10 steps_whitepaper

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In an economic climate of slow and cautious growth, IT is under intense pressure to manage costs and ensure that spending is well aligned with business drivers. Essentially, IT is being asked to run itself as a business — allocating resources where they will generate the most value while minimizing resources from nonproductive areas.

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  1. Written and provided by Expert Reference Series of White Papers 10 Steps to Modifying User Behavior to Reduce IT Costs 1-800-COURSES www.globalknowledge.com
  2. White Paper 10 Steps to Modifying User Behavior to Reduce IT Costs Stevie Sacks, Enterprise Architect CA Executive Technology Advisors February 2006
  3. Table of Contents Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................3 How to Use This Paper ......................................................................................................................................................................................3 Step 1: Document Services ................................................................................................................................................................................3 Step 2: Document Service Levels ....................................................................................................................................................................4 Traditional IT Application Service Agreements ........................................................................................................................................5 Nontraditional Consumer-Usage Agreements ..........................................................................................................................................5 Step 3: Align Services with Business Goals....................................................................................................................................................5 Aligning Services With Financial Management ........................................................................................................................................5 Aligning Services to Corporate Goals..........................................................................................................................................................6 Aligning Services for Increased Efficiencies ..............................................................................................................................................6 Things to Keep in Mind ..................................................................................................................................................................................6 Step 4: Price Services..........................................................................................................................................................................................6 Price = Cost........................................................................................................................................................................................................6 Price = Cost + Profit ........................................................................................................................................................................................7 Cost Allocation = % of Usage x Total Budget ..........................................................................................................................................7 Step 5: Measure Resource Usage or Consumption......................................................................................................................................8 Usage Basis........................................................................................................................................................................................................8 Inventory Basis..................................................................................................................................................................................................8 Mixed Basis........................................................................................................................................................................................................8 Step 6: Define a Service Catalog ......................................................................................................................................................................9 Step 7: Provision Services by Automating Workflow ................................................................................................................................10 Step 8: Provide Business with Visibility Into Service Costs ......................................................................................................................11 Step 9: Provide Self-Help and Self-Service Alternatives ..........................................................................................................................12 Step 10: Provide Tools to Support Services and Measure Customer Satisfaction ..............................................................................13 Additional Guidance ..........................................................................................................................................................................................13 Conclusion ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................14 2
  4. These steps give the user community and business Introduction managers the tools they need to modify their own In an economic climate of slow and cautious growth, IT is behavior or "buying" patterns. They can see what services under intense pressure to manage costs and ensure that are being used by their employees, how well service levels spending is well aligned with business drivers. Essentially, are being met and how this affects their budgets. They IT is being asked to run itself as a business — allocating have alternatives to calling the help desk. And they are resources where they will generate the most value while presented with easy-to-use systems that remove the minimizing resources from nonproductive areas. temptation to do an end run around support procedures. One way to achieve this resource conservation and alignment is to increase efficiency. But that's only part of How to Use This Paper the battle. To truly optimize the business value returned by its investment dollars, IT must manage, measure and This whitepaper will help you understand the practices control the utilization of its services. After all, when users and procedures needed to implement the foundation for burn up IT service capacity in ways that don't return value, changing behavior in both the business and IT communities the result is waste, regardless of how efficiently IT may be within your corporation. We will take you step by step operating. through the various processes you need to consider when implementing your strategy. IT Service Management (ITSM) as defined in this white- paper enables IT to define, deliver, measure, support and Each section of this document will take you further along cost mission critical services in the most cost-effective the road toward measuring, controlling and managing IT and efficient way possible to support business goals. resources and investments. The first step is the most IT can modify user behavior by making business units difficult, but it makes each subsequent step