A guiding hand for maturing IT processes

The drive to reduce costs, improve service delivery and enhance business competitiveness has become ingrained in the IT psyche. And this, in turn, means change within enterprise IT infrastructure and operations environments.

"Infrastructure and operations organizations are in a state of flux, either considering or actively moving to new organizational models," says Forrester Research in a new report on IT service management (ITSM) maturity. "With continued pressure to do more with less, I&O professionals are increasingly accountable for improving service-level performance," it explains.

IT process models, typically based on ITIL, are the most popular new organizational models, Forrester research shows. In a recent survey of 135 IT professionals at enterprises and small and medium-sized companies worldwide, 38% of all respondents indicated they have or are adopting IT process models as part of new organizational structure.

In the report, Forrester identifies three reasons why: IT process models can help IT organizations reduce costs, overcome legacy silos and better align with how work is done, which in turn enables more consistent and reliable service delivery.

But, as Forrester points out, moving to process-driven, service-centric operation isn't a quick and easy undertaking.

With that in mind, Forrester has developed a self-assessment tool, called the ITSM Maturity Assessment Model, it says is designed to help IT organizations determine their current ITSM maturity level and identify their desired end state. In particular, the framework will help IT professionals isolate useful baselines; identify gaps and develop remediation plans; prioritize and quantify investment validation; and prepare or audit compliance.

Forrester says organizations new to ITSM or evolving ITSM deployments can benefit from using the self-assessment tool.

"For organizations new to ITSM, an assessment provides an understanding of gaps and key issues. From there, you can address identified top priorities that speak to IT service effectiveness," Forrester says. "For organizations already entrenched in ITSM, it's important to remain flexible and continuously evaluate yourself, understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Regular assessments are quality management initiatives that provide the IT organization with facts and information that it can use to make decision improvements."

You can find more information on Forrester's ITSM Maturity Assessment Model here. And, if you'd like, share your thoughts on IT process improvement here.

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

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