Information technology support organizations everywhere are always being asked to do more with less, and help their businesses succeed. In addition, our staff asked us to define/refine roles and responsibilities, policies, processes, and procedures to provide structure and guidance in their work. We also needed to let our customers know what we can and cannot do, and what they can do to help. To address these challenges, in the fall of 2010, FSU’s Information Technology Services restructured to allow for more focus on a service management best practices.
IT Service Management (ITSM) is a process-based practice intended to align the delivery of Information Technology (IT) services with needs of the enterprise, emphasizing benefits to customers. ITSM has been refined over time as people worked together and shared what worked best across multiple industries, including education, and has gained acceptance worldwide. ITSM involves a paradigm shift from managing IT as stacks of individual components to focusing on the delivery of end-to-end services using best practice process models.
The benefits of following these best practices include:
- Improvement of productivity of IT operational staff by developing documented and repeatable processes
- Clarification of IT roles and responsibilities by documenting policies and procedures
Improvement in identification of root causes behind IT breakdowns and outages
- Development a continuous improvement culture to look for ways to improve service delivery
There are a number of frameworks for implementing ITSM. One of the most popular is ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). ITIL v3 has a service “life cycle” approach made up of 23 processes and we are further defining the most common ones for our organization. The best part is the processes are mostly “common sense,” and some of them we already do in some form. Some are less defined, while some are more mature.
To learn more about ITIL in education, see Educause’s “7 Things You Should Know about…ITIL.”