White Paper Case Study: How Collaboration Platforms Support the ITIL Best Practices Standard

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1 White Paper Case Study: How Collaboration Platforms Support the ITIL Best Practices Standard Abstract: This white paper outlines the ITIL industry best practices methodology and discusses the methods in which employing a collaborative knowledge management platform can significantly contribute to the success of an organization's ITIL implementation. We will also discuss ways collaboration technologies empower organizational effectiveness and harness the full strengths of the competencies contained within the ITIL methodology.

2 Background The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) encapsulates a wide variety of information technology best practices into a comprehensive single standard. Originally published by the United Kingdom government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) to promote a common standard for information technology services management, development, and operations, the initial version (ITIL v1), published between 1989 and 1996, quickly grew to over 30 volumes. In April 2001 the CCTA merged into the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), an office of the UK Treasury, who, in 2006, collected the previous knowledge base and published an updated volume of industry best practices (ITIL v2). In May 2007, the Office of Government Commerce released a new version (ITIL v3) published in five volumes arranged around the concepts of the continuous service lifecycle. ITIL and the Continuous Service Lifecycle The core approach of the ITIL methodology is to provide guidance and best practice processes to complement organizations in reaching their strategic business objectives. ITIL is a comprehensive service management approach to ensure organizations are providing the best available services to their customers and also incorporates methods for continual service improvement. The service lifecycle revolves around the business's service strategy to implement service design, transition, and operation to reach the objectives of the service strategy, and provides guidance for service improvement at any stage of the lifecycle. Five volumes encompass ITIL v3 and the Service Lifecycle, which will be examined in further detail. 1. ITIL Service Strategy 2. ITIL Service Design 3. ITIL Service Transition 4. ITIL Service Operation 5. ITIL Continual Service Improvement Service Strategy Service strategy invokes methods of developing and refining a comprehensive service strategy to align with internal and external business objectives. The scope of service strategy is to define a comprehensive strategy to develop markets and service offerings, create service portfolios and catalogs, form financial and demand management metrics, and provide a roadmap for organizational development. An organization's service portfolio represents the complete set of services managed by the provider and is the most critical management system supporting its services. The portfolio includes a pipeline for new

3 and emerging services, a catalog of services currently available to customers, an archive of services that have been retired, and business services managed by third parties. Service Design Service design begins with a comprehensive service strategy and ends with a fully developed service solution to meet the needs of an organization. Service design involves identifying processes to satisfy business objectives, developing measurement methods and metrics to assess organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and producing policies, standards, architectures, frameworks, and documents for use in the design of quality information technology solutions. The service design methodology applies to both new and existing services and should define the roles, responsibilities, and skills required to successfully implement the design. Service Transition Service transition involves implementing new or modifying existing service designs for transition into the operational environment. It includes features to analyze and understand the levels of risk associated with implementing changes and releases into the existing service environment and provides thorough evaluation and analysis prior to their release. By developing a robust service transition process, organizations are able to ensure the stability of the operational environment, permitting high volumes of changes and releases to improve the value of services while mitigating potential risks to business operations. The service transition process includes processes to ensure the smooth transition of proposed changes for release into the environment. Changes are classified into three categories depending on their urgency and impact to the business: standard, normal, and emergency. Standard changes are pre- approved by the organization's change manager and are characterized by their low risk and high frequency. These changes have been exhaustively examined, contain well- documented procedures, and are typically implemented in response to an operational incident. Normal changes undergo an in- depth assessment to determine the full extent of their impact to the environment. Proposed changes are evaluated by a Change Advisory Board (CAB) for their merit. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the change manager to approve or disapprove proposed changes based on input from the CAB. Remediation planning is an important aspect of the change evaluation process. By incorporating a back- out plan, the organization can ensure the efficacy of the operational environment if the change is not successful. Emergency changes may only be introduced for critical changes needed to either restore highly important or widespread service failure, or changes that may prevent the imminent failure of high value services. It may not be possible to convene the full CAB to evaluate emergency changes. Instead, an emergency CAB (ECAB) composed of a small subset of individuals with the authority to make emergency decisions.

