Onsite Infrastructure Service Support

The Service Support is primarily concerned with ensuring that they have access to the appropriate services to support the business functions

To a business, customers and users are the entry point to the process model. They get involved in service support by:

  • Asking for changes
  • Need communication, updates,
  • Having difficulties, queries.
  • Real process delivery.

The service desk functions as the single contact-point for end-users' incidents. Its first function is always to "create" an incident. If there is a direct solution, it attempts to resolve the incident at the first level. If the service desk cannot solve the incident then it is passed to a 2nd/3rd level group within the incident management system. Incidents can initiate a chain of processes: Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management and Configuration Management. This chain of processes is tracked using the Configuration Management Database), which records each process, and creates output documents for traceability (Quality Management).

Tasks include handling incidents and requests, and providing an interface for other ITSM processes. Features include: single point of contact (SPOC) and not necessarily the first point of contact (FPOC) ideally single point of entry and a single point of exit. This helps in Data integrity and streamlined communication channel Primary functions of the Service Desk include: incident control: life-cycle management of all service requests communication: keeping the customer informed of progress and advising on workarounds The three types of structure for consideration: Local Service Desk: to meet local business needs - practical only until multiple locations requiring support services are involved Central Service Desk: for organizations having multiple locations - reduces operational costs and improves usage of available resources Virtual Service Desk: for organizations having multi-country locations - can be situated and accessed from anywhere in the world due to advances in network performance and telecommunications, reducing operational costs and improving usage of available resources.

  • Incident Management aims to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse effect on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service-quality and -availability are maintained. 'Normal service operation' is defined here as service operation within Service Level Agreement (SLA) limits.
  • Incident Management can be defined as : An 'Incident' is any event which is not part of the standard operation of the service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption or a reduction of the quality of the service. The objective of Incident Management is to restore normal operations as quickly as possible with the least possible impact on either the business or the user, at a cost-effective price.
  • Problem Management aims to resolve the root causes of incidents and thus to minimize the adverse impact of incidents and problems on business that are caused by errors within the IT infrastructure, and to prevent recurrence of incidents related to these errors. A `problem' is an unknown underlying cause of one or more incidents, and a `known error' is a problem that is successfully diagnosed and for which either awork-around or a permanent resolution has been identified. The CCTA defines problems and known errors as follows.
  • A problem is a condition often identified as a result of multiple incidents that exhibit common symptoms. Problems can also be identified from a single significant incident, indicative of a single error, for which the cause is unknown, but for which the impact is significant.
  • A known error is a condition identified by successful diagnosis of the root cause of a problem, and the subsequent development of a wor k-around.
  • Problem management differs from incident management. The principal purpose of problem management is to find and resolve the root cause of a problem and thus prevent further incidents; the purpose of incident management is to return the service to normal level as soon as possible, with smallest possible business impact.
  • The problem-management process is intended to reduce the number and severity of incidents and problems on the business, and report it in documentation to be available for the first-line and second line of the help desk. The proactive process identifies and resolves problems before incidents occur. Such processes include:
    • Trend analysis;
    • Targeting support action;
    • Providing information to the organization
  • The Error Control Process iteratively diagnoses known errors until they are eliminated by the successful implementation of a change under the control of the Change Management process.
  • The Problem Control Process aims to handle problems in an efficient way. Problem control identifies the root cause of incidents and reports it to the service desk. Other activities are:
    • Problem identification and recording
    • Problem classification
    • Problem investigation and diagnosi
  • A change is "an event that results in a new status of one or more configuration items (CIs)"[citation needed] approved by management, cost effective, enhances business process changes (fixes) - with a minimum risk to IT infrastructure.
  • The main aims of Change Management include:
    • Minimal disruption of services
    • Reduction in back-out activities
    • Economic utilization of resources involved in the change.
  • Release Management is used by the software migration team for platform-independent and automated distribution of software and hardware, including license controls across the entire IT infrastructure. Proper software and hardware control ensures the availability of licensed, tested, and version-certified software and hardware, which functions as intended when introduced into existing infrastructure. Quality control during the development and implementation of new hardware and software is also the responsibility of Release Management. This guarantees that all software meets the demands of the business processes.
  • The goals of release management include:
    • Planning the rollout of software
    • Designing and implementing procedures for the distribution and installation of changes to IT systems
    • Effectively communicating and managing expectations of the customer during the planning and rollout of new releases
    • Controlling the distribution and installation of changes to IT systems
  • Release categories include:
    • Major software releases and major hardware upgrades, normally containing large amounts of new functionality, some of which may make intervening fixes to problems redundant. A major upgrade or release usually supersedes all preceding minor upgrades, releases and emergency fixes.      Minor software releases and hardware upgrades, normally containing small enhancements and fixes, some of which may have already been issued as emergency fixes. A minor upgrade or release usually supersedes all preceding emergency fixes. Emergency software and hardware fixes, normally containing the corrections to a small number of known problems.

