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A Business Centric Approach to Service Support

 

As the frontline between IT and the business, the service desk bears the brunt of customer dissatisfaction (due to service disruptions and user perception of poor service quality), all while under constant pressure to minimize support costs.

 

These challenges are even more daunting if you are unable to coordinate efficient, business-relevant decisions and actions across many specialized areas (due to fragmented manual processes, obscure relationships across infrastructure and services, and a lack of shared metrics and priorities).

As you struggle to support the growing complexity of the IT environment- mobile devices, virtual servers, and networks- process definition, ITIL best practices and Business Service Management will help you meet these challenges and extends IT’s value.

 

The BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite automates, integrates and optimizes ITIL service support processes through an open, unified architecture around the services you provide to the business. With this industry leading suite, you will gain business transparency, visibility and control access across all of service support with one solution:

  • One suite of integrated applications means quicker implementation, accelerated learning curve and lower TCO
  • One partner for industry leading software, services and training means you will fast track ITIL initiatives by up to 50 percent
  • One architecture  which includes both the leading Configuration Management Data Base ( CMDB) and the leading Service Desk solution ( BMC Remedy Service Desk, ranked #1 in the industry)

 

Let’s now look at seven key areas in evaluating the risks of designing and building an ITSM solution in house.

Focus

The key to success in today’s fast changing economy is the ability to focus on one’s core business.   Dedicating vast amounts of time, headcount and budget to developing solutions that are readily available takes valuable resources and focus away from the core competencies of the business. 

For Example, an international financial services firm that has a global manufacturer as a client provides essential financial solutions and services allowing the manufacture to concentrate on their core business.  In turn the financial services firm turns to BMC Software to provide the ITSM solutions to better manage and maximize their IT investments in technology and people, allowing them to concentrate on their core business.

BMC Software’s core business is Business Service Management.  By providing the industry leading ITSM solutions such as BMC Remedy Service Desk, Asset Configuration Management, Change Management, Release Management, Service Level Management, the financial services firm is able to focus their attention on their customers and not on an internal software development organization.

Timing

An ITSM solution delivered from BMC can be installed and delivering real value in a very short time.  Developing a complete solution in house will require significant amounts of resources and time (usually measure in “man months”) to address the following key components of software lifecycle development;

  • Gathering requirements for the proposed business solution
  • Analyzing the problem
  • Devising a plan or design for the software-based solution
  • Implementation (coding) of the software
  • Testing the software
  • Development
  • Maintenance and bug fixing

A normal software lifecycle development project can easily run 12-18 months at a minimum depending on the complexity of the solution.  Multiplying the manpower required with the number of months required can easily run a development project into the millions of Euros range.

Experience

BMC Remedy ITSM is the culmination of over 20 years and thousands of man hours of development effort.  The BMC ITSM suite comes with ITIL best practices, workflows and the experience learned from hundreds of implementations delivered Out of the box.  Customers of BMC are able to leverage this vast experience form both the perspective of the solutions themselves as well as the intellectual capital of the support, training and consultants available to assist customers in deriving maxim value from their investment.

Developing a system in-house would require a very large focused recruiting effort to attract and retain developers, architects, testers, technical writers, support and training personnel to properly staff this type of project.  Once again these valuable resources would be taking crucial resources away from the core business and adding increased management burden to the enterprise.

Risk

Once embarking on a custom development or customization project, the full benefit of the project must outweigh the total cost of the project to produce an acceptable ROI, however the project must be completed on time and on budget and go into production before these benefits can be realized.  According to Tom Demarco and Timothy Lister; authors of the popular software develop book Peopleware, the top 5 software development risks are;

1)      Inherent Schedule Flaws

2)      Requirements Inflation

3)      Employee Turnover

4)      Specification breakdown

5)      Poor Productivity

 

In creating an ITSM system in house, IT management have now moved beyond their core business of providing service to the business and managing and maintaining systems to a completely new world loaded with unfamiliar challenges and risks.

Additional risk are added in the long term as the project is now dependent upon proprietary code and those developers ( the effect of employee turnover here becomes magnified) as well as the risk of project obsolesce as the project could be obsolete in terms of the types of systems and devices that are capable of support even before the project reaches general availability.

Costs

When looking to development an ITSM solution in house, a firm will in essence be creating an internal software company.  Even small software companies (300 employees for example) can have 30% of their headcount (100 people) in development.  The cost for such complex ITSM solutions can require multiple years of development and can into millions of Euros.

Along with the basic costs of development such as headcount, there are additional costs for development hardware, testing and infrastructure.

These developments costs are also not onetime charges. To stay competitive, the development organization will now have to continue to create new features and functionality, in essence establishing a permanent presence within the IT organization.

With organizations today trying to reduce costs and optimizing existing headcount, creating an internal software development group will actually take the IT organization in the opposite direction and will be adding headcount and costs each year.

Flexibility

To truly leverage an ITSM initiative, an organization needs to be able to integrate as many of their internal systems as possible.  In creating this infrastructure in house, the organization will be forced to create custom and proprietary interfaces to their systems.  This can then create a patchwork of interfaces creating not only a data bottleneck, but also an ongoing support problem. 

The enclosed figure displays a graphical representation of what these multiple interfaces might look like over time, as each system now must have a custom interface written to each other system.  As you grow the capabilities of an ITSM solution, you continue to grow the required proprietary interfaces needed and the subsequent support.

The BMC ITSM suite is equipped with multiple interfaces “out of the box” centralized around the CMDB “core”, enabling an easy and tight integration between various ITSM capabilities.

Scalability

With the every changing landscape of IT (new devices, Windows7, Cloud) IT department must deploy a system  that can not only scale in terms of users, but also locations ( language localization), systems( virtual, cloud), requirements( regulatory, compliance), services( access, identity, self service) and management requirements( IT cost transparency, cost charge backs).  This doubles the pressure on internal deployment projects to not only be able to deliver the requirements that the business demands today while still maintaining high levels of service, they must also be planning and developing the solutions for tomorrow, which are essential to keeping the enterprise competitive.  All of this pressure and resource drain can be eliminated by partnering with BMC Software to deliver the solutions, expertise, training and support necessary to continue to reduce IT costs, and to maximize IT investments.

A Step in the Right Direction

BMC ITSM solutions bring you a step up in service support management maturity level, getting you one step closer to managing IT from the perspective of the business and therefore, one step closer to comprehensive Business Service Management.

BSM is the most effective approach for managing IT from the perspective of the business and it combines best-practice IT processes( such as support for ITIL), automated technology management, and a shared view of how IT resources directly support the business.  With BSM, you can integrate the goals of IT with the goals of the business to realize such benefits as:

  • Reduce cost and risk by optimizing IT processes to meet business goals and objectives
  • Improve business agility by stream lining deployment of new applications that drive business growth
  • Optimize IT resources to reduce operating costs, while maximizing performance
  • Ensue cost effective regulatory compliance through comprehensive IT controls