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IT Service Management

Why IT service management?

Today an essential challenge for the IT consists, above all in developing from a pure technology supplier to a strategically important service organisation which performs a measurable value contribution for the enterprise. She must align faster and better than ever with the always changing  business requirements.  Only like this the IT  can position itself as a strategically partner in  the enterprise by supporting business targets, company-wide competitiveness, to increase efficiency and effectiveness and to prove her value proposition.

What is IT service management?

The IT service management contains all principles and procedures which serve the performance of reliable, economic IT services appropriate for users. The IT user as a customer is in the focus of the consideration. His 
contentment is reached by the delivery of the IT services in the exactly required or desired quality.
As IT services we signify a specific achievement (e.g., e-mail or internet access) that consists of IT products (hardware and software), services and a summary of a huge number of different IT processes.

Are there any standards?

International standards (ISO 20000, ISO2700) and approved frameworks like CobiT ® and ITIL ® give orientation and help to develop a strategically IT management as well as an efficient IT service management. They provide support in the process of becoming a professional customer oriented IT service provider.

Which use do standards have?

For the reaching of these objectives is it not enough to simply realise single best practice approaches segregated.  While establishing  an effective and efficient  IT service management it comes to synergy effects by the reconciliation and the combination of the rather formal COBIT,  control objectives containing best practice approaches of ITIL. The international standards ISO 20000 and ISO 27000 combine the frameworks.  With this help, the guidelines concerning the strategically orientation and increase of efficiency of the IT service management according to the legal requirements and the risk management could be synchronised. The efficiency of the IT service management and the IT security management can be proved by a certification according to ISO standards.

What is CobiT?

CobiT (control objectives for information and related technology) is the internationally approved framework to the IT governance and arranges the tasks of the IT into processes and control objectives (controlling objectives, control standards). Herewith CobiT does not define HOW the requirements are to be realised but only WHAT is to be realised.

CobiT has developed itself from being a tool of IT examiners (auditors) to a tool of the IT controlling from an enterprise point of view. CobiT has been developed on the basis of COSO to guarantee the integration of the IT governance into the corporate governance.

The Control Objectives agreed in CobiT are divided into 34 processes which guarantee an adequate information capacity according to the requirements of the enterprise.

Based on the companies objectives IT targets must be set, which in turn influence the architecture of IT.
In this connection adequate defined running IT processes guarantee the information processing, the management of IT resources (staff, technology, data, application) and the providing of services. 

CobiT supports IT Governance by the supply of a framework and defines the following nuclear areas of the IT governance:

  • Strategic alignment.
  • Value delivery
  • Resource management
  • Risk management
  • Performance management

In the past many negative examples have shown that some enterprises did not survive on the basis of missing or defective control mechanism. Basel II and the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) not least originated from of a lack of care while dealing with operational risks.

In this connection CobiT becomes more important today. CobiT supports the control of all IT processes and is aimed primarily at revisions of aspects. The CobiT framework pursues in particular the aspects of truth and security and guarantees the IT governance in the operation of IT services.

What is ITIL?

The infrastructure IT Library (ITIL) is an internationally approved framework for IT service management. ITIL describes a systematic, professional action for the management of IT services and offers with it a framework, the concept, control and optimisation of the IT service processes. The framework puts emphatically the meaning of the economic fulfilment of the enterprise requirements in the centre.

Besides, the necessary condition is the indispensable readiness to the change in the direction of customer orientation and service orientation. It requires an adaptation of the prevailing service culture in many enterprises.

With the help of ITIL a clear vocabulary of concepts should be created in the service management area in order to simplify the communication.

Which building blocks does the IT service management have?

In the following graphic arts the service processes demanded by the ISO20000 are shown. According to the requirements of the ISO these processes being described in the norm have to be defined.


How to proceed?

Which use does IT service management have?

The introduction of an efficient IT service management occurs according to a structured procedure.
The continuous control cycle in the sense of “plan – do –check-act” enables a continuous adaptation and optimisation of the service management in the context of a continuously changing business area.

By the introduction of an efficient IT service management the following targets, amongst others, are set:

  • Improved adjustment of the IT according to the requirements of the enterprise.
  • Cost reduction
  • Optimisation of achievements and efficiency
  • Increase of service quality
  • Improvement of customer satisfaction
  • Creation of transparency
  • Fulfilment of legal requirements
  • Reduced discovery of risk