapidly create repeatable, efficient, and effective service management processes that offered increased control. The solution seamlessly integrated key service management applica-tions with a configu ration management database (CMDB). (A CMDB is part of the larger configuration management system discussed in ITIL V3).The CMDB offers increased visibility into IT from the business-critical services that require greater redun-dancy to the software licenses that can be discontinued. It also provides visibility into the potential impact of planned changes, facilitates faster resolution of incidents and problems, and reduces the number of failed releases. The CMDB provides the single source of truth in terms of accurate information upon which all other pro cesses rely. This visibility helps IT organizations by giving them information to make more effective business decisions. 2. GreaTer INTeGraTION WITH buSINeSS ObjeCTIveSImprovements to IT will make the business more ef-fcient and effective by increasing customer satisfaction, reducing downtime, automating tasks, and achieving required compliance. The IT service provider mentioned earlier saved 1.9 million in about 15 months because the company was more integrated with the needs of the business. The company also realized a 370 percent return on project costs over the 2.5-year project lifecycle. The IT organiza-tion cut the time needed to plan, schedule, and deploy changes from three weeks to just one week. They also reduced system outages by 25 percent. They reduced service level agreement (SLA) incident resolution penalties by 8,800 per month. Overall, the company de-creased business risk, reduced the total cost of ownership, and was responsive to business require-ments. The savings that were real-ized now can be used to reinvest in business growth and innovation strategies for future business continuity.3. INCreaSed FOCuS ON CONTINuaL ServICe ImprOvemeNTITIL recommends that you implement a continual service improvement program. This type of pro gram uses the results of measurement and analysis to help IT priori-tize improvements that will support changing business needs. A continual service improvement program is an iterative process that happens over time and makes it possible to add more value with each iteration through-out the organization. A continual service improvement program helps you improve services by clearly defining, measuring, and subsequently controlling the services the IT organization provides to the business. With IT under increasing pres-sures from all parts of the business, some IT managers may be asked, Once a program or hardware is installed and working correctly, why can t your team just step back and let it run? But in a dynamic business and IT bmc iNDUSTRY INSIGHTSYou can improve operational efficiency by following ITIL guidance related to examining your processes and objectives and identifying targeted areas for improvement. Untitled Documentenvironment, change is a constant. Having a program that just runs as planned doesn t take into account the evolving needs of the business and the customer, and how business changes impact IT.This ongoing commitment to improvement is an im-portant competitive advantage for any organi zation. An international telecommunications company had multiple service desk operations and had not consolidated inci-dent, problem, or resolution management. The company knew that consolidation was important. To address these issues, the company adopted a Business Service Man-agement (BSM) strategy. BSM, which is dis cussed in ITIL V3, is a comprehensive approach and unified platform for running IT according to business priorities.As a result of adopting this approach, the company consolidated service desks from one for each of 25 countries, to a single service desk for the entire company and adopted a companywide change pro-cess. Such ITIL-driven improvements led to a 30 percent reduction in mean time to repair (MTTR) and a 60 percent reduction in unplanned outage time that had an impact on users. The company realized savings of 11 million in change management costs alone.4. INCreaSed OperaTIONaL eFFICIeNCYYou can improve operational efficiency by following ITIL guidance related to examining your processes and objectives and identifying targeted areas for improve-ment. For example, the IT department of a major utility company initiated a program to build an enterprisewide IT strategy based on ITIL. By centralizing its service desk, the utility company reduced its support costs from 89 per hour to 57 per hour and reduced the time to deploy desktop and laptop changes by 75 percent. The utility company also is focusing on increasing self ser-vice, improving call routing, and refining other processes. These operational efficiency changes not only help the business perform better but also help the customer profit from the improvements.To achieve this operational efficiency, ITIL recom mends that you set clear goals, define a process improvement road map, and not expect to fix everything at once. At least annually, you should develop a business case for future activities on the basis of the results from prior and current activities. Determine the ROI and value on invest-ment (VOI) so far, as well as the anticipated ROI and VOI of future improvements. You ll need to prioritize projects according to what will create the most business value.5. GreaTer aGILITYAgility also is important for today s corporations. The business must be able to respond quickly to changing conditions to remain competitive. The ITIL process of release management, for example, makes it possible to successfully manage the release of software and hard-ware into the environ ment. A mature release process, combined with automation, can reduce the implementa-tion time of a software release from weeks to minutes, while also reducing error rates. Following ITIL guidance on service portfolio manage-ment which helps you to prioritize projects on the basis of their importance to the business also can help you improve your agility. You must provide the right mix of services and adapt the mix when business condi-tions change. Service resource planning solutions, as part of an overall BSM strategy, consolidate and connect otherwise fragmented data to provide the information and insight that enable you to make better, faster, and more fully informed decisions about your capabilities and resources. 