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Whenever I go the grocery store, I often see a vast array of products that all claim to help me lose weight. I simply have to buy the product, try it, and watch the pounds slip away! So, I stare at the items on the counter and think, “Will this really work?” Is it worth giving up a good meal for a powered drink that will help me lose those pounds that just appeared out of nowhere? I wonder about what type of testing has been done to verify that the product will do what it claims.

 

What does this have to do with the IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®)? Plenty. Read on.

 

Many IT organizations strive to follow best practices for IT service management. When you purchase software, how can you be assured that it provides IT processes out of the box and is ready for use without customization? How do you know that the product will do what it says it does — drive IT process improvements and efficiencies in accordance with ITIL best practices?

 

A certification program sponsored by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC) provides the designation of “ITIL® Process Compliant,” which offers that assurance. To receive this designation, the software must successfully complete rigorous testing for achieving ITIL fundamental processes in the areas it is designed to serve, such as incident and problem management, change management, request fulfillment, and event management. Here are some of the benefits of certification:

 

1.     Safeguarding your investment

2.     Achieving a faster ramp-up time, which achieves faster results

3.     Accelerating your implementation

4.     Speeding the path to accreditation

5.     Achieving independent verification

 

Learn more in this BMC article: Five Benefits of Evaluating Service Management Software for ITIL Compliance.

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It’s that time of year, quarter, or month when you have to justify your existence — or least your value — to the business. You can scramble around gathering data to support some of your organization’s key achievements after the fact and hope that you’ve found what you need to answer questions from your most challenging business users. But that’s like trying to explain to your spouse or significant other why you just purchased a new car without previously mentioning that you were thinking of buying one. It takes a lot of energy and creative thinking.

There’s got to be an easier way to justify value, especially in IT. The process starts with not just collecting metrics, but also making sure you are collecting the right ones. You must understand which metrics communicate the big-picture of the services you’ve delivered. A good example of an effective metric might be “size of the change backlog.” Such metrics provide KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Here’s what you should look for in an effective metric:

  • Is tied to a business goal
  • Is important to someone (there is a customer who wants it)
  • Measures a single condition or event
  • Is easy to measure and report
  • Has specific results that support decision making

 

It’s also important to understand the steps required for building a metric strategy. Here’s a list from a recent BMC article, How to Chose Metrics that Demonstrate IT Value, which provides some excellent recommendations to help shape your metrics strategy.

  • Select a business goal.
  • Determine how IT supports that goal or in which specific focus areas (processes or activities) IT needs to improve. Each of these focus areas could be
    analyzed in parallel.
  • Determine the maturity of the process or focus area.
  • If maturity is too low, determine the scope of metrics needed to measure progress.
  • Review current metrics to make sure they meet the characteristics in the bulleted list above.
  • Select new metrics, if needed.
  • Review metrics for effectiveness, completeness, and aging.

 

By choosing metrics wisely, your business customers will be able to understand and appreciate not only what you’ve done for them lately but also what you plan to deliver in the future.

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