Management of IT operations
IT operations is the IT field, which focuses on care about IT infrastructure that support the operation of business processes. IT Operations is responsible for: management of IT infrastructure – network services, OS services, Internet application services, application management … (support at the level of interference in the source code of applications are mostly outsorced to software development/maintenance teams).
Classification of IT operations
IT operations can be divided into two main groups:
1. internal and shared IT provider – provide IT operations for one or more internal customers, ie. customer and provider of IT operations are single company (and therefore this single company bears all risks and costs of IT). A typical representatives are large multinational companies (eg. banks, telco,..) and other needed some tight integration between dev and ops teams.
2. external IT provider – provider of IT services and customers are from various companies in the business relationship. External IT provider consists mostly companies whose core business is the provisioning of IT operations.
IT Operations provides IT services (to support the functioning of company business processes). For management IT service for IT operations exist several proven process methodologies such as ITIL (the most common methodology for IT service management for IT operations, and it’s a basic source which I use for that purpose), MOF (IT service management according to Microsoft), COBIT (especially suitable for IT strategy) … in combination with agile methodologies (eg. kanban, lean, ..).
processes for management IT services in IT operations
Service Strategy: identify and consolidate information on the strategy of IT services, which should be in line with the company strategy and thus find answers to questions such as .:
– About the problem: Who are our customers? what are their needs? why they feel it?
prioritization of needs by relevance to the customer.
– About the solution: how do we satisfy this needs, what IT services should we provide and to whom precisely provide it, why customer should buy IT services from us (analysis of competing IT services)?
– The economic aspect of solutions (ie. A financial and cost management) required resources, capabilities and procurement, costing and revenue, financial indicators (especially TCO, ROI, profitability)
Service design: from the previous phases we have the information what, why, (just about) and at this stage it is goal design details exactly how a solution will be achieved. The output is a set of informations(requirements, contracts, transtion operational plans, metrics, …) to the proposed process, ie. this phase primarily consists:
– Service Level Management- a description of the quality of services through contracts to customers (SLA), suppliers (UC), internal departments (OLA)
– Supplier Relationship Management
– Proposal for a new / modification of the existing IT services holistic approach (ie integrated with the planning, existing technical architecture of company). Process in more detail previous strategy phase (required management and technology architecture, resources and skills, their procurement, …).
– Parameters of the proposed IT services (capacity, availability, security)
– Processes (optional and detailed description ie. Work instruction) and the role, what informations and with whom to share, how to share and integrate them into relevant processes and roles.
– Measurement (design metrics, KPIs)
– Risk management (ie mitigate / eliminate risks) IT services
Service Transition: content of this phase is primarily:
development, deployment, testing change requests of IT services. Depending on the type of change request(application request requiring programmer intervention, IT operations request requiring administrator intervention ..) select the appropriate type and (project) management type.
Service operations: operations of designed IT services(processes, roles and their interactions, technical tools, …) in accordance with the SLA ie. content of this phase is primarily:
registration, categorization, prioritization, escalation, reactive / proactive solving various requests (incidents, change, problem tickets), monitoring services (ie. events), recording the current state of IT infrastructure configuration.
Continual service improvement: measure designed KPIs
Based on findings update some of the previous phases.
Agile methodologies through the implementation process
The actual implementation of the chosen methodology is appropriate to do agile way (ie. Sequentially prioritized, incremental, iterative, cyclical) thereby already in the early stages identifies weaknesses / what does not work, teaching, and depending on the detected information to constantly market improved solutions (see more in section Agile). e.g. in the case of ITIL in many cases it is not necessary from the beginning to pass on the expensive helpdesk tool supporting all ITIL processes (ITIL certified by Pink Elephant) and thus also implement all ITIL processes, but conveniently implemented according to priorities selected parts of ITIL to the test sample and, if successful scale (ie. Lean Agile approach).
Agile form of implementation selected methodology
Implementation of selected methodology is appropriate to do in agile way (ie. by priorities, incremental, iterative, cyclical) thereby already in the early stages identifies weaknesses / what does not work, learning, and depending on the detected information constantly improve solution(see more in agile ). e.g. in the case of ITIL in many cases it is not necessary from the beginning implement expensive helpdesk tool with full support of ITIL processes (ITIL certified by Pink Elephant) and also implement all ITIL processes, but suitable is implement support only for selected IT processes with high priority, then test it on sample, and if works scale it(ie. Lean Agile approach).
Recommended methodologies for managing IT operations
# Suitable methodology to manage the full lifecycle of IT services in IT operations is ITIL.
-For Type 2 (ie. outsourced IT operations) recommend full implementation of the processes according to the ITIL, including a comprehensive integrated ITIL Tool.
-for 1. Type (ie. internal IT operations) recommend implementation of selected ITIL processes. Most often these are mainly the partial coverage of ITIL processes service operations + change management, service level management, configuration and asset management. It is advisable to inspire in:
-ITIL Lite methodology (which is designed for the context of the implementation of selected ITIL processes) and in it’s advisable implementation of “light” service desk tool, or a combination of several light tool (eg. ORTS, GPLI …).
# For SaaS providers who provide internal IT operations for single application / or a very small number of applications, it is appropriate to consider the implementation of “light” service desk as a module (often such a module) in Project Management Tool of software team.
# DEVOPS it is useful in the transition from the development of services (Service Transition) to service operations. DevOps consists of a set of agile principles and tools supporting collaboration, automation.
# For the strategy phase should inspired in the methodologies
-in the creation / editing business model of the company it’s suitable to inspire in selected strategic management tools (eg. BMC, SWOT, Porter analysis, market analysis, …)
# Service at the stage of transition, it is appropriate to inspire in the agile project management methodologies .
# At the service improvement stage can inspire in addition to ITIL CSI also in other process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma.