Four Dimensions of Service Management – Information and Technology

The four dimensions of service management conjures up visions of some fantastic journey to another reality.

What we are really speaking about is the varying perspectives that are critical to effective and efficient facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders.

If we were to visualize this it might look like the four legs of a table, while it might be able to stand with only three legs it won’t be very stable in the long run.

The four dimensions include:

  • Organization and People
  • Information and Technology
  • Partners and Suppliers
  • Value Stream and Processes

In this post we will talk about Information and Technology

This dimension relates to information and knowledge and the technologies required to provide service.

Information

When we think about how this dimension works it might be an area that is overlooked by people in IT as they think they have the answers to this already. However rather than making assumptions we really should take a look at this just like the other dimensions and answer some of the following questions:

  • What information will your services manage?
  • What supporting information is required to manage the services?
  • What does the lifecycle of the information and knowledge assets look like?

So let’s look at what these questions a bit closer

Information Management

When we are looking at ‘what information will your services manage’, we are talking about information management. Being able to manage information for your business is just one way to deliver value, as it is the one thing that all businesses will need to be able access accurately and consistently as it is the main output for most IT services. A good example of this might be people in your contracts department. They should be able to see the contract information, vendor details and service levels, while keeping the information segregated to only those who are meant to see the data and no one else.

Information Exchange

When we ask ‘what supporting information is required to manage the services’, we are asking about Information Exchange. The ability for your services to exchange information between components and services is key for businesses to stay ahead. To be able to do that your services need to be optimized in a multitude of factors such as accuracy, availability and accessibility to name a few.

Challenges of Information Management

When we start to take a closer look at the lifecycle of the information and knowledge assets we start to understand the challenges of Information Management. Think about all the possible regulatory requirements for data across different business disciplines as well as geographies. Because of this we have to take a longer look at how you protect, archive and dispose of information and any knowledge artifacts

Technology

It pretty hard to imagine any organization not leveraging technology on some scale to be able to compete in today’s economy. The trick is for them to choose the right amount of technology to be able to be competitive.

Before an organization even considers what technology to leverage there may be cultural or business considerations that will apply. In some cases the culture may look at the ‘bleeding edge’ and require the newest technology available. Other organizations such as government agencies may require more security related technologies that control what services can be consumed or exchanged.

Some of the questions that organizations should consider with technology should include:

  • Can this technology offer additional capabilities that can access other products or services?
  • What is our organizations risk tolerance for bleeding edge or legacy technology?
  • How will this technology impact current policies, security controls or regulatory matters?
  • How long will this technology last?
  • Does this technology introduce any unforeseen risks or constraints to our organization?
  • Does this technology line up with what or organizational strategy for service looks like?

This is just one of the four dimensions of service management. Nothing in ITSM should be done in isolation so having the other dimensions in place is critical to getting the value we are searching for.  Stay tuned for additional posts on this subject.


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