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Strategies for Managing IT Services

When I teach ITIL foundation classes and we start talking about aligning IT strategy with business strategy, I usually see some puzzled looks on the faces of my students.  So I thought I would give some basics on what we are trying to establish here.

The purpose of strategy management for IT services is to create a process for defining and maintaining an organization's perspective, position, plans and patterns related to its services and the management of those services.   The purpose of a service strategy is to communicate how a service provider will enable an organization to achieve the desired business outcomes and establish the criteria and mechanisms to decide which services will be delivered, to whom they will be delivered to and to establish the most effective and efficient way to manage these services.
The objectives of strategy management for IT services are:
  • Analyze the internal and external environments in which we (the service provider) exist and to identify any opportunities that we can exploit for the benefit of the organization.
  • Identify constraints that may impede our ability to exploit those opportunities and the delivery of services to create those business outcomes. Then define how we can remove or mitigate the effect of those constraints.
  • Agree on perspective and continually review to ensure relevance to current situation. This should result in a clear vision and mission statement for the service provider.
  • Establish the position of the service provider comparative to its customers and other service providers in the market space. This should define which services will be delivered and to whom they will be delivered to. This should also define how we will maintain a competitive advantage in the market space.
  • Produce and maintain planning documents and ensure all appropriate parties have current copies of this documentation. This should include the IT strategy, service management strategy and strategy plans for each service being delivered.
  • Ensure that each organizational unit has a tactical and operational interpretation of these strategic plans and understand what is required by each to deliver on this strategy.
  • Manage changes to the strategies making sure that they stay aligned to the internal and external environments. Certify that the related documentation includes these updates.


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