4 Release and deployment management methodologies are employed to develop, schedule, and deploy releases into the production environment. In association with the change management process, release and deployment management ensure that new or existing services undergoing changes meet the defined service requirements and deliver the agreed utility, warranty, and service levels to customers. Comprehensive documentation is paramount for evaluating changes and developing deployment releases. Documentation also permits the inclusion of knowledge management processes for archiving and may be used for historical reference in evaluating future releases. Service transition also includes methods for knowledge management, which involves maintaining the configuration management system (CMS). A CMS may incorporate data from several configuration management databases, definitive media libraries, as well as other sources. The CMS houses the details of all components within the IT infrastructure and also correlates their interrelationships. The service transition process is only effective if a business effectively monitors to ensure the configuration management database maintains an accurate representation of the actual operational environment. Service Operation Upon completion of the transition process, a service enters into the operational phase of the continuous service lifecycle. This is the stage where the strategies, designs, and operational transitions are executed and measured. Service operation utilizes the people, infrastructure, and processes to deliver agreed- upon service levels to the business and its customers. Processes contained in the service operation methodology include request fulfillment, event, incident, and problem management, and are typically facilitated by teams organized into a unified service desk, who acts as the gateway into the IT organization. The service desk's primary responsibilities include event and incident management. Service desk agents collect event and incident information for initial evaluation and, in many cases, resolution. They analyze events which are typically notifications created by a service monitoring tool and may be classified as informational, warning, or exception events. Events typically do not generate incidents, but reoccurring events or a collection of many similar events may warrant an investigation. Incidents are unplanned interruptions or reductions in the quality of service which are classified and prioritized according to their relative impact and urgency to the service and are used in conjunction with service level agreements to identify the target resolution time. Incidents may be resolved by the service desk or escalated functionally or hierarchically for resolution. The service desk is responsible for implementing workarounds to restore a degraded service level in the case a complete resolution is not available and also responds to requests submitted by customers. Problems arise from incidents or collections of incidents whose root cause cannot be determined by the service desk or incident management teams. The problem management team typically identifies problems within the environment as it receives functional escalations from incident management. They

5 are responsible for correlating incidents and identifying resolutions to problems. Once a resolution has been determined that successfully restores the services impacted by the incident, the solution is entered into a known error database. The known error database is utilized by the service desk and incident management teams to quickly resolve known errors where documented resolutions are available. Continual Service Improvement The goal of continual service improvement is to ensure IT services provide value to an organization by enhancing its key business processes. Continual service improvement, as the name implies, is an ongoing process to identify strategic business processes and implement and improve the IT services that contribute to their successful execution. By periodically reviewing and analyzing key performance indicators, the continual service improvement process seeks to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of service management processes. The continual service improvement process includes enterprise and corporate governance measures to promote fairness, transparency, accountability, and conformance to the strategic objectives of the business. Identifying a baseline is the first stage to instituting measures for continual service improvement. By assessing the current situation, the organization can establish an accurate, unbiased standard for which future assessments of services can be evaluated. Determining critical success factors is also an important phase in the continual service improvement process. Key performance indicators are used to measure the performance of critical success factors and are used in conjunction with the organizational mission statement to progress a business and its services to achieve the company vision. Once an improvement to an existing service has been identified, or a new service is proposed, the continuous lifecycle initiates the service strategy, design, transition, and eventually operation processes to introduce the new service into the operational environment. Piecewise Implementation Implementing ITIL can seem like an overwhelming task. After all, it is a comprehensive compendium of best practice processes and procedures that encompass a significant portion of a business. The simplest approach is to organize your business processes around the ITIL methodology prior to the inception of the business, but for organizations already in place, how should they approach the daunting task or re- organizing their business processes around ITIL best practices? Industry experts around the world have several different viewpoints regarding the most effective methods of implementing ITIL, but are in agreement on one topic: implementing the ITIL methodology into your organization's business processes is best accomplished in a piecewise deployment. A piecewise implementation approach allows the organization to realign their business processes to best practices standards in manageable

6 slices. This approach also allows project managers to set clearly defined implementation milestones, which are important to demonstrate to project participants, management, and stakeholders, and indicate incremental successes to others within the business. ITIL is a methodology and suite of industry best practices, but the individual technologies working to support the processes are not included in the collective standard. It is the responsibility of the host IT department to work in conjunction with subject matter experts and stakeholders to provide a suite of tools and applications to support the organizational processes and procedures. The process and procedure development stage of an ITIL implementation is the best time to discuss the tools that will enable individual contributors, developers, project managers, and management to ensure the newly developed processes can be supported, monitored, and reported upon in an effective and efficient manner. Service Management Technology The selection of the most suitable service management technologies to coincide with an organization's ITIL implementation is a key contributing factor to its success. Regardless of what these technologies may be, they should provide features to optimize business services by increasing automation and operational efficiency, facilitating process improvement, and ensuring standards and conventions are followed. Service management technologies permit an organization to analyze processes by normalizing the human resources factor and also allow you to model proposed changes in a simulated environment, thereby permitting identification of business impacts through comprehensive service analytics. Practical Knowledge Management A practical knowledge management solution should be robust enough to provide features that incorporate all aspects of the continuous lifecycle, from service strategy to continual service improvement. It should present constructs for achieving a reliable, trusted, secure, scalable, agile infrastructure and provide metrics to track and monitor progress. The most effective knowledge management solutions evolve to contain these features in addition to improving and advancing collaboration within the user community. Collaborative management solutions leverage technology to maximize an organization's most critical asset: KNOWLEDGE. By increasing communication, awareness, and effective collaboration, businesses are afforded the opportunity to utilize the collective intelligence of individual contributors within their workforce to enhance processes and procedures. By providing a mechanism for subject matter experts and process adopters to interact in a collaborative and ongoing manner, process owners and users have a unified platform to contribute their collective knowledge towards enhancing business services. Employing a collaborative knowledge management platform, like the ITIL methodology, is best accomplished in a piecewise deployment and can be developed in direct alignment and in conjunction

