Special thanks to Lorena Mendoza, Chief Executive Officer, AIS Sistemas Avanzados de Información for her contribution...
The best path to implementing Business Service Management (BSM) is a step-by-step approach in which IT moves in deliberate increments, gaining significant and demonstrable value with each increment. AIS has helped many large enterprises with their successful BSM implementations. Through this experience, we have evolved a step-by-step approach to BSM that minimizes risk and delivers value each step of the way. Our flexible approach can guide you toward an implementation that meets your unique situation, taking into account such factors as funding, human resources, and cultural change.
Identify the pain point
The approach begins with the identification of a pain point with significant business impact. IT sets clear goals defining what they expect to accomplish in addressing this pain point. They then adopt best-practice processes and deploy BSM solutions that automate the processes. Finally, they establish metrics for gauging success and then publicize the results to gain buy-in for expanding the scope of BSM in the organization.
Here’s an example: Assume that slow response in handling incidents and problems is a major source of pain for a company. First, IT establishes a top-to-bottom, best-practice process for incident and problem management. That means tracking the complete lifecycle of all incidents, from the opening of incident tickets to resolution, and escalating issues to the appropriate teams for resolution when necessary. IT then deploys a BSM service desk solution that implements the process. Using meaningful metrics collected by the solution, IT has what’s needed to communicate success and to make it easier to get funding for additional BSM initiatives.
The next step might be applied to implementing a performance and availability monitoring solution and integrating it with the service desk. The monitoring solution detects potential problems and generates alerts. Integration with the service desk allows the automatic creation of incident tickets, which are routed immediately to the appropriate support teams. This step enables IT to transition from a reactive to a proactive mode in incident and problem management.
Also in this step, the company might implement a configuration management database (CMDB) and automated discovery tools that populate the CMDB. Not only does this repository provide a foundation for BSM solution integration, it also houses a wealth of data about the IT infrastructure. The data defines the physical and logical relationships of infrastructure components, as well as the business processes and people those components support. This information is very valuable in troubleshooting incidents, keeping affected users informed, and prioritizing actions based on business impact.
Along the way, IT puts metrics in place to assess service quality. Metrics might include first-call resolution rates, mean time to repair (MTTR), downtime/availability, and performance. As a result, if a user calls IT and complains about poor service quality, IT has solid data that either confirms the user’s claims or demonstrates that IT is meeting its service level commitments.
If the user claims that an important application was out for a week, IT can create the appropriate reports and show that, in fact, the application was down only 15 minutes over the past seven days.
Instead of being defensive about the quality of service, IT can talk to the business with confidence and demonstrate what the true levels of service quality are. That sets the stage for conversations around what level of service various users within the enterprise need. BSM enables IT to conduct those conversations using terms that business people understand.
AIS has discovered several other key strategies for successful BSM implementation. To learn more, read “BSM Strategies for Enterprises Emerging Markets.”
About the Author
Lorena Mendoza is CEO of AIS Sistemas Avanzados de Información, an Elite BSM Certified Partner of BMC Software, and is based in Mexico City. Mendoza worked for Xerox in sales for four years. In 2000, she joined BMC as an employee. In 2002, she founded AIS, which works with BMC to enable and lead companies in utilizing the right resources for delivering and implementing BMC solutions.