Guest Blog: Getting your house in order

rayblackman

A "Service Value Model (SVM)" is an essential business construct for IT service management. The level of operational insight and control afforded by a well maintained SVM is a key enabler for [continuous] service improvement, technology optimisation and risk management. In my personal experience, as many as 4 out of 5 mid to large UK enterprises run their businesses without a ‘joined up’ view of their IT estate and its intrinsic relationship with service delivery and customer value. As a consequence, too many IT departments are really struggling to meet application performance and availabilitydemandsacross an increasingly diverse range of devices, whilst sustainingappropriate levels of systemsrecoverability and datasecurity.

The pressure on IT departments to deliver excellent service and drive down costs is significant. Today’s IT decision makers are continually expected to deliver ‘more for less’, whilst also providing fully recoverable and secure operating environments. For the IT Director to realistically achieve any of these objectives without ready access to a comprehensive and up to date view of his or her IT estate is inconceivable, yet many try to do so and are surprised when their initiatives fail to realise the business outcomes expected.

In the ever changing world of service delivery, IT must first ‘get its own house in order’ and fully understand the relationships that exist between its critical applications, the business processes they enable and the infrastructure that supports them, before attempting any kind of service, recovery or security improvement project.IT departments that don’t have an "as-is" SVM or the appetite to construct and maintain a "to-be" version will always find it difficult to execute successful change – let alone achieve continuous improvement.

Companies with an accurate and sufficiently detailed SVM and the ability to re-use its information to manage and change the way they do things have real advantages over those that don’t. Not only does a workable SVM provide a better level of management insight and control, it has also been proven, in more than 50% of cases, to help shift ‘service quality’ perceptions from fair or poorto good or excellent, to help reduce ‘operating costs’ by as much as 40% and help reduce, by as much a 3 times,the risksassociated with business continuity and disaster recovery.

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