that much easier. financially accountable for their consumption of services Do not think that you have to adopt all the steps, or in (or resources comprising of labor, asset and support). order — common sense should prevail depending on the Steps can be taken to keep users from consuming IT maturity of your organization and other initiatives taking capacity in ways that don't make good business sense. place. You can choose to adopt only certain concepts from And by incorporating these strategies into ITSM various steps; however we propose that you follow these mechanisms, IT can run itself more like a profit-making general precepts: business and less like a subsidized utility. • Communicate your plans early and often to the greater Usually, IT isn't in a position to say no or to curb demand organization. for the resources it stewards. IT must change the environment so that it isn't driven by needless requests. • Build a usability lab for feedback when implementing Human dynamics will play a large role in this change. new or changed user interfaces. People modify their behavior only when they feel some • Modularize your approach when considering the larger sort of negative or positive impact. It will be necessary to projects and principles contained in this whitepaper. change not only the number of requests but also the nature of the requests made to IT. This can best be done The two guiding principles behind the steps are simple: by giving users on the business side the information they Empower users to make the right decisions by giving them need to make informed decisions. information and choices, and provide financial incentives and penalties that motivate them to change usage The 10 steps to IT Service Management are: patterns and behavior. 1. Document the services you provide. 2. Document the service levels that are expected. Step 1: Document Services 3. Align services with business goals. When you envision yourself as the CEO of a service 4. Price these services. provider company it becomes clear you must define the services that you provide, how you provide them, who is 5. Measure resource usage. involved in their delivery and how much it all costs. Ask 6. Design a service catalog. yourself what you need to do to make a profit. Part of the 7. Provision services by automating workflow. answer will be incentives and penalties that can change 8. Provide business units with visibility into service user behavior. These should be accompanied by costs. empowerment, which allows users to make choices based on clear information, such as support levels and prices. 9. Provide self-service and self-help alternatives. By allocating costs back to users and giving them the 10. Provide the tools to support the services and measure customer satisfaction. 3
  5. information they need to make informed decisions, they Another example would be provisioning. You may already will be less likely to demand the fastest, biggest server have standard hardware configurations based on the when a smaller machine might do. capabilities of each machine. For the service catalog, you may want to categorize the offerings by role, such as Your users are your customers, and you should sell your sales, executive or administrator. This will allow the services to them through a service catalog in which your customer to choose the correct equipment for the purpose tiered service levels are explained. Users can use this based on a meaningful description. You don't want to catalog to find out what you charge for services at various include specifics such as models, however, since these can service levels, the charge method (as a monthly retainer, change frequently. per subscription or by usage, for example) and whether you offer price points for size, usage or service levels. One of the most common mistakes made is to define Dialog and negotiation should take place with your service offerings that have mandated or predefined customers when defining services. service levels. Let us assume that you have a critical application, which by its inherent nature must be available If your customers are going to choose services and service 24/7; hence there would be no need to define a “Silver” levels that are appropriate to their requirements, the catalog service level objective calling for 8/5 availability. should define your services in a business context, and the service definitions must be flexible and comprehensive A few tips: enough for users to find what they need. Services must be measurable in relationship to service levels. Costing • Don't confuse service level categories such as Gold, should follow standard financial guidelines, however this is Silver or Bronze with defining a service. not always the case. A discussion with your financial and • Do group services under a relevant umbrella. legal departments should be on your task list. • Don't define service offerings when the key performance indicator is pre-defined by the nature of the application Where do you begin? Bring together people who system. For example: Your on-line retail site would by its understand what services the IT department provides, nature require 24/7 availability with reasonable response how they are provided and who provides them. At first, time to support revenue generation. Therefore you this will include only members of IT; later, members of the would have an SLA but not a Service Catalog Entry. greater business community will become involved. • Do choose names for your service offerings that users Break down IT services into three main categories: will understand. Use business-centric names such as "New Hire Provisioning," "Application System Hosting" 1. Services performed directly for individuals in the or "Department Transfer." company. These are usually user support tasks such as provisioning. For each of these, include options, prices and service levels. Step 2: Document Service Levels 2. Services done to support line-of-profit application You should fully define all of your services, such as hosting systems. These are the application systems hardware, critical business systems, provisioning new employees and software and related support. Include these in the responding to help desk calls. Then apply a litmus test to catalog if the business unit has the freedom to choose the services you've defined that will help you create a components, options or service windows. service level agreement for these services. SLAs are basic 3. Services that are common to the support of the control mechanisms for IT, ensuring that business corporation. These are infrastructure devices, security requirements are demonstrably met. The litmus test and business continuity services, and other things consists of a series of questions: deemed to be "overhead" functions. 1. Can the service be measured in a way that aligns with Some items may fall into multiple categories. For example, the business requirements? the business as a whole relies on email to carry out day- a. Do you know all the components that make up the to-day functions, so the infrastructure and support of the service? email system might fall under overhead or shared services. Your catalog may have multiple items to accommodate b. Do you have the tools to measure the service? different mailbox file sizes with associated pricing. Service 2. Whose perspective is to be measured? level agreements may be placed on the size or number of a. Will there be a service level definition from the emails received or sent, with a penalty adjustment for consumer's as well as the provider's perspective? overuse during billing. b. Are there any other groups that will be required to commit to an SLA? 4
  6. 3. Will the consumer or interested parties agree to Nontraditional Consumer-Usage Agreements reasonable terms and definitions? Consumer-usage agreements are nontraditional methods 4. What is the financial impact of a failure to deliver the of curbing IT resource demand. Printer and email usage agreed-upon service level? are two areas where benefits can be reaped by cutting a. Based on that financial impact, is there an demand and costs. You may negotiate various levels based appropriate corresponding monetary penalty? on the number of units, such as 500 pages printed per month on any given printer, or the volume of email sent In an ITSM environment, SLAs should include incentives or received by a user, specified in bytes. Such agreements for reducing resource usage and deterrents against may prompt business-unit managers to ask their overuse. After all, IT can't agree to provide a specified employees to take steps like zipping or compressing large level of service for a transaction-processing system with attachments or printing only what's necessary and not an expected transaction volume using hard-copy printouts just to view files. of x if that volume suddenly spikes to 10x. That's why the process of negotiating an SLA is meaningful only if it is Financial and other such incentives are essential to change used to clarify mutual obligations and resource limitations, user behavior. The disconnect between SLAs and user as well as work-unit benchmarks. (I am using the term work behavior can be remedied when your service catalog, cost unit to refer to any unit of performance measurement. allocation/billing and service level management systems A work unit can be any quantifiable measure, including are coordinated and integrated. By integrating the SLA availability, response time or number of emails.) into a cost allocation/billing system, credit adjustments can be made should an SLA be missed or breached. Let's look at three sample scenarios, two of which are traditional, and one that is not. Here are some pitfalls to look out for: • Make sure that all negotiations use the same Traditional IT Application Service Agreements terminology, business goals and executive sponsorship. A traditional IT service agreement usually focuses on • Ensure that there is some meaningful incentive to the applications that generate revenue or are critical to change behavior. corporate operations, such as accounting or payroll. • Ensure that you can provide baseline and ongoing, The SLAs attached to these applications are usually based meaningful metering of the defined work units. on availability. Keep in mind, a transaction-processing system may require round-the-clock availability, but others, like a payroll application, do not. When negotiating an Step 3: Align Services with SLA, make sure the customers understand that supporting Business Goals greater availability increases costs. Allow them to determine whether the occasional need for a manager to Aligning IT services with the implementation of service have remote weekend access is worth the additional cost. level agreements (SLAs) designed to formalize the contract between the business community and IT means ensuring You may also negotiate a guaranteed application response that the performance of the service can be measured and time from the user's perspective. The one caveat with this is in line with the stated service level objectives (SLOs). type of service agreement is that you must be able to measure response time from that perspective. You may want to set up a workstation to be used only for Aligning Services With Financial Management establishing a performance baseline and performing When aligning service with financial management through ongoing measurements. This ensures that response times cost allocation or a formal chargeback, the associated aren't being viewed subjectively or by performance on a hard (asset) costs and the soft (support, maintenance, desktop that is seriously underpowered or misused. labor and usage) costs will need to be determined in order to effectively price the service. Varying prices can be established based on SLAs. This can help influence Traditional IT Support Service Agreements customer behavior toward the goal of reducing costs, Another traditional type of service agreement is based on since customers might decide that their needs can be the time is takes to respond to a service desk call. The one supported through less-expensive alternatives than they caveat you should keep in mind when negotiating this type otherwise might have chosen. of service agreement is not to contract for a work unit based on mean time to repair. Mean time to repair can be Financial management encompasses a range of processes. based on so many factors that you may end up missing Asset management and inventory provide data relating to many of your service levels. what is owned and what is installed. Incident and problem 5
  7. management provide more data, recording actual Things to Keep in Mind downtime of inventory components. Correlation of these When reviewing your wish list of services, two very records will allow management decisions based on important factors to remember are your company's objective data versus perception or anecdotal, subjective culture and the cost of implementation. The Information information and will support a viable cost allocation/billing Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) recommends that system. As equipment ages, support and maintenance all services be contained in a service catalog, but it's costs may climb, in direct relationship to the decreased important to consider whether or not you want a user value of the equipment due to depreciation. Payroll costs looking through an online catalog for services defined as as a whole for every company can far outweigh equipment underlying technology for your SLA or cost-allocation costs, hence the correlated data belonging to payroll must systems. There is no hard rule that says you have to have be married to some form of time-tracking system for all of the services defined in any one service catalog. accurate support costs. You may opt to have two: one master and another for online subscriptions. Aligning Services to Corporate Goals Always consider the end result you are trying to achieve. Compliance with government regulations is a major How you maintain the underlying systems will determine issue for IT. If it's one of the key drivers for defining the the level of success that can be achieved in having a management of services within the wider context of your service catalog that maps IT to business requirements. organization, you'll need to work closely with the department that's driving the compliance initiative. At the very least, you may be required to produce periodic Step 4: Price Services reports to verify compliance. It's also possible that you will It is important to understand the rationale for setting a be the one who must implement the processes needed to price on services. Are you actually executing cash charge- meet new compliance standards. backs for IT services in order to fully allocate all technology Cost reduction is always a concern for both IT and the costs to departments or lines of business? Or are you business. Streamlining processes and offering self-service trying to keep consumption of services within some capabilities through a service catalog and knowledge defined budget, with departments incurring financial bases can reduce costs while empowering users. penalties only if they exceed