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ITIL® OSA Certification Is Key To Excellent Service Operation

ITIL OSA CertificationA good IT Operations group is a powerful weapon in the war against IT service downtime. Operations staff are rarely seen outside of the IT department and seldom written about in trade publications, yet they are the non-sleeping keepers of production services.

ITIL® formalized the roles and responsibilities of IT Operations in the Service Lifecycle structure as Service Operations. The ITIL Operational Support and Analysis (OSA) Certification prepares operations personnel for their critical role in IT service availability.


The service desk is often thought of as recording customer problem reports, but the optimal strategy for excellent service is keeping problems from reaching customer view. The operation group strives to prevent production problems by establishing controls on changes to production.

When problems do occur, operations attempts to identify and correct them proactively via instrumentation, monitoring, and automation. With their focus on continuous availability, they are guardians who monitor and protect the beating heart of IT – its production services.

Operations in the ITIL World

ITIL’s Service Lifecycle consists of four discrete phases plus an overarching phase focusing on Continual Service Improvement.

The four sub-phases are:

  1. Service Strategy – understanding the needs of the business
  2. Service Design – creating solutions to provide critical services to business
  3. Service Transition – moving solutions into a production environment
  4. Service Operations – delivering and managing service on an ongoing basis

Read more about how Service Lifecycle helps businesses by clicking here.

Service Operations Responsibilities

Unlike development groups who focus on specific applications or business areas, operations manages the entire spectrum of production services, internal and external, as well as the infrastructure that runs them.

Service Operations staff needs to understand the general landscape of the IT services, the principles of service management, and the methods for analyzing and preventing service interruptions. Training is critical for key operations staffers.

ITIL Operational Training

ITIL’s Service Operation training is in the Service Lifecycle stream and provides general information about that phase. However, the real deep-dive training for operations personnel is in the OSA module of the ITIL Service Capability stage.

OSA Certification is a standalone qualification which is also part of the intermediate track leading to ITIL Expert Level Certification. The ITIL Foundation Level Certification is a prerequisite for any of the intermediate level classes or certifications.

Understanding the OSA Curriculum

The course of study for the OSA Certification highlights the critical importance and broad knowledge requirements for the Service Operations arena.

Some level of expertise and involvement is required in:

  • Event management
  • Incident management
  • Request fulfillment
  • Problem management
  • Access (security) management
  • The service desk
  • Functions and roles of IT operations
  • Analysis and implementation of operational technologies

Recommended Training And Knowledge

ITIL also recommends the Service Operation (SO) and Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Lifecycle modules for a full understanding of how operations fits into the Service Lifecycle, as it is a key component to both of these phases.

The Operational Service Analysis Certification contains advanced material and concepts. Students should have not only the IT Foundation Certification, but they should also be familiar with the concepts of Service Operations through self-study, if not certification.

Professional experience working in IT Operations or other areas of IT service management is needed as well. It is appropriate for IT Managers, Operations staff, or even business process owners with high IT familiarity.

Ashford Global IT, AGIT, is a leading training provider for all stages of ITIL Certification. Contact them today to find out more about the OSA Certfication.

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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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