ITIL - Information Technology Infrastructure Library
started by UK government in the last 1980's. Published by office of government commerce. Recently updated in 2002 to include internet and companies doing business on the internet. The library consists of 7 books. Service delivery, service support, business perspective, infrastructure, and application management are the core books. Planning to Implement Service Management and security management are extensions.
ITIL provides a best practice framework for customer relationships. Service delivery helps define SLAs. Service support helps address changes in agreements. These both lead to ISO 9001 certification. These help with management of the IT organization. Application management looks at managing applications from "cradle to grave".
The recommended IT infrastructure consists of hardware, software, and peopleware. The ahrdware consists of computers, comm equipment, workstations, and printers. Software consists of operating systems, databases, tools, applications, and data. Peopleware consists of skills, training, documentation, procedures, and practices.
What is an IT service? Set of related functions provided by IT to support the business. Some examples are email, payroll, and order processing. It can be defined as "an integrated composite that consists of a number of components, such as management processes, hardware, software, facilities and people, that provides a capability to satisfy a stated management need or objective".
Service delivery can be broken down into components: Service Level Management, IT Financial Management, Availability Management, Capacity Management, and IT Service Continuity Management. Service Support can also be broken down into components: Service Desk, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management, and Configuration Management.
Service desk is a function of the IT organization. It is a central point for support to help resolve problems. Service desk is the focal point for support and is a communication channel. The incident management allows you to report issues or problems. Problem management allows you to look for root cause of problems. Multiple service desks can exist for different parts of the business like a financial help desk or human resources help desk. ITIL focuses on the help desk to help support computers and computer services. Customer satisfaction and retention is an important benefit of service desk. It should also support the business goals of the organization and reduce cost of ownership of systems. Reporting the status of services and maintaining communications is also a key part of service desk.
A user is a person that uses the product under discussion. A customer negotiates the cost, service level agreement, and operational parameters. It is important that the service desk understands the SLAs to support users as specified by the customers (typically department managers). The service desk should be both reactive and proactive. Reactive to user problems and proactive in the form of notification in the change of services. A centralized service desk and repository is needed. Distributed service desks might be needed to support different users in different time zones. The cost of a centralized data center can be expensive if not integrated with a corporate communications that supports calling between sites.
Some services provided by the Service Desk can be automated or provided by self service applications. Issues, whether automated or manually handled must have an escalation policy to help resolve issues that can't be handled properly or timely. The responsiveness of the service desk is not something that is uniform across different companies. A typical target is to have 70% of all service calls handled by the first person. The expertise required in the service desk to handle this target differs from product to product and company to company.