What if establishing effective IT Service Operation was as simple as following 4 steps? According to Bob Aiello, it is that simple. With a stable core of process automation, Service Operation can help your organization maintain a competitive edge. Aiello suggests that the key to success is following his four steps:
- Understanding IT Operations
- The Need for Process
- Functions Support the Process
- Automating Your Processes
The first step to mastering something is to understand how it works. This explains why “Understanding IT Operations” is the first bit of advice on his list: I have worked with many operations professionals who were responsible for the day-to-day care of large scale mission critical systems. The most common problem that I have seen is that they lag behind on the essential technical knowledge that is required to handle incidents and problems as they come up. This should not be a surprise as it is the developers who get the lead time to learn new technologies and also get to make (and understand) technical choices. The DevOps movement is helping to bridge the knowledge gap between Development and Operations by focusing on a set of core shared principles, including the need for better communication. The good news is that IT Operations can also implement industry best practices by following mature frameworks such as itSMF ITIL v3. Understanding IT operations also depends upon establishing both robust processes and well-defined organizational functions. The processes Aiello mentions must “describe the required tasks, roles and responsibilities along key checkpoints.” In short, there must be a defined way in which to gauge operations at any given point. In addition to allowing things to run more smoothly, this is also a good way to detect issues. You must also have functions to support your process. These functions, or organizational structures, as Aiello notes, can include Service Desk, IT Operations Management, and others. Automating your processes is also critical. When common and reoccurring tasks are ready and available, less time will be wasted on repetition. In short, establishing effective IT Service Operations is no easy task. However, following Aiello’s four steps will surely have your organization headed in the right direction.