Sidebar

ITIL Best Practices: Put Quality of Service at the Center of Your IS

General
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Companies interested in improving their IT department's effectiveness recognize ITIL's contribution in optimizing IT processes and thereby providing better service for their users.

Editor's note: This article is an extraction from the free white paper "ARCAD and the ITIL Framework," which is available at the MC White Paper Center.

Companies that are concerned about the effectiveness of their IT organizations can take advantage of best practices models such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), and Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) to help them evaluate and improve their processes. Let's take a look at the advantages of adopting the ITIL framework in your organization.

For more than 25 years, ITIL has provided an outside perspective and a practical guide to assist companies in optimizing their IT processes. Use of the ITIL model is growing; it has become a de facto standard for a growing number of companies throughout the world. It is, above all, the basis for a business culture of service. It provides factors for improving your organization when and where you need it.

Today, users have become genuine clients. The day is over when the IT expert could hide behind his intimidating technology to impose his views on the user. IT specialists must see users as demanding clients who deserve a satisfactory level of service.

Previously, IT services were constantly in reactive mode. People ran from one problem to the next while trying to maximize service. This is not sufficient today. We expect people to be proactive--in other words, to plan for problems rather than have to correct them. This change in viewpoint is essential to really understanding the spirit of ITIL.

Cultural Change

If you retain only one word from ITIL, it should without a doubt be "service." In ITIL, all of the activities of an IT department are identified as services. This approach is extremely useful because IT experts always tend to focus more on technology. It is time to start thinking, above all, of the service provided to the user, rather than of the technology that provides this service.

The objectives in an ITIL implementation can be numerous and vary from one company to the next. However, it is possible to distinguish three that are fundamental:

  • Align IT services with the current and future needs of the company and of its clients.
  • Improve the quality of services provided to the user. If we maintain excessively "manual" methods when faced with the rising tide of user needs, it is impossible to provide a satisfactory level of service.
  • The third objective is medium- and long-term cost reduction. A better-organized IT department is more efficient and is thus less expensive.

The diagram in Figure 1 could be called "the maturity progression curve for an IT department." It clearly illustrates the different steps in implementing processes in order to transition from a reactive to a proactive mode. This transformation is a required to ensure that IT in a company will no longer be considered as a cost center, but as a services center.

072709ArcadITIL Diagram

Figure 1: This diagram illustrates the maturity progression curve for an IT department. (Click image to enlarge.)

 

Initial Steps in Adopting ITIL

The first step is documentation. You will find a substantial amount of information on the site of the organization responsible for promoting the ITIL model, itSMF. The site brings together documentation, events, and players in this field.

After this documentation step, you will need training, and you will need to train other professionals in your organization. In this area as well, there are numerous organizations standing by to help you.

You can finally get started with ITIL by leveling all of your processes and by detecting those that appear to be the weakest. It is always a good idea to recall that the strength of a chain of values is only equal to the force of its weakest link.

ITIL Processes

ITIL divides IT department processes into two categories:

  • Support for services can be summarized as everything that ensures the correct functioning of services.
  • Provision of services concerns all processes related to making services available under good conditions.

The services support category encompasses the following:

  • Incident management
  • Problem management
  • Configuration management
  • Change management
  • Release management

The service provision category comprises the following:

  • Service-level management
  • Financial management for IT departments
  • Capacity management
  • Service-continuity management
  • Availability management

We suggest that you brush up on, one by one, all of the processes that constitute the services support section.

Incident and Problem Management

These are unquestionably companies' most advanced processes in their implementation of ITIL. Why is this? Because companies have to start somewhere, and the benefits created by the processes are clear.

Configuration, Change, and Release Management

The processes of configuration, change, and release management are intended to improve organization around change phases. Information technology undergoes changes of all kinds in terms of equipment and even more so in terms of software. This constitutes the main difficulty in automating processes in our line of work. What is the best way to consolidate an organization when everything is constantly changing around you? By mastering change.

Configuration Management

This process consists of identifying, in a unified manner, all of the components of an IT department, whether these components are software, equipment, network, or others. It is also important to identify all of the inter-relationships between these components. This will result in the establishment of a repository. In ITIL, this index is called a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). From the moment this repository is created, all successive configuration stages can be managed, controlled, and audited.

Change Management

In the case of software, change management provides a framework for the entire application change process during the development phases. Fundamentally, the need is simple: to ensure coordination between developers who often work on the same components at the same time. When performed manually, this task is tedious, time-consuming, and not very reliable.

The simple initial idea is to create a single code repository from which all new development will come and then add to it a component allocation system (the check-in, check-out principle). This mechanism allows a natural dialog to be established when two developers have to modify the same source code. It avoids any potential regression situations that could result.

Release Management

Change management is the act of changing. Release management is the act of transferring changes to production. This process can rapidly become extremely complex in terms of technology, because it often involves different technologies--in terms of security because care must be taken not to degrade established rules (permissions, ownership) and in terms of organization because a number of players are involved. For example, users must be informed before and after the execution of transfers to production. They may need training on this new release.

It's ITIL for Effective IT

When you start an ITIL implementation process, it is essential to sound out the tools. The contribution of software tools in each of these process areas is clear:

  • Service desk
  • Incident management
  • Problem management
  • Change management
  • Release management
  • Service-level management

Companies that are concerned about improving the effectiveness of their IT organizations recognize the positive contribution that ITIL makes in optimizing IT processes and thereby providing better service for their users.

To learn more, download the free white paper "ARCAD and the ITIL Framework" from the MC White Paper Center.

Philippe Magne is the CEO of ARCAD Software.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
    Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
    The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!

     

  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.

     

  • Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

    LANSAProgressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.
    Download this whitepaper and learn:

    • How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
    • How to give your business a competitive edge using PWAs
    • What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.

     

  • UPDATED: Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    FortraIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails

     

  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    FortraRobot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    FortraRobot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.