specific thresholds? You Streamlining and automating processes for initiating have to weigh the precision and detail of your pricing requests and authorization can reduce time to service, scheme against the time and effort you want to invest in freeing technicians to work on higher-priority issues like maintaining it. At some point, the incremental benefits increasing efficiencies or providing additional revenue- offered by gains in accuracy will be outweighed by the generating capabilities. burdens associated with administering an overly complex system. Aligning Services for Increased Efficiencies Before choosing a method of calculating service costs, make sure you're clear about your business purpose. Capacity planning provides proactive IT management by Otherwise, you could wind up creating a system that's enabling equipment to be replaced before it affects technically impressive but adds too much overhead cost performance. By comparing the current and future needs to be viable. of the business with existing computing power, IT can use budgeting and planning processes to achieve greater Next, you have to determine the specific financial model efficiencies. To this end you will need to have asset you're going to use for pricing your services. There are inventory and asset portfolio management in place. three primary approaches you can use: To align services for increasing efficiency of computing • Price = Cost power, you may be turning to technologies such as server • Price = Cost + Profit virtualization or on-demand computing. If so, you'll need to examine how these technologies will affect the pro- • Cost Allocation = % of Usage x Total Budget visioning of services. Server virtualization enables flexibility, since a virtual server can be moved from one physical Price = Cost computer to another. If the new server is larger or more This method calculates the price of the service by costly, you need to know how this will affect current SLAs determining the cost of providing the service. Typically, and cost allocations/billing. As for on-demand computing, this includes the costs of hardware, software and labor. it can challenge traditional service definitions based on set Since many of these resources will obviously be shared metrics such as MIPS, memory or processors. rather than dedicated, their cost has to be prorated based 6
  8. on how much they are utilized by each department. Cost Allocation = % of Usage x Total Budget Again, the precision with which this prorating is done, The cost allocation method sets pricing by apportioning and the exhaustiveness with which every conceivable IT's total expenses to each business unit based on metrics cost component will be discovered and tallied, will be such as head count or metered service utilization. determined by your business objectives. The calculation of service costs based on metered Historically, costs of shared resources are the hardest to utilization typically requires use of a fairly sophisticated determine. Usage is the most accurate of methods, but it pricing application. is also the hardest to accomplish. You need to pick a Different pricing methods may be used for different types metric such as network packets for WAN or LAN usage or of services. As previously outlined in Step 1 there are CPU, memory or transactions for servers. Next, you will three basic categories of IT services: common or shared need to determine how you meter and accumulate the services, consumer-based services and line-of-profit usage data. Usage data requires it to be mapped back to services. Common services are networking, facilities, the business unit by some recognizable unit, such as security and business continuity that may be charged application or application system. If multiple business based on cost allocation. Consumer-based services are units share an application, you will then need to do some charged on a cost-plus basis. additional calculations to determine a percentage of the entire application's usage. The real test of your pricing model is its acceptance by your business users and, by extension, its impact on their Besides computer-related expenses, you will need to take behavior. These decisions will typically be made by a into consideration the cost of personnel, which usually consensus reached among finance managers, IT executives proves to be the most difficult to determine. To be and business unit representatives. accurate, you need to know not only how much people cost (payroll + benefits + other expenses), but also how For example, if your pricing structure provides appropriate long it takes them to do any given task or how much time incentives for business units to be more judicious in how they spend supporting any given area. There are many much power they specify for their desktops and laptops, ways to do this, but two examples include the “Attorney your costs may be reduced. If, on the other hand, your Model” and the “Mechanic Model.” The “Attorney Model” measurement of service utilization doesn't have much requires personnel to use a time-tracking system in which credibility with your users, then they're likely to balk at their time is accumulated and billed directly to the overage charges, and not curb consumption. business unit. The Mechanic Model equates each task with an average or swag time and cost, and allows you to Keep in mind that customers expect a reasonable amount show the cost of labor in your catalog. of documentation for pricing schemas and penalties. Clear pricing formulas should be included in service catalogs, service agreements and accounting records. Price = Cost + Profit Accurately pricing the services you deliver can do more This method determines a percentage of profit in than just improve ITSM. It can actually improve the quality assigning price. This is done for several reasons. One, of the relationship you have with your internal customers it provides some cushion in case service delivery costs — since it provides them with a financially quantified aren't properly captured or unexpected budget overruns expression of the business value you provide. occur. Also, the addition of a profit margin adjusts for the fact that costs are recouped after expenditures are made and that costs are always rising. Cost plus profit would be the same accounting methodology used if IT was a self sustaining service provider. 7
  9. metrics are CPU, memory or transactions. Note that Step 5: Measure Resource Usage hundreds of processes often run on any given server. Each or Consumption may need to be mapped to application systems. Unique user IDs need to be correlated to the application system The most commonly measured or metered items for audit, being accessed. Usage works well for service level cost allocation/billing, service level management and management and accounting for resource usage, but may reporting after a business unit has subscribed to a service become extremely complex for service subscriptions. are the following: 1. Meter each service for the number of subscriptions by business unit, department or user for audit and cost Inventory Basis allocation purposes. Inventory is a lower-overhead alternative basis for measurement. If physical or virtual services are dedicated 2. Measure usage of common services by business unit, to a department, incurring the overhead of operating department or user for both cost allocation and system metering usage may be unnecessary. Instead, you management reporting. may want to allocate the cost of hardware, software and 3. Report on violations of service level agreements by personnel to the department based upon the number of application system, common services and business unit. servers the department uses. Inventory basis works best 4. Provide billing statements or invoices based on a with services that can be subscribed to, based on a flat fee usage, inventory or mixed bases, as defined below, by per accounting period per unit, such as the number of business unit. servers within a hosting subscription. 5. Generate management reports that verify audit and Why use an inventory basis? Billing by inventory method compliance controls. is the simplest way to apportion costs for servers, 6. Measure shared infrastructure, then report the total telephones or any other physical entity that can be usage while apportioning the cost to the business units. mapped to a specific owner. If physical or virtual services are dedicated to an application system or business The two most common elements for measuring IT resources unit/department, you probably won't need to add the are usage and inventory. Usage is the measurement of a overhead of real-time metering of resources. Instead, resource; inventory is determined by the number of simply allocate the cost of hardware, software and physical entities. personnel to the department by server. The inventory method requires you have data on the cost Usage Basis per unit, for example the cost of a Microsoft Office Some services may be based on ongoing usage statistics, license, plus the cost of supporting the software. You will such as server memory and requests. If you are concentrat- also need to be able to compare who has installed the ing on violations of service level agreements based on software, who requisitioned or requested the software and outages or unacceptable performance, you must monitor what business unit should be charged. or meter the availability and performance. If you are basing service levels on response time performance, note that perceived response time by a user may dramatically Mixed Basis differ from the performance registered by the individual Mixed basis or historical basis will not add additional components of an application system. If user response metering overhead for shared resources. Historical basis time is a metric for service level agreements, you must works well for service subscriptions and accounting but monitor real time response against a baseline negotiated not service level management. If you are conforming to with your customer. One approach is to monitor a ITIL capacity management best practices, for example, sampling of the user's desktop response times, calculating you may already have the historical data you need. an average over a specific time. You could then set up a Whatever the source, you can use historical data to "control PC" in the data center for constant monitoring. measure resource usage. For example, you could base You will need software or a script to run the same usage on an average over a 12- or 13-month period. Using simulation as you did in real time with the users. By using this average, you could assign a percentage of the use by the end-to-end user perspective, you achieve end-to-end department or cost center. monitoring by default. If you have extreme variations in network capabilities across your network, you may need Your clients may insist on actual usage metering if you to set up control PCs at various points to ensure assess penalties for waste or overuse. However, your reasonable results. clients should be aware that actual usage metering incurs additional overhead and cost which must itself be If devices such as servers are shared, you may need to allocated back to the business. meter usage based on processes or users. Common 8
  10. High availability is a common requirement for many entries, various memory configurations, hard drives and of the services provided by today's IT departments. screen sizes. This will give the user an opportunity to Sophisticated software and redundant hardware for high choose the one that best fits his or her needs and availability are costly and may not be warranted for less budget. critical "back-office" systems. IT customers sometimes • Promote informed trade-offs between price and request high availability for non-critical systems because service levels, size and quantity, etc. An uninformed they are not aware of the cost. When several cost service-catalog user could choose an expensive level of scenarios are presented to business managers, they can service that might not be warranted by the task make economic decisions based on fact. performed. Sometimes, one large server is substantially cheaper than two smaller servers. An informed user can If you have the facts based on monitoring and metering, make the choice that best serves the business. you are prepared to successfully negotiate customer expectations, use of resources, and requirements. You can't expect customers to modify their behavior Reducing IT resources through customer behavior is without providing preferred alternatives or incentives such achievable, when IT and their customers work together as better prices. Let's look at an example that involves a based on facts, not perceptions. new employee. A manager needs to order email to be provisioned. He or she is presented with three selections in the catalog: a standard-size mailbox at no charge or one Step 6: Define a Service Catalog of two larger mailboxes, each with an appropriate monthly There are two types of Service Catalogs — internally maintenance fee. The manager will then be able to select focused and public-facing. the alternative that best fits his or her budgetary restrictions and the requirements of the new employee’s role. Why two catalogs? The internally focused catalog is specific for use by IT and may include services not The look and feel of your catalog should be simple and apparent to the user community such as decommissioning straightforward, providing easy access and navigation of hardware. The public-facing catalog for self-service from one offering to another. Design the catalog to be as subscription should be designed for ease of use and to intuitive as possible, use links to additional information support the customer's need to make informed decisions. or help screens while enabling search capabilities. Don't hesitate to duplicate sub-items like the purchase of The internal, IT-focused service catalog should include all a hard drive that might appear under offerings for repair, information needed to support initiatives such as service new purchase or upgrade. level management, configuration, change and other libraries. An ITIL-compliant catalog should house service Depending on the hardware and software you choose to level information, ownership, support, authority and deploy, your service catalog will dictate the design of the financial information. The catalog should be designed to catalog. You should perform usability studies and per- work with or act as input to chargeback, service level formance tests in advance. Take into consideration the agreement and service desk software, which serves as many types of employees and levels that exist within your an underpinning for the standardization of definitions corporate structure. Testing should include both technical and terminology. functionality and the more subjective usability testing. Usability studies are critical to your overall success of If you're considering a move to a service-provider model, your catalog. you'll probably need to create an online service catalog with a self-service menu and shopping cart. You may want Whether you set up single or multiple catalogs complete to set up your online storefront with offerings that relate with software integration, automation or multiple to each other, such as the human resources and facilities repositories, the outcome will depend solely on your services that are needed for new employees, including predetermined requirements, goals and resources adding user IDs, setting up email and file access, and available to support the effort. assigning office locations. One of the most difficult parts of creating either catalog is If you find yourself struggling with the level of detail you the time and effort needed to research and define your are planning on presenting to your customers, you may services to provide an appropriate level of support to meet want to consider the following areas: your requirements. • Group service offerings meaningfully for easy With your goals clearly in mind, regardless of whether navigation. For example, consider the path for an you're implementing one or more catalogs, their unique employee who needs a new laptop. Your catalog might purpose should yield positive results. list new or used laptops with component upgrade 9
  11. When this is all laid out, go through the services one by Step 7: Provision Services by one, doing the following for each: Automating Workflow 1. Create each workflow using a systematic approach; After implementing the service catalog the next step is to document the tasks and go over the task list several automate the workflow behind the activation of a request. times for precision and comprehensiveness. Documenting workflow tasks is probably the most 2. Include each subtask (like branches for approvals, challenging ITSM task, although it may have the most denials and messaging). positive effect on the behavior of the people who perform 3. Speak to customers to validate the approval or the tasks that support or make up a service. authorization process. Provisioning and automating the underlying tasks needed 4. Conduct a series of walkthroughs during the to deliver services is a four-step process: documentation process to ensure coverage of all contingencies and branches into and out of the main 1. Create virtual teams to identify and organize the process flow. processes currently in place. 5. Repeat this process until all parties (service providers, 2. Evaluate the processes for: customers, and consumers) are satisfied you have a - Repeatability and procedural modularization. working flow. - Effectiveness within the organization. 6. Measure each step for a baseline of timeliness and effort after all participants are comfortable with the 3. Evaluate the tools currently operating in the initiative. These baselines will enable determination of organization and determine where and how they can the effectiveness of service level agreements, and be used for this initiative. measure progress and efficiency. 4. Determine which processes work and which to refine or restructure to maximize service improvements in While creating workflows, performing measurements and your organization. dry runs throughout the life cycle is an essential step in building a library of tasks that can be reused. Benchmarking The virtual teams are groups of advisers including IT also creates an audit trail needed to justify changes in the managers responsible for areas such as security and culture and mind-set of those providing services. change control. Each process should be assigned to someone on the virtual team. The virtual team should The next step is automation. The simplest automation is include one or more stakeholders and a midlevel manager, to use email messages for assigning tasks to be performed preferably one who is responsible for financial or getting authorizations. Integrating workflow with accountability. service desk software is often a first step that allows tracking requests for action from support groups, such as You might also consider including IT personnel such as desktop or server administrators. support, service desk, security, and network and system administrators. Be sure to include advisers from the IT Do not think that you have to automate every process, or technical staff who can share their knowledge of IT tools, that you have to do everything at once. You have already processes and standards. When feasible, involve all categorized your procedures into repeatable modules; participants early on to find out what really works within now is the time to automate those task groups that can an organization. be automated quickly and will be reused with the most frequency. After the virtual team has been identified, its first job is to document the current procedures; the second step is to Standardizing the workflow, authorizations and tasks document the ideal procedures. It may be necessary to decreases fulfillment time and reduces the chance of a make some compromises between the current and ideal task falling through the cracks. The three essential areas states as usability studies are conducted; some improve- for automation are task flow, messaging or notification, ments will be abandoned based on the amount of change, and provisioning. When procuring a solution, be sure that cost or culture shock caused by their implementation. it supports: Modularize documented procedures into repeatable task 1. Process or workflow definition. groupings. A simple spreadsheet matrix, tree charts or even 2. Interaction or integration with an online service catalog. index cards can help organize and expedite this process. 3. Paging and email system interaction or integration. 4. Authorization or approvals. 10
  12. A fully automated and integrated system can initiate Most IT consumers will refuse to sacrifice functionality. change requests and validate inventory, procurement Your job is to show them that by changing their usage or licensing. An IT portfolio lacking the necessary tools patterns, they can retain the functionality they want and needed to define workflow control, integration and still reduce the cost. To do this, you'll need to demonstrate auditing processes misses the benefits of integration their current usage patterns in a meaningful context: and automation. by application system, website, users, services or some combination. Through process automation, IT organizations can gain standardization and efficiencies. Management receives Gather this information and compile a report for your the by-product of software that produces status and trend customers. At a minimum, the report should show the reports, allowing them to make better decisions. Mean customer's resource consumption and cost, regardless of time to repair likely decreases, since problem identification, the visual format. This type of report differs from the determination and notification times are reduced. reports generated by allocation based on head count or inventory. Head-count or inventory based allocations rarely persuade customers to change their behavior, Step 8: Provide Business because the allocations are not explicitly related to usage they can influence. Allowing the consumer choices is the with Visibility Into Service Costs foundation for behavioral change. ITIL is a collection of best practices for managing IT. Financial management provides for comprehensive account- Few companies implement an extensive chargeback ing, recording, audit and billing as a complete strategy. system in a short time. The research, additional metering capabilities and negotiations between the technical staff There are four key areas that provide value within the and the customer take time and planning. Start with context of ITSM: asset inventory, asset