Put in-house service on a scoreboard

To better assist employees, IT departments need more control over change processes and SLAs, says an enterprise management vendor.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

Business demands today call for IT departments to be more agile to meet user requirements, and companies need to transform their helpdesks to be more service-oriented, according to BMC software.

More companies in the region are shifting toward this direction, although the adoption varies in the different markets, said Jason Andrew, BMC Software's Asia-Pacific director of service management.

Citing a Gartner study, Andrew noted that compared to several years back, when IT servicing efforts were piecemeal or reactive, over half of businesses today are focused on adopting a more proactive approach.

However, more than just being proactive, companies need to focus on being "service-oriented", he said.

"We're all consumers of services, and quite often, the type of service you get determines whether you'll go back [to the service provider]," he explained. "The same is happening to IT. You'll be ranking the service from [the] IT [department] with those other services you get in your daily life."

For IT service desks to move from being proactive to being service-oriented, businesses need to have a method of delivering and measuring the delivery of services. For example, organizations typically lack competence in the ability to monitor and enforce service level agreements (SLAs).

Another problem businesses face is the management of user access to IT equipment. According to Andrew, research has shown that it takes an organization between four and six weeks to issue the necessary tools for a new employee to be productive. This cycle, which typically involves stages of making a request, approval, implementation and verification of issuance of the right equipment, is often tedious and inaccurate because it requires manual processes at various stages, he said.

BMC, headquartered in Texas, will launch Friday three software suites targeted at helping organizations address these and other service management issues, according to Andrew. The software for proactive management of incidents aims to reduce service disruptions, capturing user reporting and dependencies in the IT infrastructure so that similar incidents can be avoided in the future.

Another tool will help companies manage and track individual SLAs, covering both technology and service support. The third suite links asset management, change management and software configuration management, to provide an automated process for granting user access to systems in a way that is compliant with policies set by the organization.

Andrew noted that the new product offerings come under BMC's business service management strategy, which is gaining a strong reception in the region. China and India, the fastest growing markets in the service management space for the company, registered more than 100 percent growth during the last financial year, he said. Mature markets such as Singapore, had also performed well, growing at over 50 percent.

Developing markets in Asia tend to lag behind mature ones in the transformation of IT service management, added Andrew. Banks in China, for example, are mainly working towards having an IT service desk in place, while those in Singapore are focusing more on compliance and change management.

BMC's competitors in the service management space include CA, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

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