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May 18, 2011

ITSM Data Architecture - A key enabler to successfully deploy and manage ITSM tools

Organizations aspire to comply with the ITIL v3 processes and implement an ITSM tool with holistic deployment of these processes. However, the important piece we need to look is the type of data that flows among the various ITSM processes and how quickly we can capture the specific data elements to achieve the optimum results during tools and processes implementation.

Due to numerous data flows it takes enormous amount of time to identify all the data elements, their integration points and relationships which results in the following impacts:

·         Prolonged duration for ITSM tool implementation

·         Less visibility for IT alignment with Business

·         Ineffective rules for Data validation for various processes

·         Identification of internal and external data relationships

Driven by the customer needs, Infosys has built an 'Integrated ITSM Data Architecture Model' that is strongly positioned to enable faster ITSM tools implementations.

The 'Integrated ITSM Data Architecture Model' is a structured and holistic view to demonstrate the data elements and relationships that need to be built for successful deployment of IT Service Management processes into the respective tools and platforms. It can be used as a guiding reference to manage and govern these entity relationships during the overall ITSM tools development lifecycle. This model has an effective future proofing mechanism which will enable an organization to assess their data requirements based on their existing service management processes.

This Data Model was being created by preparing individual data model for key ITSM processes: Incident, Problem, Change, Release, Service Asset and Configuration, Service Level and Access Management, integrating them all to arrive at the comprehensive Data Model. Each process is identified as an entity and respective attributes are listed in entity column to form a reference point for all other associated entities. The explicit data elements are available as related within the entity relationships among various ITSM processes.

Integrated ITSM Data Architecture Model enables the Application Architects and Process Analysts to analyze the organizational needs in terms of process relationships and the respective data elements that are required and managed throughout the information management lifecycle. The Data architecture model also accelerates the requirements elicitation process and enables faster alignment for the overall requirements. This truly reduces the overall systems requirements analysis time by 15% - 20% and also builds the foundation towards better Data Governance.

May 3, 2011

ITSM - choice matters!

<Posted on behalf of Vicrant Pradhan, Senior ITSM consultant, Infosys Technologies. Can be contacted at vicrant_pradhan@infosys.com. >

One of the first things I did when I recently relocated to a new country was buy a mobile phone, a necessity these days. I went to the electronics section in a supermarket and was instantly blown by the range of choices. Although choices are there for variety to help us make easy decisions it somehow never fails to distract most of us. So, after some thought and help I zoomed down to a handful. I was left with some usual suspects and a few recommends from friends.

To boil down to the final choice I decided based on a few considerations...

  • Low Running Cost: I should be able to go about with my daily use at a fair cost. Also, I should be able to benefit from new features, online stores and upgrades seamlessly.
  • Great Customer Services: My interactions should be positive and hopefully things should be simple!
  • High Quality: The speed and reliability should be top notch!
  • Standard Features: It should be simple to use and have most of the standard features we have come to expect of such tools these days.
  • Easy Integration: It should be simple to sign up and the technology should be new and easy to sync.

What interestingly crossed my mind but chose not to consider...

  • Familiarity to old tool: I remember this was the most important consideration when I bought my earlier phones.  This time it just did not seem to matter especially when the new tool just works!
  • Big name: It did not seem to matter if the service/phone came from a traditional brand. A passionate new brand was just as enticing.
  • Upfront cost: The upfront costs were not really a major incentive as long as I got great value, fair savings and zero headache along the way.

Now, to get to the point. Sometime back I managed an IT Service & Asset Management (ITSAM) transformation program with a Fortune 500 company where we replaced an ITSM tool with a new one that is based on a SaaS platform (www.Service-now.com). When I think of it the basic considerations made to decide on the new tool they strangely match my mobile buying experience! Of course the organizational evaluation gates and processes were highly formalized, detailed and to some extent also strategic but in the end we did more or less reach the same set of considerations.

There is no doubt that ITSM tools are a necessity and core to IT service delivery. But when there are a flood of them in the market its usually not the easiest to undo the clutter and make the big decision. I feel that the judgements that turn out more favorable are ones made based on the theme of simplicity. Frankly, in my view service-now.com does personifies simplicity when it comes to ITSM tools.. simple to induct, implement, integrate and innovate on.

Surely parameters that mattered a few years ago are somehow not relevant anymore! We are truly moving towards a more open, honest and probably also a social way of buying such tools. Our references and triggers for making choices are now based on the needs of the future rather than relying on the concepts of the past. When in pain or doubt and when change comes calling it should be looked upon as an opportunity. To shift the future rather than struggle endlessly patching up the past as the benefits are greater for sure...

I will be following up with subsequent blogs in the same topic and will also get into details of a few of the above points. Please feel free to add your comments or let me know if you would like me to cover a specific aspect. I hope we can have an enriching dialogue.

Thank you!