Applied application and service provisioning can underpin and improve your Service Management "adoption" ..

Many organisations are frequently investing in IT Service Management and ITIL in particular. In my experience the focus of most of this, is in the 'standard' ITIL Service Support 'domain'. Why? Well, I guess it is since it shows how a well functioned IT organisation should work with an integrated process set. The misconception though, is that the ITIL processes themselves will 'solve' most of the deficiencies experienced in this field. This, according to my experience, is not true. An adoption of ITIL's best practices has to be augmented with the practical working processes and routines that makes 'IT tick'. There is so much more to working IT than just adopting ITSM and ITIL best practices, hence one of my focus areas have been the practical approaches that are required to augment and underpin such initiatives.

With that in mind, I was fortunate enough that I had the chance of writing up a paper for the Australian Unix User Group's ("AUUG") conferfence that was just held in Sydney Australia. The topic was "Applied application and service provisioning" and it was a general and generic approach to it. Obviously Sun have the technological base to execute in this space, but what I wanted to present was how the application and adoption of automated solutions in this space solves a number of the practical issues concerning ITSM and ITIL adoptions, irrespective of technology chosen to implement it on. To give you a feeling of what the paper is all about, the following paragraph is an extract of the paper (the abstract):

"This paper addresses facets pertaining to a software life cycle management and how application of provisioning techniques can rationalize the management of it. It describes some of the problems and challenges many organizations face today; most of them related to either people, process and/or technology. It also provides some insight into how they may be addressed through the application of provisioning techniques, though not in technical terms. This would be impossible to do within the scope of this paper. The paper also provides some real-life examples of the tangible and intangible benefits an organization could typically expect when moving to apply concepts of application and service provisioning into their environments."

I find this space extremely interesting. It's not just about the technology, but more on how it is an 'engine' that the people and processes relies on. If used carefully, it can achieve that necessary balance between the people, the processes and the technology that is required to drive alignment. Not only within IT, but even between the "business" and IT. In an agile and dynamic enterprise these solutions can lay the foundation for breaking down the barriers between the business, the 'developers', the infrastructure and operations. Obviously, care have to be taken when doing the actual implementation, but if adopted and implemented successfully it can yield substantial benefits. Just have a look at the actual findings in the paper. They stem from actual real-life projects and are just simple 'hard-facts' that came from the implementations of these projects.

All of that said, I have to say (as noted in the paper too!) that any work in this space relies on the people aspects. Without their acceptance, any work will fail. It's like one of the paper's conclusions: "Never underestimate the people when adopting a provisioning strategy. Process and technology is simple€, people are not!".

... I guess this was enough for this time! Off to do some more work .. related to the 'Governance' stack. If you wonder what I am meaning with this; I might (if time permits) delve into that in a later blog entry some time ...

Comment: You can find the soft-copy of the paper at http://www.skogstad.com/AUUG/AUUG-2005-Applied-application-and-service-provisioning-0210905-FINAL.pdf

.. alternatively you can find it here too: http://blogs.sun.com/roller/resources/jskogsta/AUUG-2005-Applied-application-and-service-provisioning-0210905-FINAL.pdf

Have a nice one!

With respect,
Jorgen Skogstad (a Norwegian expat living in the sunny down under ..)
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