What is Applied Service Management? … And How Do I Go About Getting Me Some

 Author(s): , Posted on February 19th, 2015

We’ve heard the call and the need to operate differently.  For IT to move beyond reacting, and to solve issues before they become incidents. IT must break through legacy barriers to substantially improve performance, reduce costs and fully comply with regulatory requirements. The CIO must make strategic IT investments and offer solutions that reshape IT into a valued business partner.  We have heard this a lot, every day, every month.  The question is, how do we achieve this vision?

IT organizations must balance theory and reality while taking proactive, transformative steps to optimize operations and focus on execution.   And this is where the majority of time has been spent, focusing on standards, best practices and high level concepts.  There are several great best practice guides, which usually come in the form of books, training and consulting.  All good in theory, however, how many people actually implement all of them?  How many of us read to the end of the books vs just skipping and wanting to know “who dun it”, or worse, we just wait for the movie?   And Business Service Management, also great in theory, however once again the time and cost commitment to achieve this is quite large.  And if we compare what has happened to the IT landscape over just the last couple years, did BSM really figure in the whole SMACK stack to the deployment, integration and orchestration equation?

With mounting pressure to work differently, Unisys provides a new data, execution-focused approach that reinvents how IT operates. We have dubbed this “Applied Service Management”.

Applied Service Management approaches service management excellence through the rigors of process management, Lean Six Sigma, and data analysis.

Many IT organizations are caught between delivering efficiency and transformation. There’s the day-to-day challenge of providing appropriate services and an efficient, stable and cost-effective infrastructure. CIOs must effectively address competing priorities, resource constraints and changing business and user demands as they struggle to make service management changes.

At the same time, IT needs to embrace transformation and disruptive technologies even as legacy infrastructure, tools and processes create barriers to transformation. Cloud computing, analytics and end-user demands for mobility have added new layers of complexity that often drain resources. With limited skills and resources, CIOs are further confronted by vendor dependencies, rampant sprawl of applications, devices and tools.  The need for stronger governance, risk management and compliance in a changing environment is essential.

Traditional approaches to meeting these challenges have centered on service management tools and making incremental improvements to IT processes. Yet with new technologies, heightened business requirements and dramatic shifts in the way people work, these approaches are not creating much-needed breakthroughs. IT organizations need to think differently and more importantly, they need to act differently.

Since many people both internally and externally ask what exactly does this mean, let me give you a few examples.

Let’s start out by what we mean by applied vs theoretical.  For those of you fans of “The Big Bang Theory”, you know that Sheldon is a theoretical physicist looking for answers in abstract concepts like string theory and dark matter.  Good, but not really practical to solving problems today.  Leonard on the other hand, is an applied physicist, working with things like lasers, which can then be modified to do a variety of tasks.

If  we now compare it to the discipline of service management, concepts like Service Design are great, however there is a lot more involved in actually coming up with the service descriptions, understanding the cost of delivery a unit of service, what should the actual QoS levels be, etc, etc.  This you do not learn from a book, sorry.  This is really learned by actually developing, launching, failing and adjusting products and services.  If you have not launched a dud, then all you are talking is theory.

Same thing with BSM, sounds great in principle, however, how many companies have the experience let alone the results of tying all these various disparate systems, new and legacy into one “source of truth”.  Usually we see people just stuff a bunch of data into the CMDB, then wonder why it still does not tell them anything, Or they don’t have the time and expertise to connect all these other systems, which would then give them greater visibility and automation capabilities.

This is why what we do is called Applied Service Management.  We have done the integrations for you, to many of the most common systems you will need. We have done this because this is what we need to run the other part of our business, where we, just like you, run help desks and data centers globally.

Instead of trying to figure out how to choose, load, launch a service catalog, and how to make it work on the back end, we have done that too. With one of the top technology partners in the market.  We have hammered out the deployment, created the best practices and saved you months if not years on the learning curve.

Want to get better at running a service desk, we can show you the modifications we have made to make not only your life easier, to improve the productivity of your front line people, and even more important, the employees they are serving.

Continuous Improvement without data is like trying to pick stocks without Gordon Gecko.  Remember why they call it insider trading and what he said.  He wants to bet on a sure thing.  You are sitting on mountains of data that would allow you to slice and dice and analyze based on types, personas, time, impact, the list goes on. With this analysis, you can come up with more intelligent decisions on how to spend your capital, where to focus to get both quick wins in time and cost savings, and where to place bets on longer term items that will have equally big returns.  We showcased some of this type of data analysis on our recent webinar.

But who has time and extra budget to create your own in house team of data scientists.  Once again, we have already done the heavy lifting, we have refined the process and continue to spend all our time getting even better at this and in new areas. As a client, you benefit from the end result. You are able to know what time it is today, anywhere in the world vs staffing up a large R& D organization focused on the development of the latest and greatest time tracking and display technologies.

In the title of this piece I teased you with how to get some of this.  Well it is easy, just let us know you would like to have a conversation around where you are today and where you not only want, but NEED to be in the next 24 months.  We like to have this type of whiteboard discussions, to have our clients bring us their toughest challenges.

So drop me a line at Andrew(dot)harsch(@)Unisys(dot)com and I will organize the right set of experts to take your questions, provide our insight and see how we can help you.

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About the Author

Andrew Harsch is the Director of Portfolio Marketing at Unisys where he focuses on the disciplines of ITSM, ITOM and Service Desk. Read all Posts





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