Vendor report: Service Management; Making the Grade

The majority of companies are making changes within their IT organisations in an effort to align IT initiatives with corporate goals. Underlying this objective is the construction of an integrated portfolio of services

In a market that decrees only the strongest survive, more often than not, the IT infrastructure is the element that makes or breaks a business’ staying power.

This pushes companies to invest more in, and expect more from, their technology resources. So to make sure they are getting the maximum benefit from this outlay, organisations are directing their attention toward closing the chasm that has traditionally divided IT from the corporate objectives. Closing this chasm requires organisations to improve service excellence – starting with creating value within IT development and into managing value with IT operations. Instead, companies are striving to close the divide between IT and business. Gartner Research found that 70% of companies are making changes within their IT organisations in an effort to align IT initiatives with corporate goals.

Underlying this objective is the construction of an integrated portfolio of services built around the idea that IT empowers business performance. Companies that are able to accomplish IT and business alignment across the full IT service lifecycle (business management, development, and operations) in order to create service excellence can expect to see a big pay off in terms of improved IT performance and business resilience. Of course, reaching this point requires real dedication on the behalf of both the IT organisation and the business itself.

So with a vision of IT being in perfect synch with the business, companies prepare to undertake grand service management strategies. Yet all too often they find they have either overreached from the start, are not sure where to start or are still taking too much of a siloed approach to service management – spending too much on the labour costs of managing equipment and software rather than looking for ways to use IT to drive corporate growth.

So what should a company do to do to ensure a successful service management strategy? Well, for starters businesses should begin by taking a hard look at their own processes across the IT service lifecycle to identify where there is room for improvement. IBM has created an instrument which helps organisations do exactly that. This tool helps to evaluate current processes to better understand where they are in terms of supplying the IT services that drive innovation and corporate success.

The IBM Service Management Self-Assessment provides businesses with a comprehensive set of questions to help determine where there is room for improvement within their organisations, and where they are succeeding.

The Service Management Self Assessment provides the answers organisations need to consider their IT processes and the role they play in service management as a whole. IT managers can use this self- assessment to evaluate which process improvements they need to make a priority, and which require less attention, based on their business needs. The Service Management Self-Assessment also offers companies guidelines as to how they can structure a service management strategy which can in turn benefit the business’ bottom line.

IBM guides businesses through the evaluation by breaking down technology processes by category. The tool is comprehensive, covering everything from IT customer relationships, IT direction, software delivery with IT development, IT Operational Services, IT Resilience, and IT administration. The tool takes the participants’ answers and then serves up some advice on how to better improve service processes to help achieve corporate objectives.

The result is a thorough business evaluation that can deliver the actionable guidance that companies can translate into a more effective service management strategy. This can be the critical first step businesses need to take to achieve real IT/business alignment. Try it today.

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