management, realistic goals, aim for the low-hanging fruit. usage metering and reporting/cost allocation/billing. The first step should be to provide business managers • Asset Inventory. Knowing what has been purchased. with the data indicating all the hardware and software • Asset Management. Knowing what has been installed. dedicated to their departments, including servers, desktops, in-house applications, databases and software. • Usage Metering. Knowing what computer related Group these technologies in a way that is meaningful to resources are used. the business manager, like listing the technologies that • Reporting/Cost Allocation/Billing. Knowing the support their sales order-entry system. This will provide correlation between usage and cost. them with a baseline for future decisions. We grouped reporting, cost allocation and billing together. Create mock-ups of the proposed report and invoice It's important to understand that although your company format and do test calculations. Work with business may not move funds from one department to another, the managers to insure the format effectively presents the ability to report as if funds were moved is useful for altering data to the detail level required. resource-consumption behavior. To clarify, to many this internal reporting is referred to as cost allocation. Now you're ready to start the process of adding items to your invoice and evaluating them for cost to produce vs. In order to conduct a proper inventory of your assets, you gain achieved. must know what hardware and software resources you currently have on hand, the costs of those assets and their Areas often over looked but which can yield cost reductions exact locations. You may also need contractual information are those which are labor based, such as application code such as lease and license agreements, warranty periods changes, scheduling changes and the like. For example, and maintenance that would effect your asset management business managers may begin to group application life cycle. changes instead of requesting them individually, if they are charged per change order. Armed with this information, you will be able to compare asset installations to determine which are in use and Keep in mind that the provisioning of a billing system is which are idle. A word of caution: You will need an asset- an overhead cost to IT, so you will want to create a simple identification key that's brief, standardized and descriptive system that doesn't cost more than the potential savings without being cumbersome. realized by the corporation. 11
  13. agreement data can go a long way toward helping users in Step 9: Provide Self-Help and that regard. In addition, it can be a much-needed bridge Self-Service Alternatives between IT and the departments utilizing its services, reducing the friction that can arise when departments are What is self-help? In IT, self-help usually means allowing asked to absorb the cost of IT services. people to have direct access to information and functionality in order to perform duties that are traditionally performed What's more, showing the cost of IT services addresses by IT support organizations. One self-help mechanism is another perception that IT battles — that IT is a money pit the knowledge base attached to web-based support or that serves its own purposes and doesn't operate for the a help desk. Another self-help mechanism is the service greater good of the organization. When customers can see catalog, which allows customers to access information what services cost, they are empowered to make decisions and details related to services they might want to request. that affect their budgets and bottom lines based on factual information. Pre-populated, knowledge-based self-help software is available for commonly used applications like word Whatever self-help mechanism or platform you choose for processing. You may also purchase software that allows your service catalog — whether it's designed to support you to create your own articles for in-house written users, consumers or your own technical staff — is useful applications, processes and procedures. The biggest only if people are motivated to access it. Knowledge bases benefit of generating this content is reducing the number rely on the accurate content, organization, presentation of help desk calls. By providing this information online, and search mechanisms contained therein to support you can effectively change user behavior within the users accessing the self-help platform. organization and realize cost savings. Any self-help mechanism should provide services that are Computer-based training (CBT), another self-help easy to use, concise and readily available. A catalog that's mechanism, provides easy access to e-books, online self- hard to navigate, lacks the necessary information or is not training and video clips. Many companies provide CBT, back-ended to some form or level of automation can result from simple user training in applications and desktop in increased costs and decreased productivity. operating systems to advanced training on technical software. Software vendors provide CBT that's much like And it's important for you to understand your company's that found at many colleges today. CBT enables users to culture. Some companies expect a level of computer savvy schedule training at their own pace. Not only does this within the organization, but others do not. For example, easy access provide a wider reach to potential users, but it some companies "push" all software for extremely tight also reduces staffing expenses and scheduling conflicts configuration standards, while others make use of software that often plague instructor-led training sessions. catalogs that give users the option to add software. Configuration management, along with licensing-compliance Before investing the resources necessary to provide policies, comes into play as part of your decision-making web- or computer-based training, conduct a survey of process, based on the culture of your company. the intended audience to determine how widely accepted these forms of training would be. Some people prefer the Empowering users to become self-educated, self- enforced structure of traditional training, while others motivated and self-reliant, is key to positive behavior thrive on self-training. You might also consider (if budget change. The end product of computer-related training and and space allow) providing a quiet, private area where online knowledge bases should be a better-educated user staff can go for self-training. Your organization will realize group that relies less on your IT staff for support, which little benefit or cost savings if the staffers aren't encouraged reduces costs. to take full advantage of all training methods offered to them. Service catalogs can help a company move toward The service catalog is a mechanism that extends self- increased fiscal responsibility. Independent training can service to picking and choosing services or making reduce training costs while providing the same or higher requests. Most service catalogs are simple menus that list expertise levels. All can help change user behavior, available services — no prices and no explanations of increase the bottom line and allow IT to be viewed as a service levels. That's inadequate. It is my contention that facilitator rather than a roadblock. to change behavior, useful information must be provided so users can make more informed decisions. A service catalog that contains useful pricing and service level 12
