IT service management gains momentum

Countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong will spur adoption of ITIL, says president of the Singapore itSMF chapter.

IT service management (ITSM) is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Tay Kheng Tiong, the newly-appointed head of the Singapore chapter of the itSMF, an independent non-profit organization, said that the mature markets in the adoption of ITSM best practices and standards, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, will spur its uptake in the region. The itSMF has over 30 chapters worldwide and promotes best practices through IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

In Singapore alone, ITIL is expected to be adopted by over 60 percent of businesses within the next two years, noted Tay.

The estimate is based on 2005 research by Gartner, which indicated that 42 percent of organizations in the island-state have adopted the ITIL framework, said Tay. These organizations are mostly medium- to large-sized businesses, but smaller businesses, especially those providing services to the bigger and ITIL-compliant organizations, are increasingly looking to implement the ITIL framework, Tay added.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, there are a number organizations that have implemented ITSM successfully, across industries such as government, insurance and construction, said Tay.

Telkomsel lowers costs
One organization that has reaped the benefits of ITSM is Telkomsel, owned jointly by PT Telekom Indonesia and Singapore-based regional telco SingTel.

According to Yucki Prihadi, the ITSM manager at Telkomsel, the Indonesian mobile phone operator embarked on its ITSM journey in January 2004, and is possibly the first mobile operator in Indonesia to implement the ITIL framework. Around 85 IT personnel--including consultants from Hewlett-Packard and IBM--were involved in the two-year project. Telkomsel opted for business service management software from BMC Software.

Prihadi told ZDNet Asia that after implementing ITIL, the consistency in processes made an impact on the cost of its IT operations, and the mobile operator reduced its running costs by 50 percent to 60 percent, even though the company had registered 100 percent year-on-year growth in subscriber volume.

The ITSM efforts led to proper delegation of ownership of responsibilities, as well as a step-by-step decision-making model to ensure operational decisions, including that of purchasing, are made effectively, said Prihadi.