Table of contents. Standardizing IT Service Management. Best practices based on HP experience in ITSM consolidation. White paper

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1 Standardizing IT Service Management Best practices based on HP experience in ITSM consolidation White paper Table of contents Go!... 2 Benefits and challenges... 2 The HP approach to standardizing ITSM Establish an IT operations communications hub for service Implement core processes for incident first Open the door to further efficiencies with change Ramp up IT value with self-service and other operational efficiencies Why HP for ITSM standardization?... 7 The solution... 7 The options... 8 The expertise... 8 Learn more... 8

2 Go! At some point in every IT initiative, executive managers stop asking, Should we?, and start asking, How long will it take? That is where we are with IT Service Management standardization. Enterprises have begun to reap the benefits of data center consolidation, so CIOs have turned their attention to the existence of multiple service desks and disparate IT processes and now demand the same efficiencies and cost savings in IT Service Management (ITSM). There are skeptics. IT staff in individual businesses fears loss of control and declining service quality. But increasingly, the decision from the top is to standardize. IT operations managers must find ways to complete standardization projects on time and on budget and to demonstrate the expected returns. And, by the way, businesses would like improved service at the same time. HP provides HP Service Manager software and complementary HP Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery options to help you implement effective, cost efficient service desks and the IT processes that make them work. Our pragmatic approach is designed to help IT achieve three goals: Increase measurable IT value to the business. Reduce costs through service automation. Lower risk through centralized and enforced processes. This paper explains how we do it. We ll touch briefly on the benefits, but in many organizations, the case is already made. For IT organizations striving to step up to the role of a true IT service provider, standardized, efficient service is a business basic. Standardization improves service levels, reduces costs, and enables IT to meet compliance objectives better. Benefits and challenges The case for ITSM standardization is compelling. Participants in a study performed by King Research 1 reported that after consolidation, service desk staff reduced the time spent on entering, updating, and managing tickets by 30%, and the time spent on maintenance events by almost 70%. At the same time, participants resolved 75% of incidents on the first call, compared to 60% previously, and reduced the number of incidents referred to tier 2 and tier 3 specialists; all this while cutting service desk overtime pay in half. Kellogg Company experienced similar results with a project to standardize change processes. They increased the number of error-free changes by 40% and reduced the number of risky emergency changes by 50%. Kellogg was also able to reduce the time needed to provide change information to auditors by 85%. 2 Standardization cost savings go beyond operational efficiency. Organizations that bolt together disparate ITSM processes and supporting software create ongoing cost streams that drain resources and divert investment from innovation. According to King Research, organizations have reported savings of 30 % to 50% in software licenses and maintenance alone just by standardizing on a single software solution. Similarly, Forrester established the return on investment (ROI) of consolidating three instances of packaged applications to one to be more than 133% in the first year. 3 It is easy to see why top-level managers are asking operations staff to overcome the obstacles and move quickly to the benefits of standardization. Though the benefits and the directives are clear, there are challenges. Application owners and other IT staff in lines of business can be skeptical of programs that reduce the span of their control. They fear service levels delivered to users will decline. And they often object that their particular business is unique and requires the unique services and processes currently in place rather than a one size fits all approach. A high degree of integration is needed among ITSM processes and, therefore, among the systems that enable them. Service catalogs and requests initiated by users must flow seamlessly into the fulfillment and change processes. Ineffective changes often result in incidents, so change information must be available in the incident process. Similarly, problem is driven by knowledge of what incidents are caused by underlying problems that can be addressed and solved. 1 King Research, Benefits of service desk consolidation: in-depth customer interviews, February HP Software fuels service uptime at Kellogg Company, HP case study, September The ROI Of Packaged Apps Instance Consolidation, Forrester Research, Inc., May

