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Business Value of ITIL® Processes: Service Operation

In this series of articles, we will be examining the business value and cost savings that can be realized through a successful implementation of ITIL Best Practices.

In this article, we will be focusing on the value and savings provided by the Service Operation Lifecycle Process, namely, Incident Management, Problem Management, Event Management, Request Fulfillment and Access Management.


The Incident Management Process is concerned with recurring Incidents; an Incident is defined in ITIL® as an unplanned disruption or degradation in the quality of a service. The Incident Management Process then works to get the disrupted service working as quickly as possible, thereby reducing the costs of downtime and lost user productivity.

Problem Management is concerned with Problems; a Problem is defined as the underlying cause of one or more Incidents. Thus, Problem Management works to identify and remove the cause of Incidents. By investigating and taking steps to prevent Incidents from occurring, Problem Management will reduce the number of disruptions effecting the business, leading to even greater productivity on the part of business users and less wasted resources as a result of downtime.

The Event Management Process provides value by monitoring and making sense of events; an Event is defined as a change of state significant to the management of IT. By doing so, the Event Management Process can serve as an early indicator of a potential Incident; this will allow IT to respond to the Incident even sooner, which could drastically reduce the costs of the outage resulting from the Incident. The Event Management Process can also help monitor by exception (that is, only concentrate on tasks that are performing outside normal parameters) and in turn, reduce the need for more expensive real time monitoring.

The Request Fulfillment Process deals with “Service Requests.” Commonly, this would include low-cost, low-risk changes (e.g., reset user password, change the toner, even a request for information). Due to the frequency and low-risk of these issues, the Request Fulfillment Process provides a way to deal with these requests without inundating the Incident Management and Change Management Processes. The Request Fulfillment Process reduces the bureaucracy involved in providing the services, resulting again in a cost saving on overall provision of the services.

Access Management enables an organization to ensure that its data has sufficient Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. This Process then provides a means of enforcing and implementing policies determined in the Information Security Management and Availability Management Processes. Centralized Access Management allows for more efficient handling of controls and user rights, reduces the likelihood of errors caused by unauthorized access, and allows for rapid revocation of access rights when required to support Security Policies (e.g., helping to reduce exposure to data theft, data tampering, malware, etc).

About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

Angel is a leading ITIL® instructor at Ashford Global IT.

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