Understanding Information Technology Infrastructure Library v3 Foundation – Part 1

This is what I Say: – “ITIL is the one of the methodology in delivering IT Service Mgmt. for Service Providers to give value meeting the Customer’s Expectation in agreed SLA.”

I wish I could jot down what I meant in above statement, this blog page wouldn’t be enough for it.

Some time back I had this opportunity to go through this training called ITIL Foundation v3, had known its worth and why it is important to apply in our professional activities as well as our personal life too. I should thank IBM for this opportunity and availed the benefits out from it. I would like to especially thank the Trainer from whom I got this knowledge – Ganesh Shrishrimal, holds an ITIL Expert Certification with good Industry experiences.

Moreover the concepts were cleared and I realized it is very much essentials for the IT people to know this methodology and apply it to our day to day activities.

I would like to share what I have learned and hope it will be informative to you. I will not take you through the whole syllabus but to the important topics which is essential to know.

To start with let us know what ITIL is and why we need to practice this in an organization and where it came from…?

The UK government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in 1980 developed a set of recommendations, standards, and framework for an organization to improve its IT Service Management independently. ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, it is a collection of books that covers specific best practices with IT Service Management. ITIL has been updated with its versions from time to time as required and currently V3 is the latest.

ITIL has five major volumes as below mentioned and I will take you through the overview what I know and actually like about it.

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement

Let’s understand one by one a bit in details – Read from the Service Provider perspective.

1. Service Strategy:

It is known as conceptualization of value creation, as said this was the important point what I understood and it means a lot. It talks about the ability to create value which is created and delivered. A clear identification of the services to the customer who use them. It precisely clarifies how services will be delivered and funded to whom it will be delivered and for what purpose. It helps in forecasting the means to understand the organization capabilities to deliver the service. It helps to know which services will achieve the strategy, what level of investment will be required, at what level of demand and the means to ensure a working relationship exists between the customer and service provider. There are different type of customers and its businesses but here the strategic part would be for service provider deliver services meeting customer business outcomes.

Let us now know in phrase about the important topics which are involved in Service Strategy.

There are two important aspects which needs to be considered for the value creation that is combination of utility (fit for purpose) and Warranty (Secure)

Service Catalog – Offerings made known towards the customer

Service Portfolio – A set of services that is managed by a Service Provider

IT Governance – It is to ensure there is fairness, control, transparency and accountability of the services provided to the customer

Business Case – It also called business justification which supports and help in planning tool that projects the likely consequence of business action.

Risk Management – Uncertainty of outcome whether a positive opportunity or negative threat. It is also something the term called “that might happen”.

Service Provider Type – There are 3 types of service providers called Internal, Shared & External

Patterns of Business Activity – It influences customer behavior by differential charging, penalty, reward and timeouts.

Financial Management – It provides budgeting, accounting and charging requirement.

Business Relationship Management – It establishes and maintain a business relationship between the service provider and the customer based on the understanding and its business needs.

There is so much to talk about on above topics of which I do not want go in depth here but would move on to the next phase i.e. Service Design

2. Service Design

The purpose is to design IT services, together with the governing IT practices, process and policies to realize the service provider’s strategy and to facilitate the customer’s delivery and satisfaction. The main objective here is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership, improve quality of services, easier implementation of new or changed services. It looks at identifying, defining and aligning the IT solution with the business requirement.

Service design is not something which is planned in isolation/individual element rather it considers overall service like the management information tools, the architects, the technology, the service management process and the necessary measurements and metrics to ensure not only the functional elements are addressed by design but also that all of the management and operational requirement are addressed as fundamental part of the design and are not added as an afterthought.

Let us know in phrase about the important topics involved in Service Strategy.

4 P’s – You must have already heard about the 3 P’s but here comes the all 4 P’s which talks about People, Process, Products(Technology) & Partners(Suppliers).  It is very much self-explanatory, implementing ITIL is all about preparing, planning the effective and efficient use of the 4 P’s.

Service Design Package – It is the document defining all aspect of an IT service and requirement through each stage of its life cycle. It is an output of a service design one or more combined phase which goes as an input to Service Transition.

Service Level Management – The purpose is to ensure that all current and planned IT services are delivered to agreed achievable targets. It ensures that IT and customers have a clear and unambiguous expectation of the level of service to be delivered. It includes three types of agreements as mentioned below.

  • SLA – Service Level Agreement (between SP & Customer)
  • OLA – Operational Level Agreement (between Internal Team of SP with different customers)
  • Contracts – Underpinning (between SP & Supplier)

Service Level Agreement Monitoring – It charts the details performance against the SLA targeted together with details of any trend or specific actions being undertaken to improve service quality. The SLAM reporting mechanisms, intervals and reports formats must be defined and agreed with the customers.

Service Catalog Management – It maintains a single source of consistent information on all services currently being offered to customer. The objective is to reflect the current details, status, interfaces and dependencies of all services that are being run or being prepared to run, in the live environment according to the defined policies.

Availability Management – It ensures the level of availability delivered in all IT services meets the agreed availabilities needs or service level targets in a cost-effective and timely manner. It includes two types of activities called Reactive (Monitoring/Measuring/Analyzing) & Proactive (planning/designing).

FARMS – You better know the full form for this as Fault tolerance, Availability, Reliability, Maintainability and Serviceability.

Information Security Management – This is to align security with business security and ensure that confidentiality, integrity and availability of the organization assets, information, data & IT services always meets the agreed needs of the business

Supplier Management – It is to obtain value for money from suppliers and to provide seamless quality of IT service to business by ensuring that all contracts and agreements with the suppliers support the needs of the business and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.

Capacity Management – It is to ensure the capacity of IT service and the IT infrastructure meets the agreed capacity and performance related requirement in a cost effective and timely manner. It is concerned with meeting both the current and future capacity and performance needs of the business.

IT Continuity Management – It is to support the overall business continuity management process by ensuring that by managing the risks that could easily affect IT services, the IT service provider can always provide minimum agreed business continuity related service level.

Business Impact Analysis – The purpose is to quantify the impact to the business that loss of service would have. This could be hard (financial loss) or soft impact (public relation). The BIA will identify the most important services to the organization and will therefore be a key input to the strategy, it is also called as business justification.

Design Coordination – It coordinates all design activities across projects, changes, suppliers and support teams and manages schedules, resources and conflicts where required.

See you soon in the next and final part of this series…stay tuned!

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One Response to Understanding Information Technology Infrastructure Library v3 Foundation – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Understanding Information Technology Infrastructure Library v3 Foundation – Part 2 | Expert's of Symantec, Microsoft & Citrix Technologies….!

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