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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Service Portfolio and Portfolio Management

The Service Portfolio represents the complete set of services that is offered and managed by a service provider.  It corresponds to the entire lifecycle of all services and is made up of three sections.  The first, the Service Pipeline (proposed or in development) denotes the future stance the organization is going to take in meeting customer requirements and aligning to the future business strategy.
Next is the Service Catalog (live or available for deployment) which is what the service provider is currently delivering and maintaining to meet the organizations current and near future goals and objectives. 
Finally we have the Retired Services, which have been deemed no longer valuable enough to sustain their continued delivery, but may need to be continued to be supported for some defined time to meet some regulatory or legal requirement.
The Service Portfolio is an integral tool in helping us define perspective and position. It is a tool for our customers/business and acts as a …

Metrics and Business Value

IT managers gather and distribute metrics that reflect their group’s performance on a regular and timely basis.  But outside of their immediate organizations do these metrics have any real meaning or impact? Do these measurements really define the value that IT is delivering?  Business executives shouldn’t have to work to see the positive impact of IT performance.  It should be made readily visible, in language they can grasp quickly and easily.  In many IT organizations there is a continued focus of their reporting towards the performance of the technology and not the value being delivered to the business.  This emphasis continues to create a gap between IT and the rest of the organization. (1)
What metrics do you employ?  Service metrics, measuring the end to end performance of your services, based on your technology metrics.   Technology metrics, performance of your components and applications. Are they available when needed? Do you have the correct levels of capacity to meet dyna…

Shift Happens: How?

Demand is increasing.  Dynamic or changing business requirements are a norm.  Business and customers must have quality services provisioned fast.  Ok … we get that.  Now let’s think about the service provider and what their condition or state is.  Some service providers are stuck in an organizational structure and management style that propagates an isolated us vs. them type of culture.  Others have legacy overburdened outdated systems.  Disparate and replicated tools between networking, storage and other functional teams including service desks generally create more havoc than business value.  Many efforts including data center transformation, new sourcing models, cloud computing and more have helped to some extent.  Even after these very costly initiatives many service providers experience a resistance to change and find they are working within a very rigid environment.
Rigid structures, rigid process or rigid anything will not enable a service provider for success.  Some organizat…

Cloud is Here… Is CMDB Dead?

The question about how to manage virtualization and configuration items pertaining to the Cloud continues to challenge service management practitioners and managers who are trying to strategize and architect a working solution to provision business services.  Some would say the idea of the CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is dead because we use the infamous “Cloud”.
Let’s start with a refresher about the structure and purpose of a CMDB and system and then move into how that relates to the management of virtual Configuration Items or Cloud services.
Configuration Management System
The key to a CMDB, or the sets of data that comprise your broader Configuration Management System (CMS), is “Relationships”.  When provisioning a service, the service provider must be able to manage and control all of the items necessary to produce “Value” to the consumer.  All elements in the end to end service that need to be managed and controlled are referred to as a Configuration Item (CI). Most …

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service".
I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize:
SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle.
ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs …

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