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Grilled Pizza, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Continual Improvement

Originally posted on owlpoint.com, August 6, 2020, and written by Greg Smith, Director of Service Delivery and Resident Pizza Maker at OwlPoint

Like many others, I’ve recently taken up a few “COVID hobbies” to keep me occupied (and sane). After homebrewing a few gallons of root beer, I decided I needed a hobby that didn’t result in such large quantities of food that had to be consumed in a relatively short amount of time. After some thought, I landed on making pizza on the grill as my next hobby attempt. Though I’ve always liked cooking and grilling, I’d never made pizza from scratch before, let alone doing so on the grill. It seemed like it would be finicky and have plenty of opportunities to mess up. But I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as a bad pizza, so I ordered two cast iron skillets from Amazon and set about my new hobby.
Normally, when I engage in something new, I research the entirety of Google for hints, tips and what to avoid. After spending a couple of nights researc…
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ITIL 4 and Site Reliability Engineering

Originally posted on owlpoint.com, August 11, 2020, and written by Mark Blanke, CEO of Owlpoint, and Chairman of The CIO Initiative
One of the aspects of ITIL 4 that has impressed me the most is the integration and reference to so many other best practices and frameworks. One such reference is to Site Reliability Engineering aka SRE. SRE was originally developed by Google in the mid 2000s as a way of operating and administering productions system with a software development mindset. One of Google’s key drivers in building out SRE was to help bring developers and operations people together. Sounds like DevOps, right? In reality, they come from the same mindset, but there are key differences.
Google only recently started sharing the SRE concepts. It was their secret sauce and a way to be far more effective in operating their systems and maintaining a highly reliable environment. However, over time, they realized that it would be better for them to share their methods, so the langua…

ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value: Maximizing the Consumer Experience

Originally posted on The AXELOS Blog, February 2020 and written by Christian Nissen, IT management consultant and lead author for the ITIL 4 Drive Stakeholder Value module.

Back in the industrial society, goods were a dominant factor in our lives. But in the “service era” we prefer to replace ownership of goods with access to services and resources without necessarily owning them.

This is happening with and without digital transformation, although the latter accelerates this phenomenon: think Uber and Airbnb.

In this context, the ITIL® 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value module – within ITIL 4 Managing Professional – is about the engagement and interaction between service providers and stakeholders and the conversion of demand to value via IT-enabled services.

But what does this mean in practice?

Previously, services were treated in the same way as manufactured goods: it was the customer’s responsibility to derive value. Conversely, the core concept of ITIL 4 is that value is co-created.

T…

Improving IT service outsourcing experience: The magic of bringing XLAs & SLAs together

Our friends over at CitrusCollab shared this really interesting case study:

Improving IT service outsourcing experience: The magic of bringing XLAs™ & SLAs togetherBusiness SituationA regional utility company with 10,000 employees was ending a first time, multi-year IT infrastructure outsourcing contract with a well-known, sizeable India-based outsourcer. At the termination of the contract, the client was extremely unhappy with: the lack of service quality,the lack of promised innovation and cost reductions,the poor employee experience with the technical services delivery quality,the unacceptable governance experience with the management of disputes and issues,the ineffectiveness of financial penalties as a lever to obtain service performance improvements. CitrusCollab consultants assisted in the outsourcing contract rebid process. We created several Employee Experience Level Agreements (XLA*) to augment the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the new IT Infrastructure outsourcing con…

The Four Dimensions of ITIL 4 and the Changing World of Work

Originally posted on owlpoint.com, June 15, 2020, and written by Mark Blanke, CEO of Owlpoint, and Chairman of The CIO Initiative

The Four Dimensions of ITIL 4 and the Changing World of Work

Recently Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced his employees could continue working from home “forever.” Knowing some people like an office environment, Dorsey is keeping the door open for those who want to return to the workplace. But ultimately, he is leaving it up to each employee to decide what they want to do. Dorsey’s statement follows reports that Fortune 100 corporations, including JPMorgan, Facebook, Capital One, Amazon, Microsoft, Zillow, and others, are extending work-from-home policies.

Post-COVID-19, having employees in an office environment can be a sticky proposition. What if someone falls ill and infects others? What if a valued employee simply doesn’t want to come in – ever? What if half of your office space is continually empty? This leads to another question – why rent expensive commer…

IT's impact on the employee and customer experiences during COVID-19 (and beyond)

Originally posted on tsoshop.co.uk, AXELOS Global Best Practice Blog, July 2020 and written by Rae Ann Bruno, President of Business Solutions Training, Inc (BST)


As it became evident that sheltering was going to be a requirement during COVID, things changed drastically and quickly for organizations. The workforce became remote virtually overnight. Information technology (IT) was suddenly 'at the table' with the business decision makers - some for the first time - to help organizations set-up a remote workforce and service their external customers. What IT accomplished for their organizations, demonstrates the value of the ITIL 4 guiding principles and a focus on the employee and customer experiences.

According to PRINCE2, a project is 'a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.' Project managers are empowered to chair the project team and direct them toward successful delivery…

HVIT – An Atmospheric View of High Velocity IT

A Digital Transformation requires radical and profound change that orients an organization toward an entirely new direction and takes a service provider to an entirely different level!

High Velocity IT (HVIT) is the application of digital technology that will likely play a major role in significant business enablement where speed is crucial!

This is an Atmospheric View of High Velocity IT - Meditate on this for a few - POWERFUL!


High Velocity IT is just a normal way of doing business for some organizations. For others it is an aspiration and many service providers are on a quest to get there fast. Best practice shows that there are three core elements required for HVIT and after taking a deeper dive into these aspects I became excited to see how these characteristics can change the world!

Want to LEARN more?

Get Certified in HVIT. The HVIT Certification Course takes a deeper dive into this model.
This is more than a skillset it is an ability to shift the entire organization toward sys…