  14. The fifth measurement, the measurement of customer Step 10: Provide Tools to Support satisfaction, addresses the subjective measurement of Services and Measure Customer consumer satisfaction. Surveys and questionnaires are two ways to find out how your consumers feel about your Satisfaction endeavors. websites often invite you to grade the content In today's business world, objective and subjective of individual web pages. Filling out an email survey or a methods of measurement of success and progress are survey at the end of a transaction is a common experience. key justifications for further involvement and funding of any well-run initiative. We will now focus on the final From your standpoint as a provider, consider this advice: metric, that of the measuring the user’s experience and When creating surveys or questionnaires, ensure that the satisfaction. We will also include some useful tools you wording of each question will elicit a true picture of the may find valuable. customer's experience. Many surveys are worded to garner only positive feedback. You can't change the way The following five functions are needed to report on the you support your consumers unless you know what they success and progress of the changes you make to modify truly think. behavior. It's important that typical or baseline metrics be available before launching any initiative; how else will you measure progress and success? Additional Guidance You will need to be able to report by the objective Communication as a tool is critical to both providers measurements shown in Nos. 1 through 4 and the and consumers. A method of communication, to whom subjective method in No. 5. communications should be directed and how often notifications should be made can be sticking points 1. Measuring individual elements of critical business between technical personnel and the business community. applications as individual components and as a whole Whether it's via email, announcement boards or voice system or service. messages, the method should be businesslike yet friendly; 2. Measuring response times and availability from the clear, concise and timely; and contain the correct level user's viewpoint. of detail, since your communications provide front-line visibility to internal and external customers. Regardless 3. Measuring usage of newly implemented self-service of the chosen method, it should close the loop for a capabilities. provider and the consumer. 4. Measuring the cost of provisioning the application systems and services offered. Frequent communication between business units and IT 5. Measuring consumer satisfaction. is often overlooked, which could lead to an atmosphere of distrust and quickly negate any of the positive benefits Services are built on the infrastructure of the application from a prior success. Start the communication early, and systems, made up of desktops, servers, network, communicate frequently. databases and other elements. To correlate objective and subjective measurements, you must be able to report Automation is a tool that can lessen the chance of things on performance and availability from the element, falling through the cracks. An added benefit of automating system/service and consumer view. These reports must processes is the standardization of tasks and authorizations. be objective and in historical context. You should also Automated notifications provide real-time communications count the people using the new services or capabilities and verifications. Add automated delivery of standardized you are providing and measure their satisfaction. reporting to management and interested parties, and you can begin to proactively distribute information on the type I do want to bring to your attention a commonly overlooked of service you provide. yardstick for No. 3: measuring the usage of the new services you are providing to your consumers, such as how Software tools shouldn't add levels of complexity into the many visits you had to your service catalog or how many lives of your customers. Simple interfaces with limited people actually completed a subscription to a service. The functionality may be a better choice than software that's difference between these two metrics is a key indicator of far too complex for the average user. When choosing consumer satisfaction. You should be asking yourself and software tools for technicians, consider the integration your users why they didn’t complete the transaction. between products, both currently owned or ones under Another similar metric is the rise in usage of the catalog consideration for the future. Try to have a few tools in- compared with the decrease in requests coming through house that will correlate data in various ways to produce your previous avenue. the most useful information for each level of the organization. 13
  15. Focus groups, pilots and usability labs are important tools too. These provide a link between the user and the planner Conclusion or provider of IT services. They facilitate communications, Managing IT as a business and delivering the most promote buy-in from various groups within the organization appropriate level of service to your users will be critical for and, as a result of the buy-in, increase the chance that the you in meeting business demands in a cost- and resource- changes in culture you seek might actually take place. effective manner. The 10 steps are basic guidelines for you to leverage when planning or implementing an IT Service Common sense and the practical application of these Management solution. It’s more important that you steps should be your primary considerations in driving consider all of these steps when embarking on an ITSM change. Each IT department and corporation has its effort than the order in which they are implemented. unique culture, and your implementation of these Successful ITSM implementations will provide you with suggestions should be aligned with your internal goals. the following benefits: • Improve the dialog and set expectations between lines of business and IT with a service catalog. • Continuously monitor and enforce service levels to assure optimal business performance. • Increase the quality and predictability of IT services through standardization and process automation with industry best practices, such as ITIL, COBIT, CMM and others. • Control enterprise changes across an increasingly complex infrastructure to reduce business impact and mitigate risks • Automate support of IT services including incident, problem, change and knowledge management capabilities. CA solutions will enable you to deliver on IT Service Management with our world class technology, comprehensive assessments, with the assistance of our implementation experts and educational services. Visit ca.com/sm to find out how CA delivers ITSM by enabling the 10 steps. About the Author Stevie Sacks is a Principle Architect at CA. She works extensively with clients to develop operational excellence and service management strategies that optimize technology returns on investment and ensure alignment of IT costs with business objectives. Copyright © 2006 CA. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. This document is for your informational purposes only. To the extent permitted by applicable law, CA provides this document “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. In no event will CA be liable for any loss or damage, direct or indirect, from the use of this document, including, without limitation, lost profits, business interruption, goodwill or lost data, even if CA is expressly advised of such damages. MP295750206
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