Configuration Management is a process that tracks all individual Configuration Items (CI) in a system.

The Service Delivery ]discipline concentrates on the proactive services must deliver to provide  adequate support to business users.

Capacity Management supports the optimum and cost-effective provision of IT services by helping organizations match their IT resources to business demands.

The high-level activities include: 

  • Application Sizing
  • Workload Management
  • Demand Management
  • Modeling
  • Capacity Planning
  • Resource Management
  • Performance Management

IT Service Continuity management covers the processes by which plans are put in place and managed to ensure that IT Services can recover and continue even after a serious incident occur. It is not just about reactive measures, but also about proactive measures - reducing the risk of a disaster in the first instance.

Continuity management is regarded by the application owners as the recovery of the IT infrastructure used to deliver IT Services, but as of 2009 many businesses practice the much further-reaching process of Business Continuity Planning (BCP), to ensure that the whole end-to-end business process can continue should a serious incident occur (at primary support level).

Continuity management involves the following basic steps:

  • Prioritising the activities to be recovered by conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  • Performing a Risk Assessment (aka risk analysis) for each of the IT Services to identify the assets, threats, vulnerabilities and countermeasures for each service.
  • Evaluating the options for recovery
  • Producing the Contingency Plan
  • Testing, reviewing, and revising the plan on a regular basis

Software Asset Management (SAM) is the practice of integrating people, processes and technology to allow software licenses and usage to be systematically tracked, evaluated and managed. The goal of SAM is to reduce IT expenditures, human resource overhead and risks inherent in owning and managing software assets.

SAM practices include: 

  • Maintaining software license compliance
  • Tracking inventory and software asset use
  • Maintaining standard policies and procedures surrounding definition, deployment, configuration, use, and retirement of software assets and the Definitive Software Library.

Kalyx Implement Service Management ]attempts to provide practitioners with a framework for the alignment of business needs and IT provision requirements. The processes and approaches incorporated within the guidelines suggest the development of a Continuous Service Improvement Program (CSIP) as the basis for implementing other ITIL disciplines as projects within a controlled program of work. Planning To Implement Service Management focuses mainly on the Service Management processes, but also applies generically to other ITIL disciplines.

Components include: 

  • creating vision
  • analyzing organization
  • setting goals
  • implementing IT service management

Aligning and realigning IT services to changing business needs (because standstill implies decline).

List of processes: 

  • Service Level Management
  • Service Measurement and Reporting
  • Continual Service Improvement

Centralized management has a time and effort trade-off that is related to the size of the company, the expertise of the IT staff, and the amount of technology being used:

For a small-business startup with ten computers, automated centralized processes may take more time to learn how to use and implement than just doing the management work manually on each computer.

A very large business with thousands of similar employee computers may clearly be able to save time and money, by having IT staff learn to do systems management automation.

A small branch office of a large corporation may have access to a central IT staff, with the experience to set up automated management of the systems in the branch office, without need for local staff in the branch office to do the work.

System management may involve one or more of the following tasks: 

  • Hardware inventories.
  • Server availability monitoring and metrics.
  • Software inventory and installation.
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware management.
  • User's activities monitoring.
  • Capacity monitoring.
  • Security management.
  • Storage management.
  • Network capacity and utilization monitoring.
  • Anti-manipulation management.

Kalyx Implement Service Management ]attempts to provide practitioners with a framework for the alignment of business needs and IT provision requirements. The processes and approaches incorporated within the guidelines suggest the development of a Continuous Service Improvement Program (CSIP) as the basis for implementing other ITIL disciplines as projects within a controlled program of work. Planning To Implement Service Management focuses mainly on the Service Management processes, but also applies generically to other ITIL disciplines.

Components include: 

  • creating vision
  • analyzing organization
  • setting goals
  • implementing IT service management

Aligning and realigning IT services to changing business needs (because standstill implies decline).

List of processes:

  • Service Level Management
  • Service Measurement and Reporting
  • Continual Service Improvement

Centralized management has a time and effort trade-off that is related to the size of the company, the expertise of the IT staff, and the amount of technology being used:

For a small-business startup with ten computers, automated centralized processes may take more time to learn how to use and implement than just doing the management work manually on each computer.

A very large business with thousands of similar employee computers may clearly be able to save time and money, by having IT staff learn to do systems management automation.

A small branch office of a large corporation may have access to a central IT staff, with the experience to set up automated management of the systems in the branch office, without need for local staff in the branch office to do the work.

System management may involve one or more of the following tasks:

  • Hardware inventories.
  • Server availability monitoring and metrics.
  • Software inventory and installation.
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware management.
  • User's activities monitoring.
  • Capacity monitoring.
  • Security management.
  • Storage management.
  • Network capacity and utilization monitoring.
  • Anti-manipulation management.
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