New Definitions Added to the Ultimate ITSM Glossary

As noted here previously, there are numerous words, phrases, and acronyms which are either unique to the IT service management and ITIL world, or have a specific meaning within those contexts.

To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data has compiled definitions for nearly 60 items in our ITIL – ITSM glossary.

ITSM-ITIL glossary - new terms addedBut the IT discipline is constantly evolving, with new practices, technology, concepts, models, trends and ideas being introduced. Reflecting these ongoing changes, four new entries were recently added to the glossary of ITSM terms.

DevOps

Few terms in the realm of ITIL and IT service management are as controversial to define as DevOps; there seem to be nearly as many definitions as the number of people trying to define it. Continue reading “New Definitions Added to the Ultimate ITSM Glossary”

The Ultimate ITSM Glossary

There are many words, phrases, and acronyms that are either unique to the ITIL / IT service management world or have a specific meaning within those contexts.

To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data has compiled definitions for almost 60 items in our IT service management glossary.

ITSM GlossaryHere are a few sample definitions from the glossary of ITSM terms.

Agile Service Management

A methodology for providing users with the ability to order and obtain physical items or resolution of issues in a manner that permits new offerings to be defined and added to the system quickly; that makes it easy to change existing items; and that allows new items to be added iteratively, starting with one or a small set of offerings and scaling to large numbers of varied items. With an agile approach to service request management, new service items can be defined an added to the system iteratively, allowing for “quick wins,” rather than requiring an extended effort followed by a “big bang” release of a large, complex catalog of business services all at once. Agile service request management also provides the flexibility to easily accommodate changing user needs, such as modifying or expanding existing service offerings to support mobile users.

Business Service Catalog

Extending the concept of providing a portal interface in which physical items or issue-resolution processes are defined and can be requested by users, from IT-related items only to all functional departments across an organization. Though the concept of service catalogs began in IT as a recommendation of ITIL, these are now evolving into enterprise or business service catalogs per Forrester Research. Accordingly, the architecture of enterprise service catalogs is evolving to accommodate a wider range of service offerings than just IT services; to enable non-technical business function managers to define and optimize their own service fulfillment task workflow processes; and to scale to the enterprise level. This evolution extends the benefits of service catalogs across the business.

BYOD

Acronym for “bring your own device,” this is one manifestation of the consumerization of IT, the trend for users to prefer their own smartphones and tablets over company-issued phones and bulky laptops, and to use a single device for both work and personal purposes rather than managing applications and data sharing between multiple pieces of hardware. Enterprises are adapting to the BYOD phenomenon by creating policies and procedures that provide employees with flexibility while protecting corporate data and application access, and shifting to schedule-based rather than queue-based support services to better accommodate mobile workers. By adopting processes such as simple BYOD device registration and remote installation of required software, organizations can benefit from both lower overall support costs and happier employees.

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Variously defined as an integrated set of IT best practices recommendations, a framework for accepted IT service management best practices, and a set of documents designed to improve IT service delivery. ITIL provides an extensive set of IT management procedures designed to improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of IT services delivery. The library was first developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), a U.K. government agency. It is now managed by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC). ITIL V3 consists of five core documents: IT Service Design, IT Service Introduction, IT Service Operations, IT Service Improvement and IT Service Strategies. One key element of ITIL service delivery recommendations is the establishment of an easy-to-use, dynamic IT service catalog; Kinetic Request service catalog software supports implementation of an enterprise-wide service catalog by providing service request management functionality coupled with backend process automation via Kinetic Task.

IT Service Management (ITSM)

An approach to managing large-scale IT systems and processes focusing on the customer perspective of service delivery (as opposed to technology-centric), and promoted by ITIL best practices. ITSM is a framework for continual improvement in the IT services delivery process, much as CMM is focused on application development. Effective IT service management integrates technology with people and processes in a manner that supports industry best practices, such as implementation of a service catalog.

Check out the ITSM glossary for the full set of definitions.

Service Catalogs are NOT IT Software – They are Business Software

When you are standing at the base of a mountain, it’s usually impossible to see the true peak. You will see “a” peak in front of you, but upon reaching that summit, you’ll see another “peak” higher up, and upon scaling that one, another…until eventually, you reach an elevation from which you can see the actual top of the mountain.

You must reach the first mountain peak to see the next
Photo credit: Steve Maniam

So it is with service catalogs. They were originally defined in ITIL as “an exhaustive list of IT services that an organization provides or offers to its employees or customers.” According to Wikipedia, each service item within an IT service catalog typically includes:

  • A description of the service
  • A categorization or service type
  • Any supporting or underpinning services
  • Timeframes or service level agreement for fulfilling the service
  • Who is entitled to request/view the service
  • Costs (if any)
  • How to request the service and how its delivery is fulfilled
  • Escalation points and key contacts
  • Hours of service availability

While that’s a useful list, notice that none of these bullet points necessarily describe attributes of only IT services; a service description, timeframes, costs, etc. just as readily apply to services from human resources (e.g., a PTO request), facilities (e.g, reserving a meeting room), finance, marketing, or any other internal shared services group.

Service catalogs are still often thought of as “IT software” because that is the way most vendors have viewed them, built them, and sold them. They only see the first “peak” near the base of the mountain, and that’s all they show to customers.

Once those customers reach the first peak, however, they are able to “see higher up the mountain”—but the software they’ve invested in isn’t designed to let them climb any higher.

The result is that service catalogs are used only in IT. Other functional groups (HR, facilities, finance, etc.) each have their own systems and processes for handling requests. The onus is thus on employees to determine which department (or departments, in the case of complex requests) are responsible for service request fulfillment, which systems and processes to therefore use, and how to use each system or process—as well as to “manage” their request from initiation through fulfillment.

There is a better approach, both in terms of improving the user experience and in reducing cross-departmental service delivery costs. Take the service catalog concept to the next peak (and the next, and the next). View it as business software, not just IT software.

Forrester Research recommends rethinking the IT service catalog “as  a higher-level entity called the business service catalog.” In the enterprise request management (ERM) approach, employees have one single, intuitive, web-based portal for ordering any type of business shared service. Users have one simple system for initiating and monitoring the status of requests, with no need to understand all of the departments, approvals and processes involved. Enterprises get increased first-time fulfillment, time and cost savings, and visibility into actual service levels and delivery times.

Don’t let anyone limit your vision. You’ve got higher peaks to conquer.

To learn more:

Last Day of Early Bird Rate for KEG 2013 – Register Today!

Today is the final day of the early bird special for the Kinetic Enthusiasts Group (KEG) 2013 event, to be held once again at the beautiful Inverness Hotel in Denver.

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Eveline Oehrlich, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. Evenline’s areas of focus at Forrester include information technology infrastructure library (ITIL), the implementation of IT service management, business service management (BSM), and many other aspects of IT operations. In this role, she offers strategic guidance to help enterprises worldwide manage their networks and systems, define key projects that focus on IT service management, and bridge IT to the lines of business.

Last year, attendees came to KEG to learn more about products like the Kinetic Task workflow automation engine, get new ideas for use of service requests, and to discuss the future direction of Kinetic Data products.

This year’s conference will feature sessions on moving from a queue-based model to a schedule-based approach for service desks, creating blueprints for service items, connecting service items in a parent-child relationship within a service request, and much more.

Get more details about the event as well as the new pre-event training sessions, and sign up today to take advantage of special pricing for KEG 2013.