6. INCreaSed prOaCTIvITYWhy wait for something to break when you can antici-pate problems and prevent them from happening? The degree to which problem management and availability management processes are proactive can reveal much about the maturity of the IT organization. The goal of ITIL problem management is to prevent the occurrence or minimize the impact of errors, incidents, and problems in the IT infrastructure. Typical problem management activities include identifying, investigating, and eliminating or mini mizing the problem by addressing the root cause or developing a reasonable workaround. When an organization first implements a process such as problem management, it should focus on the reac-tive aspect of the process. This is because 20 percent of problems are generally responsible for 80 percent of system degradation. Eliminating that top 20 percent of problems will significantly improve stability, reduce downtime, and improve documented knowledge, thereby enabling incident management to resolve future incidents more quickly. bmc iNDUSTRY INSIGHTSUntitled DocumentBMC, BMC Software, and the BMC Software logo are the exclusive properties of BMC Software, Inc., are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. ITIL is a registered trademark, and a registered community trademark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is used here by BMC Software, Inc., under license from and with the permission of OGC. All other BMC trademarks, service marks, and logos may be registered or pending registration in the U.S. or in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 2009 BMC Software, Inc. All rights reserved.*102495*abOuT THe auTHOrSAnthony Orr, Global Best Practice Director for Educational Services at BMC Software, has more than 30 years of IT experience. He is certified in ITIL Foundation, Practitioner, Service Manager, and V3 Expert levels. He is also a Senior Examiner for APMG, the official accreditor of ITIL V3.Erin Casteel is the Director of Consulting Services for Solisma. Her prior experience includes work as a solutions architect for BMC Software. She has more than 18 years of experience in IT. She has worked on IT service man-agement projects in multiple industry sectors, has trained close to 5,000 people in Foundation, Practitioner, and Masters levels of ITIL, and has lectured at the University of Sydney. She is the representative from Australia on the in-ternational ISO/IEC 20000 Certification Committee.buSINeSS ruNS ON I.T. I.T. ruNS ON bmC SOFTWareBusiness thrives when IT runs smarter, faster, and stronger. That s why the most demanding IT organizations in the world rely on BMC Software across both distributed and mainframe environ-ments. Recognized as the leader in Business Service Management, BMC offers a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT orga-nizations cut cost, reduce risk, and drive business profit. For the four fiscal quarters ended March31, 2008, BMC revenue was approximately 1.87 billion. Visit www.bmc.com for more information.bmc iNDUSTRY INSIGHTSAs the problem management process matures, there will be increased opportunity to focus on the proactive aspects of the process, such as trend analysis. It s possible to reduce the num ber of incidents by 50 percent or more through preventive action. The proactive aspects also allow the business to understand and be more responsive to the needs of its customers. This will reduce downtime and support costs while improving productivity and customer satisfaction. 7. ImprOved COmmuNICaTIONThe single biggest issue every organization seems to identify is communication or rather the lack of it both within IT and between IT and the business. This lack of communication can result in duplication of effort, poor decision making, higher risk of failed changes, and poor alignment between the business and IT. Traditionally, IT organizations have become accustomed to thinking about organizational structure in terms of silos, departments, or functional areas. Communication, organizational collaboration, and teamwork breaks down when information doesn t flow easily from one area to another. ITIL processes are not the same as functions. They help to address these communication gaps because they cut across multiple functional areas, using resources, information, and people to achieve a specific goal. Communication is also facilitated through an ongoing organizational focus on documentation and knowledge management. Knowledge management involves gathering, analyzing, storing, and sharing knowledge and information to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge that already exists within the organization.For example, assume that 40 percent of an organization s incidents are resolved at the first level, with 40 percent at the second level, and 20 percent at the third. Through better documentation of known errors, the first-level staff will generally be able to resolve a far greater percentage of incidents. This reduces costs and improves customer satisfaction.Final ThoughtsBalanced organizational investments in education and the right technology based on ITIL service management guidance tend to pay for themselves many times over and contribute to organiza-tional health. ITIL can help your IT organization not only justify and cut costs, but also integrate better with the business objectives and improve the quality and speed of service. Following ITIL guidance and applying the guidance as best practice will help position your company to take advantage of better economic times down the road. The long-term health of any business depends upon alignment of a well-functioning IT organiza-tion with the business objectives, while the business consequences of a poorly functioning IT organization can be dire. ITIL can help IT get into shape and establish the practices needed to function at peak performance in both good and bad economic times.For more information about BMC solutions, visit www.bmc.com/itil. To learn more about how BMC can help activate your business, visit www.bmc.com or call (800) 841-2031.