Why ITSM and DevOps? Ask NYSE, United Airlines, Microsoft…!

The NYSE reportedly told floor traders the exchange had to suspend trading due to an error with a systems upgrade that was rolled out before the market opened.  Early in the morning the NYSE sent out a message alerting traders that there was a reported issue with a number of the exchange’s gateways.  It appears that performance degraded from there and a few short hours later trading halted! ( http://fortune.com/2015/07/08/nyse-halt/  for full story)

How does this happen?  Other issues reported that same week included United Airlines who closed all flight bookings due to what was labeled a “Router” issue.   Microsoft GoToTraining impacted several business owners and customers due to a suspected “Citrix” upgrade.   If ever a case for why do we need Service Management processes that are aligned with business outcomes can be made, one only needs to listen to the news.  Just yesterday a computer system outage disrupted Spirit Airlines flights at Chicago O'Hare, forcing the carrier to cancel flights.  The glitch occurred when an electrical spike led to a connectivity issue for Spirit's O'Hare operations.  They just keep on coming!  In order to manage demand and to respond to extremely dynamic business requirements Capacity Management, Availability Management, Service Continuity and Security requirements can no longer be viewed as afterthought but must be viewed as full on business critical requirements early in the service lifecycle. 

According to ITIL Best Practice “Utility” is what the product or the service does.  “Warranty” refers to the ability of a service to be available when needed, to provide the required capacity, and to provide the required reliability in terms of continuity and security.  Warranty can be summarized as ‘how the service is delivered’, and can be used to determine whether a service is ‘fit for use’.  For example, any aspect of the service that increases the availability or speed of the service would be considered warranty.  Warranty can therefore represent any attribute of a service that increases the potential of the business to be able to perform a task.  Warranty refers to any means by which utility is made available to the users.

It is time for the industry of service providers to get it right.  Agile, DevOps, and Lean are required, but without appropriate process activity early in the strategy and design lifecycle we are likely to continue to miss the mark.

For more information on how to achieve “Warranty” of service for service providers and other Service Design processes I recommend the ITIL Service Design Core Publication:  http://www.itsmacademy.com/itil-sd-book/

If you are interested in training and certification to ensure “Utility and Warranty” throughout the value stream you will find these very helpful:


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