Business Service Management for IT

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Monday May 12, 2014 at 1:38pm
When a business manager looks at the function of IT within his or her business, all too often IT is seen as a costly resource with little or no alignment with service delivery.

The application of Business Service Management provides a structured approach to ensure that SME’s realise IT delivery and align with processes – rather than seeing IT as the cost centre.

BSM is a system for verifying the impact of IT assets and the intended availability and subsequent performance levels – aligned with corporate objectives. By mapping out the core business processes and required ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ careful analysis can be undertaken to ensure that IT systems are aligned with required processes. The benefits being; that the customer obtains what they need in a manner that it is required and in the most efficient way - that a small business can provide it. IT has therefore aligned itself with servicing the ‘customer needs’.

The starting point of ‘BSM’ is to map-out the critical services that customers must receive to ensure that corporate objectives are met. This may be 90% repeat business, required delivery times for goods, response to returns, help-desk etc. These services must be prioritized rather like the critical activities within a business continuity plan.

Once the above activity is undertaken then the services should be mapped to the IT systems and required applications that are needed to deliver these outputs.

The key drive is to verify that the processes that the business needs are fully supported by the IT infrastructure, rather than the IT department advising the executive management of the IT capability.

So what is the best way of starting on ‘BSM’? From my twenty years’ experience I often find that IT is deemed a technical function that is byzantine in complexity and often totally un-customer focused. Businesses often have out-of-date quality management systems that do not suitably address the Plan, Do, Check and Act ‘PDCA’ approach, nor are ‘inputs’ or ‘outputs’ properly defined – or indeed aligned with business strategy.

If the manager defines the above and seamlessly maps out critical business processes, coupled with strategic objectives – IT Business Service Management can be applied.

Marcus Allen
Parker Management Consultants

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