Shaping IT Service Management at The Hartree Centre: Introduction

The first in a series of blog posts from Dave Cable, Head of Service Operations here at The Hartree Centre, gives us a gentle introduction in to the world of IT Service Management. Look out for future posts covering service operationservice design, and continual service improvement.

What is IT Service Management?

IT Service Management (ITSM) is the proper design, governance and operation of IT-related services to meet agreed customer needs within predictable cost and efficiency bounds.  It brings together policies, processes and people with the common goal of service delivery and continuous improvement.

Why is it important?

Any IT service provider requires a clear idea of what it is they are trying to deliver and to whom.  The provider also needs to understand the costs of providing services alongside any financial returns.  ITSM provides a mechanism for businesses to be able to meet these requirements.

What are the benefits of ITSM?

For customers, the benefits include predictable levels of service, routine performance metrics and well-defined communication paths with the provider.  For service providers, the benefits include happy customers, alignment of IT services with business needs, well-regulated costs and opportunities to win new business.  For funding bodies, benefits include assurance of the service provider’s competence, value for money and performance monitoring.

How is the Hartree Centre implementing ITSM?

We are adopting processes and functions from the ITSM framework known as ITIL. ITIL is a widely-adopted approach to ITSM, now in its fourth generation and has incorporated best practice from experiences of many organisations over the last 30 years.  It is vendor-neutral and non-proscriptive, which gives organisations the freedom to implement as little or as much of the framework as they require. The current version of ITIL (the 2011 edition) is service-oriented and describes the service life-cycle in five publications.  The four “core” publications are:

  • Service strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • The fifth publication, “Continuous improvement”, underpins all of these.

In the Hartree Centre, we have taken a targeted approach to ITIL, by adopting certain processes and functions from the areas of Service Operation, Service Transition, Service Design and Continual Service Improvement.  I’ll describe how we use each of these in forthcoming blog posts over the next few weeks.

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