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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Key Activities and Functions in Service Operation

In the previous chapters, we learnt what Service Operation is and how valuable it is to the organization. Service Operation is not a standalone activity. There are a number of processes that are performed as part of Service Operations. They are:
Event Management: This is the process responsible for the monitoring of all events throughout the IT infrastructure and applications to ensure normal operation. Event Management is there to detect, escalate and react to exceptions.
Incident Management: This is the process for dealing with all Incidents. These may be Incidents where service is being disrupted or where service has not yet been disrupted.
Request Fulfillment: This is the process that carries out Service Requests from users. Request Fulfillment covers Standard Change requests, requests for information and complaints. From a Service Desk perspective, the process of Request Fulfillment tends to cover all the calls that are neither Incidents nor relate to Problems.
Problem Management: This process is responsible for the management of all Problems in the IT infrastructure. The process includes root cause analysis and arriving at the resolution of Problems. Problem Management remains responsible until resolutions are implemented via the processes of Change Management and Release Management.
Access Management: This process enables users with the correct level of authorization to access an application or service. It is also ensures that those without the required level of authorization are not able to access applications and services. Access Management allows an organization to control access to applications and services.
The functions of Service Operation are:
The Service Desk: This conducts a number of processes, in particular Incident Management and Request Fulfillment. The Service Desk is made up of a group of staff trained to deal with service events. Service Desk staff will have access to the necessary tools to manage these events. The Service Desk ought to be the single point of contact for IT users within an organization.
Technical Management: This is the function that provides the resources and ensures that knowledge of relevant technologies is kept up to date. Technical Management covers all the teams or areas that support the delivery of technical knowledge and expertise. This includes teams such as Networks, Mainframe, Middleware, Desktop, Server and Database.
Application Management: This will manage applications through the totality of their lifecycle. This starts with the first business ‘idea’ and completes when the application is taken out of service. Application Management is involved in the design, testing and continual improvement of applications and the services that the applications support.
IT Operations Management: This is responsible for operating the organization’s IT infrastructure and applications on a day to day basis.

The area which delivers the value has been modeled and designed elsewhere, so Service Operation will have many interfaces to processes that are part of the other Lifestyle phases, in particular Service Asset and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management, Knowledge Management, IT Service Continuity Management and Service Level Management.

Good communication is crucial for Service Operation. There needs to be active communication between IT teams and departments and with business areas and users. Members of staff undertaking Service Operation processes should be aware of the requirement to communicate on a regular basis with members of staff conducting other processes.

One should remember, however, that effective communication must have an understood purpose and, ideally, a specified audience. Too much communication without specific purpose or desired outcome can and usually will be counterproductive. Information overload tends to dull people’s attention to new information, and this can be just as bad as not communicating.

Previous: Goals of Service Operation

Next: Introduction to Continual Service Improvement

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