IT Service Management (ITSM) & Operations – Overview of the Availability Management Process

Background

In many cases ITSM Availability Management Process is overlooked due to other frontline processes such as incident, problem and change management. I have provided a summary of this availability management process and significance below. I hope that the information is useful for your organisation in order to define and implement the process.
Objectives:

  • Availability management has to ensure that the delivered availability levels for all services comply with or exceed the agreed requirements in a cost-effective way and enables the business to satisfy its objectives.
  • Provide a range of IT Availability reporting to ensure that agreed levels of Availability, reliability and maintainability are measured and monitored on an ongoing basis.
  • Create and maintain a forward looking Availability Plan aimed at improving the overall Availability of IT Services and Infrastructure components to ensure existing and future business Availability requirements can be satisfied.

Scope:

  • Designing, implementing, measuring, managing and improving IT services and the components that are used to provide them.
  • Services and processes:
  • Business processes
  • Future business plans and requirements
  • Service objectives, current Service Operation and delivery
  • IT infrastructure, data, applications and the environment
  • Priorities of the business in relation to the services

Industry Good Practice for this Process

Avialability mgt process.jpg
Availability management is part of service design and it is one of the critical process because the reliability of a service or component indicates how long it can perform its agreed function without interruption.

Activities – Reactive (Executed in the operational phase of the lifecycle)

  • Monitoring, measuring, analysing and reporting availability of services and components
  • Unavailability analysis
  • Expanded lifecycle of the incidents
  • Service Failure Analysis (SFA)

Activities – Proactive (Executed in the design phase of the lifecycle)

  • Identifying Vital Business Functions (VBFs)
  • Designing for availability
  • Component Failure Impact Analysis (CFIA)
  • Single Point of Failure (SPOF) analysis
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Availability Test Schemes
  • Planned and preventive maintenance
  • Production of Projected Service Availability (PSA document
  • Continuous reviewing and improvement

Inputs/Outputs

Inputs:

  • Business information, organisation strategy, financial information and plans
  • Current and future requirements of IT services
  • Risk analysis
  • Business impact analysis
  • Service portfolio and service catalogue from service level management process
  • Change calendars and release management information

Outputs:

  • Availability management information systems (AMIS)
  • Availability plan
  • Availability and restore criteria
  • Reports on the availability, reliability and maintainability of services

Summary

In summary, ITSM Availability Management measures three important aspects: how long a service can perform without interruption (Reliability), how quickly a service can be restored when it has failed (Maintainability) and how effectively a third party supplier deliver their services (Serviceability). These three aspects are key performance measures in ITSM availability management. Availability Management has to be discussed at the design phase of IT Service Management. Hope you found the above information useful. Thanks

IT Service Management (ITSM) – Continual Service Improvement (CSI)Process and Approach

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Process

To define specific initiatives aimed at improving services and processes, based on the results of service reviews and process evaluations. The resulting initiatives are either internal initiatives pursued by the service provider on his own behalf, or initiatives which require the customer’s cooperation. (from ITIL).

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Purpose, Goals and Objectives

  • Continually align IT services to changing business needs
  • Identify and implement improvements throughout the service life cycle
  • Determine what to measure, why to measure it and define successful outcomes
  • Implement processes with clearly defined goals, objectives and measures
  • Review service level achievement results
  • Ensure quality management methods are used

Continual-Service-Improvement.png

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Values

  • Enables continuous monitoring and feedback through all life cycle stages
  • Sets targets for improvement
  • Calculates Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Calculates Value on Investment (VOI)

Business Value of Measurement

Consider the following factors when measuring process or service efficiency.
CSI 1.jpg

  • Why are we monitoring and measuring?
  • When do we stop?
  • Is anyone Is using the data?
  • Do we still need this?

Metric Types

  • Service metrics
  • Technology metrics
  • Process metrics

Continual Service Improvement(CSI) Supporting Models and Processes

  1. Plan-DO-Check-ACT (PDCA) Model
  2. 7-Step Improvement Process
  3. Continual Service Improvement Model

1. Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Model

PDCA 2.jpg

2. 7-Step Improvement Process

CSi 7 step process.jpg

3. Continual Service Improvement Model

CSI model.jpg

Key Takeaways

  1. Once you have implemented a new process, tool or an event – Plan for improvement. As the end users will expecting the next levels of service
  2. Obtain feedback from end users, always encourage them to do so.
  3. Plan it, Do it (Implement), Check it (assess, metrics) and act (take actions to align or rectify)
  4. Always look to improve you service, through benefit, cost, risk and strategy

Summary

Hope you found it useful to implement your CSI journey.

Defining IT Strategy

Information Technology (IT) Strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals.

The following approach can be used to define your organisation’s IT Strategy.

Inputs:

  1. Organisational Business Priorities
  2. Organisational Key Behaviours
  3. How Business will be Supported by IT
  4. Technology Influences
  5. IT Strategic Principles
  6. IT Service Management Operating Principles

First of all, in order to define an IT Strategy, we need to obtain the above inputs (as much as possible). The approach to define the strategy is based on what are the business priorities and how the IT is going to shape to support the business goals. Those IT priorities will then become the strategy with key initiatives to support and achieve both IT and business goals.
Example Step 1: Organisational Business Priorities

  • Customers First
  • Efficient
  • People and Relationship
  • Secure Service
  • Outstanding Growth

Example Step 2: Organisational Key Behaviours

  • Accountable
  • Connected
  • Innovation
  • High Performance

Example Step 3: How the Business will be Supported IT

  • Keep the Business Running
  • Execute Business Change
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability

Example Step 4: Technology Influences

  • Technology Trends
  • Current Industry
  • Agile
  • Innovative Solutions
  • Adaptable Changes

Example Step 5: IT Strategic Principles

  • Put Business at First
  • Efficiency
  • People and Relationships

Example Step 6: IT Service Management Operating Principles

  • Provide Effective Service
  • Driven by Agility
  • Create Efficiency
  • Enforce Resilience
  • Value People

Outcome 1:

Example: IT Strategy

Strengthen service and customer focus via:

  • Improving our customer satisfaction
  • Creating a service delivery culture

Promote agility and flexibility through the services we offer by:

  • Investing in our BYO consumerisation
  • Increasing our utilisation of virtualisation technology
  • Investigating emerging technologies to support flexible workforce

Innovate efficiency and strengthen our partnership by:

  • Reducing lifecycle cost through Cloud program and other cost saving initiatives
  • Optimise operations and strategically invest in improvements

Improve service quality, reliability, and maintainability by:

  • Focusing on the stability & robustness of our systems
  • Improving the quality of our processes by driving quality upstream

Invest in people to grow and support by:

  • Creating a collaborative, proactive, outside-in culture

 
Strategy 1
Outcome 2:
The above strategy should have key initiatives that supports the strategy (supports both IT and business goals) and implementation/transformation roadmap.
Summary
Hope this is useful. This is one of the approaches that can be used to define your IT Strategy and key initiatives.

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