3 Figure 1: Tight integration is required among ITSM processes. Core IT Service Management processes Knowledge Service catalog Request fulfillment Incident Change External systems Problem Service level Service reporting and measurement Since efficiency and effectiveness of ITSM processes improve when they can access information from other IT processes, ITSM systems should integrate with other systems that provide and manage IT services. For example, systems that discover or manage workstations, servers, network elements, databases, and applications have configuration information needed by ITSM. Large-scale strategic initiatives flow out of project and portfolio systems and often result in many individual changes, so visibility into these systems is important. It is a lot of integration, so ITSM software must enable IT staff to plan and implement it with increased efficiency and reduced risk. Finally, the job of rationalizing and standardizing inconsistent IT processes usually overshadows the technical tasks. This is a critical step because customizing software to address special cases can increase implementation time and risk. It is a common cause of projects going off track. To overcome these obstacles requires a pragmatic approach supported by robust software, best practices, and expert services. Let us look at how this works. The HP approach to standardizing ITSM Successful enterprises view ITSM standardization not as a change in software but as standardization of IT processes and enhanced communication between all functions. Standardization is a transformation process; software is one of the supporting elements. While the exact implementation plan may vary with the organization s situation and needs, completing projects on time and on budget is critical to the success of all IT organizations. Our approach to ITSM standardization is designed to deliver quick wins and rapid ROI. Here are the steps we find lead to success in most organizations: 1. Establish an IT operations communications hub for service. 2. Implement core processes for incident first. 3. Open the door to further efficiencies with change. 4. Ramp up IT value with self-service and other operational efficiencies. 3

4 Figure 2: ITIL v3 service lifecycle Service strategy Strategy generation Financial Service portfolio Demand generation Service operation Event Incident Request fulfillment Problem Access Continual service improvement (CSI) Seven-step improvement process Service measurement Service reporting Service design Service catalog Service level Capacity Availability IT service continuity Information security Supplier Service transition Transition planning and support Change Service asset and configuration Release and deployment Service validation and testing Evaluation Knowledge Priorities and implementation order may vary, but most successful efforts focus on steps one through three to achieve the control needed, and then follow-up with the additional services described in step four. Now let s drill down into each one. In each case, we ll explain the concept and then show how HP Service Manager software enables it. 1. Establish an IT operations communications hub for service. The service desk is the single point of contact between business users and IT, and it serves as a communication focal point within the IT organization. A consolidated service desk provides a single source of information regarding configuration items (CIs), organizations, users, and in-process activity. It is the integration point for the many systems that provide the data used in ITSM processes. Such an ITSM communications hub enhances information sharing, helps foster communication across IT functions, and enables meaningful reporting by providing consistent metrics for IT to gauge the success of services and the efficiency of operations. In addition to serving current needs better, a communications hub provides a platform to extend operations across the entire services lifecycle described by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as IT becomes a business-aligned service provider. (See Figure 2.) HP Service Manager enables a consolidated communications hub approach and provides the underpinnings for standardized service functions. It uses the HP Universal Configuration Management Database (CMDB) software a federated configuration system that enables easy integration with the systems IT already has in place. It provides the connection point for other service solution components, which can be added incrementally, and it provides a uniform set of metrics available through dashboard reports that enable IT to monitor and report on services continually. You can populate HP Universal CMDB automatically with HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping (DDM) software that discovers and maintains accurate inventory, application, configuration, and relationship information for IT infrastructure and services. HP DDM has built-in knowledge of many devices and applications, and it can also tap information in many HP and third-party systems. It makes sure everyone in IT is working with the most accurate and current configuration information a key requirement for efficient and effective service. 4

