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A Brief Discussion of ITIL® and Key Processes in the Service Operation Phase of the Service Lifecycle

ITIL® or the IT Infrastructure Library® has firmly established itself as the universal standard and most widely adopted framework for IT Service Management. ITIL introduces a Service Lifecycle that consists of five stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The UK’s Office of Government Commerce recognized that utilizing consistent practices for all aspects of IT Service Management could be helpful in enhancing organizational efficiency. It was very clear that this practice would also help predict service levels.

ITIL started in the UK and has rooted itself in the mainstream of today’s corporate world. The target of ITIL has always been establishing best practices for IT Service Management. The ITIL framework ensures the best usage, development, and management of IT resources leading to the perfect collaboration of IT in any type of business. Throughout the past years, ITIL has generated an astonishingly huge and diverse list of local and worldwide businesses that have adopted this framework. This list includes IT giants such as Microsoft, HP, Fujitsu, and IBM; worldwide retail chains like Wal-Mart, Target, and Staples; financial services organizations such as The City Bank, Bank of America, and Barclay’s Bank. Several international manufacturing giants, entertainment entities, and life science companies also have interest in adopting ITIL. All of the above are just a tiny fraction of the types of organizations that have greatly benefited from adopting ITIL into their business operations.

The Service Operation phase of the Service Lifecycle is where the services actually deliver value to the organization. The key processes and activities in the Service Operation phase will be discussed in the following segment:

Event Management – This particular process indicates if something is not functioning correctly. The concerns of the Event Management process include the logging of regular activity or an Incident or the need for a routine intervention such as changing the tape in a security camera. This process is responsible for generating and detecting important notifications. It is different from monitoring but depends on monitoring in many ways.

Incident Management – An Incident is an unplanned interruption, a reduction in the quality of an IT service, or any failure of a Configuration Item that has yet to impact a service. The Incident Management process is responsible for managing all the Incidents in an organization. The purpose of this process is to restore service to normal operations and minimize any adverse impacts to the business. The Incident Management process involves investigation, diagnosis, resolution testing, and user satisfaction before closing an Incident.

Problem Management – A Problem is the cause of one or more Incidents, which is usually unknown at the time the Problem Record is created. The Problem Management process is active in investigating and preventing Problems, eliminating recurring Incidents, and minimizing the impact of those that can’t be eliminated. Problem Management is all about diagnosing the causes of Incidents, determining the resolution, and ensuring the implementation of the resolution. The goal of this process is to understand the causes, document the workarounds and resolutions, and request changes to permanently resolve the Problems.

Request Fulfillment –The Request Fulfillment process enables users to request and receive standard services. It is also responsible for providing information and assisting with general information, complaints, and comments. Proper logging and tracking of all Requests along with including appropriate approval before fulfilling Requests are also the concerns of this Service Operation process.

Access Management – Access Management makes certain that only authorized users are allowed to access services.  This process is required for managing the confidentiality, availability and integrity of data and intellectual property. The purpose of Access Management is to provide rights for users to be able to access the service or group of services while preventing unauthorized access. The Access Management process also includes logging and tracking access and removing or modifying rights whenever statuses or roles are changed.

The best practices of the Service Operation phase ensure consistent, high-quality, low-cost service delivery. This phase of the Service Lifecycle oversees the daily overall health of services including restoring services to normal operations when there is a disruption or interruption in a fast and efficient manner, figuring out the root cause(s) of Problems and identifying trends associated with each recurring issue, responding to user requests, and managing authorized access to services.

To learn more about how the Service Operation phase can benefit your organization, contact Ashford Global IT!

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Frank is a leading trainer in IT Security.

One response to “A Brief Discussion of ITIL® and Key Processes in the Service Operation Phase of the Service Lifecycle”

  1. middle man says:

    middle man…

    […]Information Technology & Business IT Training Blog – Ashford Global IT » Blog Archive » A Brief Discussion of ITIL® and Key Processes in the Service Operation Phase of the Service Lifecycle[…]…

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