Inside IT
ITSM, from Customer Management to Business

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Information management systems in the past were only used by organizations and corporations to help process information, but now they are more widely used. These days, information systems are being used in various fields in diverse forms including academic affairs management systems, administrative systems, and geographical information systems.

A new paradigm of information systems, through which companies can enhance customer satisfaction and service quality by consistently managing services being provided, is being introduced these days. Within this new paradigm, IT is no longer just technology, but a type of service.

Today, we will have a look at Information Technology Service Management (ITSM).

what-is-itsm

ITSM is a series of activities which aim to manage and improve the quality of service by providing and managing services so that information system users can get high quality IT services. In other words, IT management is now being considered a type of service, and companies can manage their own IT services to improve customer satisfaction.

ITSM, therefore, means the entire set of techniques that are established to qualify a Service Level Agreement (SLA), a contract between the customer and the service provider. SLA contains Service Level Objects (SLO) through which the level of services can be measured.

During the IT service development phase where the focus of IT services moves from the performance of IT infrastructure to service then to business, IT service management is in the middles stage. IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF), a global IT service management standardization institute, is currently working on worldwide standardization.

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Wall-Mart attempted to improve stock management by using remote control equipment called RFID in the early 2000s, which was the first company to do so in the distribution industry. As they established an information system using RFID, their annual sales increased by 429 million dollars.

Their sales growth helped other companies see how an information system can enhance efficiency and productivity, and then soon became one of the most necessary tools for business administration support processing. As time passed, however, IT services switched their focus from satisfying clients to enhancing the completeness of their technological infrastructure.

As simple IT infrastructure expansion resulted in lower investment efficiency, companies began to think of ways to maximize profit with their existing infrastructures. In this process, the concept of ITSM, which suggests that IT should also get long-term maintenance and be run as a service based on the view of business administration.

the-difference-between-conventional-operation-methods-and-itsm

What’s the difference between conventional IT operations and the new method adopting ITSM? Let’s take a look in detail through the table.

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Comparison between conventional IT operation and ITSM

Gartner, a leading information analysis company defined IT service as a process which is performed by people and organizations and supported by technology. When the system began to adopt ITSM, the view of IT service moved onto business cooperation and preventive processes.

ITSM sees IT service not just as a technology but an operational method based on clients and the process, which concentrates on cost efficiency which qualifies SLA.

The biggest purpose of ITSM is to improve service quality while lowering the costs. More specifically, it aims to provide customized service consistently, and to satisfy clients and gain trust so that the company can secure their clients.

it-process-management-model

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IT service management system

In order to achieve the objectives of ITSM, the following framework is required.

① IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 

ITIL is a collection of the best practices published by the Office of Government Commerce in 1989. This collection consists of the best IT service management cases, and is currently considered the standard model that can be adopted for all venders.

ITIL is the only global standard framework, which consists of service delivery and service support processes that are two elements of service management.

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ITIL Process

The service provision process deals which the general work process which sets and manages the IT service level. Because it focuses on client SLA, it concentrates on service quality and cost reduction. The service support process deals with problem solving for clients and service changes based on long term plans and improvement tasks for IT services.

ITIL first introduced the early v2 version followed by versions 1, 2, 2007, and the 2011 editions. ITIL v3 changed its method from approaching the process as modules to applying a service life cycle.

Since the life cycle model was applied, not only efficient communication between corporations and persons in charge of business, but also speedy response to ever changing business situations became possible. 

② ISO20000 

ISO20000 is the global IT service management standard announced by ISO in December of 2005. Since the U.K. switched its domestic standard from BS15000 to ISO20000, it became possible to improve quality while cutting costs and responding to clients immediately.

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Structure of ISO20000

ISO20000 consists of two different parts. ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 deals with service management requirements including IT service management launch, execution, and maintenance. On the other hand, ISO/IEC 20000-2:2005 contains guidelines to meet the requirements of ISO 20000-1.

Because ISO20000 is the minimum requirements to perform IT service management, it handles a narrower range compared to ITIL and concentrates on task suitability.

③ COBIT 5.0 

One of the most well-known framework to manage IT governance is COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology). IT governance is a more macroscopic strategy for corporate administration, which includes business creation and ITSM, as well as the objectives and strategies of organizations.

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Evolution of IT function in organization

IT governance involves a wider range than ITSM which focuses on managing costs. All management areas follow the ultimate objectives of IT governance, so COBIT utilization is becoming much more important these days.

itsm-cases-and-prospects

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2015 ITSM Conference held in Korea (Source: http://www.itsmf.or.kr / http://www.itsmfi.org/)

Last summer, Electronic Newspaper and Korea IT Service Management Forum held the 2015 ITSM Conference where various IT service providers in Korea participated to introduce their own ITSM establishment cases. Many interesting cases about ITSM utilization were presented, including the cloud data center for Uljidae hospital, the residence service portal at Incheon International Airport, and Open Source Total Service.

① E-GENE BSM

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Structure of E-GENE BSM solution (Source: www.steg.co.kr)

E-GENE BSM solution from STEG suggested a bit more evolved business modelthan the conventional ITSM stage. It realized work automation and integration of management service by implementing the residence service portal at Incheon International Airport. It also reduced service delays and costs by securing the PDCA service improvement system through real time monitoring and supervision.

STEG now aims to establish a governance system with the latest ITIL v3 for their service portal. They are suggesting a new way of ITSM utilization by going beyond financial effects and concentrating on process improvement and customer value.

② SafeManagerEV

SafeManagerEV from LG N-Sys is an integrated maintenance management solution which supports efficient IT financial management task. SafeManagerEV can be divided into three different types of products (EMS, LMS, and MMS). MMS (Maintenance Management System) provides its main IT infrastructure maintenance function such as financial management, helpdesk, and report management.

MMS makes speedier processing possible through an ITIL based maintenance process and efficiently manages documents by turning maintenance output into electronic documents. Other cases introduced at the conference also suggested that ITSM can be utilized in every field.

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The key tasks for ITSM will be understanding problems clients have and responding to them in real time. To make this possible, real time client communication systems need to be established. A modular solution which helps clients take care of problems by themselves is also required.

We live in the era of Industry 4.0 where one company cannot cover every aspect of business. What ITSM strives to achieve is to basically create a smart service ecosystem in which multiple corporations cooperate to complement each other’s services.

Written by Chanho Park, LG CNS Student Reporter

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