5 Figure 3: HP Universal Configuration Management Database and discovery and dependency mapping Client access Visualization reporting HP UCMDB Federation Discovery and dependency mapping Your environment Configuration data Management data Process data Data source Data source Data source Data source Data source Data source 2. Implement core processes for incident first. Incident is a core help desk function, and is usually the place to start process standardization. Consolidating incident enables IT to maintain service to users while achieving many of the efficiencies and benefits ITSM standardization promises. When incidents are resolved faster, the cost per incident is reduced, and IT staff can begin to focus efforts on finding the underlying cause of incidents to prevent them from reoccurring. When incident uses standardized processes and tools across business units and around the globe IT can support users 24 hours a day from help desks located in different regions while providing a consistent level of service. A key in incident is effective integration with event systems and the associated operations bridge. This enables help desk staff to prioritize incidents correctly, based on the potential business impact. In the HP solution, incident is implemented in the HP Service Manager Help Desk module. HP Service Manager Help Desk provides built-in support for ITIL-aligned processes for incident, problem, and scheduled maintenance. Even if ITIL compliance is not a goal of the organization, the consistent implementation of processes throughout IT and adoption of out-of-the box best practices rather than customization greatly enhances IT s ability to implement the project on time and on budget. HP Service Manager Help Desk offers self-service ticketing for users to increase efficiency further. And it provides visibility into each incident so help desk staff can always know which incidents are open, who is responsible, and what the status is. 3. Open the door to further efficiencies with change. We don t know how many IT specialists it takes to change a light bulb, but it s bound to involve a committee meeting, and there s a good chance it will blow a fuse. Typically, 40% to 80% of IT incidents can be traced back to improperly implemented change. Change challenges IT because changes have dependencies and consequences that may not be easily foreseen. As a result, change processes span multiple departments and require careful planning. Even carefully planned changes may conflict with those being planned by other groups. The change processes prescribed by ITIL and other IT best practices are designed to reduce risk and rework by identifying dependencies, involving groups that might be affected, documenting changes, and enabling them to be easily undone if they fail. While change is one of the more challenging processes to implement, consolidating it offers some of the greatest rewards in both IT efficiency and service improvement. 5

6 Figure 4: HP Service Management software provides comprehensive lifecycle coverage Self-service catalog and request Service level Change Consolidated service desk Incident and problem Asset Knowledge Configuration system (CMS) Federated UCMDB Automation HP IT Change Management Suite addresses the complexity of change through a powerful workflow capability that links stakeholders with current and planned configuration data so the consequences of each change can be more easily foreseen and conflicts spotted early. Rather than relying solely on committee meetings, changes are presented to a virtual change advisory board (CAB) for review and approval. CAB approvers access a decision-support system that helps them analyze the risk represented by the change. Since the underlying HP Universal CMDB has current and accurate information on all configuration items and the relationships among them, impact analysis is automated. Once initiated, change requests are monitored so each requester can track the status of their change, and change information is easily accessible by IT staff involved in incident and problem. Since HP DDM discovers and maintains the actual state of CIs automatically, changes can be validated, and unplanned changes can be identified and reconciled quickly. Documentation of all aspects of changes and adherence to a prescribed change process is key to demonstrating and reporting effectiveness of IT controls for compliance. So HP Service Manager enables IT managers to produce change documentation quickly when required by auditors. The efficiency and predictability of changes can be improved further through automation of change execution. HP Operations Orchestration software lets IT make the connection between the change process and the tools that actually deploy the change to reduce the workload of server and network specialists and execute changes faster and with fewer errors. 4. Ramp up IT value with self-service and other operational efficiencies. Once the fundamentals are in place and operating well, it is time to ramp up the value IT delivers to the business by adding components that further increase efficiency and improve service to users. Reduce incidents with problem. Problem is a systematic approach that identifies, prioritizes, and corrects recurring problems. This reduces incidents, and more important to the business, makes IT services and applications work better for the users. HP Service Manager provides out-of-the-box, ITIL-aligned processes for problem in the HP Service Manager Help Desk. 6

