INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICE MANAGEMENT (ITSM) PLATFORM
ITSM supports the delivery of IT services to our customers using people, processes, and technology. It encompasses proactive processes and procedures used to plan, design, deliver, and control IT service delivery to our customers. ITSM is comprised of Project Management, Business Relationship Management, Service Level Management, Service Desk, Process Management, and Business Applications.
ITSM is also leading the initiative for the AST State Data Center to obtain its ISO/IEC 20000 certification. ISO/IEC 20000 is an International Standard for IT Service Management. Becoming certified will allow us to demonstrate we have implemented best practices in our IT Management environment, including benchmarks to continuously improve our ability to deliver IT services to our customers.
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Business Relationship Management
The Business Relationship Managers (BRM) strive to develop and nurture effective working relationships with AST’s Customers. The BRMs accomplish this through several communication channels including Customer/BRM meetings, email, and phone, as well as monitoring Customer tickets. The BRMs serve in a facilitative capacity, often assisting with ticket escalations and complaint tracking. The BRMs conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys to identify and address opportunities to improve service delivery.
Service Level Management
Service Level Management is responsible for the creation, review, maintenance and negotiation of all documented service requirements, Service Catalog, Service Level Agreements and other documented agreements, which define the Service Levels provided to our Customers. The Service Level Manager monitors and reports on both AST and Customer compliance with service commitments and agreements.
Change & Release Management
The primary objective of Change and Release Management is to minimize disruptions to Information Technology Management Services (ITSM). To better facilitate the desired outcome, workflows have been developed to handle changes based on impact, urgency and risk. Change and Release Management facilitates open communications with customers and AST staff throughout the process. Change records represent the over-arching scope of work being proposed whereas Release records document the actual work being implemented. Changes usually span a longer period while Releases are shorter in duration and more defined. Releases are a component of the Change and therefore ownership and certain characteristics are inherited from the Change. Changes may contain multiple Releases, allowing Change Owners to document each Release to meet specific needs. The scope for this process will include all services provided to our customers as defined by our Service Level Agreements. All configuration items managed by AST are within the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and are under the control of the change management process. The CI Types include: Application, Database, Document, IT Infrastructure, Network Device (Router, Switch, etc.), Network Load Balancing, Other Appliance, Server, and Storage.
Incident & Service Request Management/Resolution
Service Request Management records and fulfill requests while Incident Management process logs, investigates, diagnoses, and resolves incidents. Incidents can be submitted from Service Desk interactions, opened by support staff, or automatically detected and reported by event monitoring tools. Service Requests are requested from customers, suppliers, and staff via tickets or service orders. The process includes all necessary steps to log, record, and fulfill/resolve Service Requests and Incidents, including any necessary escalations or reassignments. The service desk initially records and assigns incidents and service request to the appropriate support area at AST. The scope for this process will include all services provided to our customers as defined by our Service Level Agreements.
Problem Management is the process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all problems. The primary objectives of Problem Management are to prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening, to eliminate recurring incidents, and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented.
Problem Management includes the activities required to analyse data and trends on Incidents and Problems to identify root causes and their potential preventive action. It is also responsible for ensuring that the resolution is implemented through appropriate control procedures. Problem Management will also maintain information about Problems and the appropriate Work-Around(s) and resolutions, so that the organization can reduce the number and impact of Incidents over time.
The objective of Availability Management is to ensure the level of service Availability delivered matches or exceeds the current and future agreed needs. This process is responsible for providing management for availability related issues, both services and resources, and ensuring Availability targets in all areas are measured and achieved. Availability is monitored through the primary use of agency Monitoring Tool (Solarwinds) and the ITSM Tool (Cherwell), which both report on operations and incidents related to unplanned downtime. The information being monitored using agency Monitoring Tool is imported into the ITSM Tool to provide reporting to Customers and Shareholders, and maintain historical Availability data.
The service desk functions as the entry point for all incidents and service requests that come into AST from customers, vendors, staff, and alerting. The service desk processes these tickets to assign to the appropriate sections within AST and escalates tickets appropriately. The service desk also monitors overall performance of tickets to make sure they are being processed correctly within the agency. Example monitoring includes unacknowledged tasks, resolved but not closed tickets with customer response, etc.
The Business Applications section is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of custom applications used by the agency’s business and operational units. The supported applications include, but are not limited to, incident/service request, change/release, continual service improvement, and problem management. The Business Applications section provides dashboards and reports for monitoring key performance indicators and metrics.
AST is in the initial stages in achieving ISO/IEC 20000 certification. Obtaining this prestigious certification demonstrates an organization’s value in the design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services that fulfill service requirement and provide value for the customer. AST staff is currently documenting policies, processes, procedures and plans that will direct and control AST activities in pursuit of the certification.