The Foundation of Service Management - dummies

The Foundation of Service Management

By Judith Hurwitz, Robin Bloor, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper

Service management is about monitoring and optimizing a service to ensure that it meets the business service levels that customers value, business partners need and expect, and internal staff members require to perform their jobs. It involves supporting all the business applications in an organization.

This figure shows the activities involved in data center planning. Here, the focus is on both day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning. The proceeding list explains each step of the process illustrated in the figure.


  • Corporate strategy: A direct connection must exist among corporate strategy, IT strategy, and data center planning. The executive board determines corporate strategy and explains it so well that the company, as a whole, understands its goals.

  • IT strategy: Combine planning for daily operations support with supporting the needs of the business and its customers.

  • Data center planning: The data center evolves so that it can support changing business needs. Focus on issues such as configuration management, change management, and provisioning. In the long run, the data center must be predictable and scalable.

  • Technology evaluation: Understand the benefit of new technologies and consider when to adopt the technology. Unproven technology carries risk that you must consider before adopting it. The evaluation of technology options nowadays also includes evaluating cloud-delivered services.

  • Governance and compliance: Your company must follow rules, policies, and regulations. Ensuring compliance imposes a whole set of constraints on the data center and how it can evolve.

  • Business service management: Ensure that the data center is meeting the service levels required by the business in a practical way.

  • Project portfolio management (PPM): Companies can manage data center evolution in a holistic manner with a structured and semi-automated approach to PPM.

  • Capacity planning: Companies used to add hardware (read: capacity) when adding applications. Virtualization provides more options, however, such as managing IT as a resource pool. Capacity planning involves modeling workloads to consider the impact of loading the whole IT network at any time.

  • Workload management: Achieving scalability and reliability in a complex computing environment requires the workloads to be well balanced.

  • Infrastructure projects: Plan to change IT infrastructure to support the organization’s changing strategy and workloads. These projects are likely to change IT processes and may mean implementing processes based on Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) definitions and models.

  • IT process automation: You can manage data center services more effectively in most areas, especially at the service desk, if you automate operational processes by using workflow technology.

  • Systems development: New applications and significant business process changes often require changing IT infrastructure, particularly the dependencies among components. New systems must change dynamically because components are loosely coupled following a service oriented architecture (SOA) approach.

  • Systems testing: As new systems are developed, test them in relationship to the overall data center environment.