IBM is upgrading the tool that it offers for guiding IT organizations when it comes to developing coherent service management processes. Specifically, it is making the tool, called the IBM Tivoli Unified Process (iTUP), much more specific and detailed.
The new version of the Tivoli Unified Process is now available for free as an on-demand web tool, or bundled with copies of Rational’s existing Rational Method composer (RMC) tool, which has been engineered to support multiple processes, not just RUP.
The new tool includes more detail on how to implement an ITIL-compliant IT service management process. It also includes IBM’s own IT reference model, which is IBM’s framework that delineates the responsibilities of all parts of an IT organization. It’s the same model that IBM Global Services (IGS) has used on customer engagements, and before this, was not available publicly.
The beauty of the IT Infrastructure Libraries (ITIL) is that it tells IT organizations what to do when it comes to service management, but it doesn’t tell them how to do it. Of course, that’s a gap that consulting services, books, reports, and a growing array of tools are starting to fill. And obviously, that’s where the Tivoli Unified Process comes in.
The Tivoli process was first announced a couple years ago when IBM adapted tooling from the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for Tivoli. While RUP provides a framework for the software development process, Tivoli took the RUP tooling (now called Method Composer) and added an IT service management flavor.
Until now the Tivoli Unified Process has not exactly been a headliner, as IBM has not actively promoted it. But it has been downloaded roughly 6500 times since initial release.
But now IBM feels it has something to talk about. The new version goes much deeper than what was available up till now. While the previous version specified 18 ITIL-relevant processes for service management, with roughly 10 activities per process, the new version gets even more granular. It now lists the actual tasks that could be performed to support each activity. On average, each IT service management activity contains between six and seven individual tasks.
For instance, an ITIL change management process would break down to 10 major activities. One of those activities includes what happens when a support group receives a change request and must categorize it. That in turn triggers other tasks such as the need to validate the request, which may require various workflows such as checking whether the user is authorized to make such a request, whether there is enough information with the request to process it, and so on.
There’s little question that the age of ITIL is here. With roots that are nearly 20 years old, the combined impacts of increased regulatory compliance burdens and more controls over IT budgets have promoted IT organizations to seriously consider ITIL because, at its heart, it is a way of IT demonstrating what it does. And by implication, what value it delivers.
Documenting that ITIL service management processes can provision new users within 24 hours means much more to a CEO and than some arbitrary ROI analysis showing how much money IT saved or how much more revenue generating opportunity was created by such quick response.
Given growing demand from customers who need guides on how to implement ITIL, it’s surprising that IBM has underplayed the Tivoli Unified Process these past couple years. Evidently, it was waiting until it had something to crow about.