7 with an organization's ITIL implementation. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the IT department to provide application support to the business. However, it is the responsibility of the business to engage and work in association with the IT organization to create an environment individual contributors can easily use, and one the IT department can scale to meet the increasing demands of the organization. Collaboration platforms accomplish both requirements. Their ease of use allows users to develop content that is meaningful to them and their peers, and permits the organization's web developers and publishers to apply their expertise to other areas of focus more aptly aligned with business goals and objectives. The modular framework allows the simple integration of lightweight tools to aid individual contributors in performing their daily duties and also permits the consolidation of third party applications into a unified platform through effective application program interface (API) integration. All the processes, procedures, tools, and reports the organization uses on a daily basis are available in one central location and can be viewed and shared with any member of the community. Software as a Service Software as a service defines an information technology framework in which an application or set of applications is hosted over the Internet or local Intranet for the purpose of providing software to a group of users without the need to install large application packages on host computer systems. The application instead resides on a web server or other hosting device to facilitate system access to users without the need to purchase large volumes of individual software licenses and may be an effective business approach to reducing the cost of volume licensing. Given the current strides in new technology, the world is becoming increasingly net- centric. While the software as a service model was originally deployed for sales force automation and customer relationship management, organizations have recently adopted the SaaS model to implement computerized billing, web- based training and conferencing, resource management, community collaboration, process documentation, and service desk management. Software as a service architectures are highly scalable, require fewer resources to implement and maintain, and allow an information technology organization to devote valuable resources to other areas of business importance. Strategic Business Objectives The purpose of the Information Technology Information Library is to help businesses reach their strategic objectives and enable the services and individuals within the organization to aid in achieving the organizational vision of the future. By implementing the ITIL management best practices, organizations are provided a proven framework that has demonstrated its value to business by ensuring the processes and services it has implemented effectively meet the needs of and provide value for its customers.

8 The ITIL framework is by no means a comprehensive business strategy. However, when utilized effectively and in conjunction with other proven business methodologies, it is a valuable tool for increasing operational efficiency, providing effective service delivery and operation, and enhancing the internal and external services organizations provide to their customers. A collaborative workplace enhances the already effective processes envisioned under this methodology. Business environments built upon demonstrated achievement and well- documented practices where the organization's most valuable assets, its people, are able and willing to contribute to the prosperity of the business and its services, is a formula for success. Effective Collaboration In the Information Age, knowledge is power. Increasingly, an organization's individuals and offices are distributed across the globe. The ability of an organization's workforce to communicate and share information is paramount to the implementation and execution of successful business strategy. The capability to create, share, and retain knowledge is collaboration's most important attribute. Without a forum for the community to contribute to the collective intelligence of an organization, ideas and individual expertise may be lost. This is especially true when key contributors leave the organization; they also take the knowledge they gained with them. If the workforce collaborates, experts in a subject area can provide their unique insight to the collective intelligence so a less experienced employee or contributor in a different department has access to important information. By empowering individual contributors within the workforce to contribute to the effectiveness of business services and the organizational vision, employees gain a valuable feeling of belonging within the community. This feeling of acceptance and importance within the community encourages individuals to contribute their knowledge in areas their expertise may enhance the services a business offer to its customers. These platforms allow every individual to see in real time how the contributions they are making to the collective intelligence are advancing business success. Learn More WiiKno offers full life- cycle support for driving successful collaboration in addition to valuable new ways of leveraging information by designing and developing customized solutions tailored to your organization s needs. Our team utilizes Web 2.0 technologies to create collaboration solutions that harness the collective knowledge of a workforce and help reach business goals more quickly and efficiently. WiiKno s custom collaboration solutions allow for effective knowledge capture and preservation through intuitive information sharing, are highly customizable, and adaptable to meet the demands of your organization's ITIL architecture. To learn more about our services and solutions, please visit our website or send us an .

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