7 Capture and apply knowledge Knowledge captures the information associated with incidents and problems and makes it available to the help desk via an easily searchable knowledge base. This reduces rework for IT staff, and it gets the end user back to business quicker. The HP Service Manager Knowledge Management module implements a full knowledge lifecycle, and it brings knowledge into the incident process so help desk personal can often find the best answer in real time while working with end users. Even better, end users can access the knowledge base directly to find their own answers. Add service catalog and end-user self-service A service catalog lets users request the IT goods and services they need to do their jobs according to their job function and track their requests through approval, order, and fulfillment stages. This is an efficiency boost for users and IT, and it enables IT to establish standard configurations that increase consistency in infrastructure and conform to company purchasing policies. HP Service Manager Service Catalog integrates directly with service and asset fulfillment functions to provide a consolidated solution that unifies the request, fulfillment, and of IT services. Improve service levels Cost-based IT services and associated service level agreements (SLAs) put IT in a business relationship with users. But how does IT establish the cost for services, and what kind of service levels should an organization commit to and develop? Once established, how do we enable continual improvement? The HP Service Manager Service Level Management module helps IT establish appropriate costs for services, and it enables IT to develop service level objectives and agreements and track their achievement. It also helps IT specialists prioritize incidents by alerting them to potential SLA violations, so the number of missed SLAs is reduced. Continual improvement means measuring, reporting, analyzing, and adjusting. HP Service Manager consolidates service data across all parts of the organization and all processes to provide a consistent set of metrics. A robust dashboard lets managers visualize data in rich and meaningful displays so they can better understand the level of service being provided to users and the amount of IT effort required to make it happen. When IT provides users with real data, skeptics begin to see the value of standardized services and IT comes to be viewed as the service provider they strive to be. Why HP for ITSM standardization? HP has helped more than 4,000 customers improve their IT Service Management. Each of them had other options. Why did they choose HP? The solution HP Service Manager offers a set of integrated modules that enable IT organizations to solve the most critical problems first and then grow the solution to provide higher levels of IT productivity and better customer service. The out-of-the-box best practices and integrations in HP Service Manager go beyond alternative solutions to help IT deliver value quicker. 7

8 Asset not just for financial managers Asset provides the financial controls that enable IT to know what assets are available for deployment, where they are located, who is using them, if they are under warranty, what maintenance and service contracts exist, and what they cost. IT service managers need that information to fulfill requests, implement changes, and handle incidents and problems. And as requests are fulfilled and changes are made, financial managers need that information to keep financial data up to date. When it is time to renegotiate and renew support contracts, they may also need to know what incidents and problems assets have experienced. HP Service Manager works with HP Asset Manager software to keep the financial world reconciled with the physical world as assets are deployed, changed, and retired. The integration provides IT service managers the asset information they need to do their jobs, and it provides financial managers the data needed to optimize the assets of the enterprise. For example: Integration with key components of IT operations solutions such as network and system, asset, and business service automation creates the unified communications hub that keeps all IT departments on the same page and broadens their support of the services lifecycle. A comprehensive end-to-end change system improves effectiveness, reduces risk, and helps demonstrate compliance. A federated universal CMDB with discovery and dependency mapping allows multiple specialized systems to exist while leveraging the information available from each of them. The expertise Whether you choose to implement HP Service Manager at your site, use software running in our data centers, or outsource your whole service operation, our 12,000 ITIL-trained professionals are available to help you plan your project, standardize your processes, and manage your service consolidation to achieve the efficiencies and service improvements the CIO demands. Learn more To learn more about HP Service Manager, visit: The options HP offers software and services you can choose the solution that works best for your organization. If you prefer to avoid long-term infrastructure investments, shift your capital investments to operating expenses, reduce needed staff training, and focus your IT resources on other business initiatives, HP Software as a Service (SaaS) offers an Internet-delivered, managed service that can bring you the benefits while accelerating adoption and shortening time to value. Get connected Get the insider view on tech trends, alerts and HP solutions for better business outcomes Technology for better business outcomes To learn more, visit Copyright 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. 4AA2-9380ENW, October 2009

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