Many words, acronyms, and phrases are used in discussions of ITIL service catalogs, ITIL best practices for IT service delivery management, and business service management. Some are unique to this realm, while others are more commonly used terms that have a unique meaning when used in a service management context. To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data, a leading provider of BMC® Remedy® business and IT service delivery management applications and tools, has compiled this set of definitions.
BMC Remedy ARS® is an IT service delivery management platform for automating and managing business processes. It includes pre-built modules for notifications, escalations, and approvals, and also provides business activity monitoring functionality.
A key term in relation to ITIL service catalogs, "actionable" means that the catalog can be easily updated and provides a way for the user to interact with the catalog to request services. Generally associated with catalog request software, and the opposite of a "static" catalog built in an application such as Word or Excel.
An application management best-practices framework, developed to guide IT in supporting business processes. The ASL is focused on processes rather than management structures, making it suitable for a wide range of organizations. More information can be found on the ASL Foundation website .
Software that enables the control and monitoring of all assets (equipment, software licenses, etc.) owned by an organization. These packages typically provide information about assets such as description, location, condition, cost, and warranty status. Combining an IT asset management repository with the configuration management database (CMDB) increases the value of that repository across the organization.
Software functionality that automatically identifies and assists in managing IT assets such as servers, databases, applications, devices and services. Auto discovery tools are essential to accurately populating the CMBD, but they are only a partial solution.
Term used to describe the functions within a business or organization which are critical but non customer-facing. Typical examples are facilities management, accounting, human resources, and IT. A properly implemented ITIL service catalog ties an organization's back office and front office together, by presenting back office services to business users in easily understood terms.
Software tools which automate and monitor the execution of business processes and tasks. They enable managers to analyze performance and modify processes for continual improvement in service delivery management.
Software management tools that help IT to align processes and prioritize projects based on business objectives. BSM tools provide information that enables IT to avoid over-committing resources to low-priority processes, prevent downtime for critical processes, and improve overall systems performance. Service catalogs reflect the priorities and service levels determined through BSM and IT service delivery management tools.
A methodology used to develop and continually improve software development processes. The model consists of five-levels of increasingly mature and structured processes. CMM was originally developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). CMM has similarities to the ISO 9001 standard but provides a framework for continuous improvement rather than just a specification for minimum acceptable process quality. At level 3, an organization standardizes processes for delivering IT services; standard services are developed and can be communicated through a service catalog .
Broadly speaking, compliance simply means having processes in place that meet the requirements of a range of regulations, from OSHA dictates to SOX. Service catalogs built using tools such as Kinetic Request assist with compliance in areas such as access to applications and task authorization, ensuring, for example, that HR doesn't have the same access to vendors that purchasing has, and purchasing doesn't have the same level of access to personnel records that HR does. A service catalog can control service request access, track request history and provide an audit trail. Kinetic Survey also supports SOX compliance through its Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) capabilities, including the ability to easily manage compliance certification processes through task scheduling, and to centralize all projects and resulting data.
A configuration item (CI) is any IT infrastructure component that is under configuration management control. All CIs are uniquely identified by their name and attributes, and are generally viewed as self-contained units for identification and change control. CIs vary in type and complexity from an entire service (involving people, software, and hardware) to an individual device. The CMDB should ideally contain all of the CIs in an organization. An IT service catalog tool presents users with services, which may be a single CI or consist of several CIs used together.
A repository of all configuration items (CIs) in an organization: IT assets, configurations, and services. According to BMC , "there is a business value in having a single 'source of record' for an organization that provides a logical model of the IT infrastructure to identify, manage, and verify all Configuration Items (CI) in the environment." Although maintaining an accurate and complete CMDB is part of ITIL best practices, CMDB projects are often long and challenging. Implementing a service catalog is a smaller "quick win" project that not only provides tangible value to business users, but also builds management support for CMDB implementations.
An iterative, ongoing effort to improve the quality and reduce costs of delivering IT and business services to an organization. CSIPs are addressed as part of service-level management in the ITIL service delivery module, which also prescribes the use of an IT service catalog to manage business requests for IT services.
A set of IT governance and security guidelines, and related toolset, to assist IT managers in setting control policies and managing processes to reduce risk. The first version of COBIT was published in 1996 by the IT Governance Institute ® (ITGI), which has recently released COBIT 4.0, focused on regulatory compliance and increasing the value IT brings to the organization. One of several IT management and measurement standards (including ISO 20000 and Six Sigma), COBIT focuses on compliance, which ITIL addresses as part of IT service management.
Commonly used to mean a software capability to check for acceptable input to a survey, as well as reject bad input and provide an appropriate error message. The data validation capabilities of Kinetic Survey enable security, support compliance, and reduce errors in enterprise feedback management projects. In addition to providing field-level validation, Kinetic Survey also enables IT asset validation for non-autodiscoverable (see Auto discovery ) items at predefined intervals; so, for example, you can verify the location and condition of assets such as projectors on a regular basis using automated tools.
The ability of survey creation and administration software or Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) tools to branch to a different set of questions based on the answers to previous questions; a feature of Kinetic Survey.
A rapid application development framework emphasizing iterative software development to respond to evolving user needs. DSDM was developed in the 1990s by a group of IS vendors and experts in the U.K. to provide a set of best practices for developing applications on time and on budget. DSDM is focused on best practices in application development as ITIL focuses on IT service delivery.
External ad internal customer survey software tools that enable companies to systematically gather and manage feedback, and integrate results with other information systems for a comprehensive, accurate, and actionable organization-wide view. Gartner Group predicts that by 2008, 40 percent of survey-response tool implementations will incorporate EFM, which fills a critical gap not addressed by stand-alone web survey software applications or other types of enterprise software. EFM automates the response-gathering process, increases efficiency and lowers costs by eliminating the use of multiple, redundant, disconnected survey tools. EFM tools such as Kinetic Survey enable functional groups to gather timely feedback on service quality and requirements, and monitor perceptions through frequent feedback. EFM systems improve overall organizational effectiveness by controlling survey frequency, alerting management to trouble conditions, and integrating with other enterprise applications.
An independent, global IT-examination body, focused on improving the knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT) professionals through testing and certification. The organization offers international certification programs, in multiple languages, in IT standards such as DSDM, ISO 20000, and ITIL.
Software tools such as Kinetic Field that assist an organization in managing service delivery at a customer's site, whether the service is delivered by a provider to an outside organization, or by an internal department (such as IT) to another department within the same organization. FSM functions often include: call logging/tracking, trouble ticket and work order creation, service technician scheduling, service level agreement (SLA) tracking, and service quality tracking through enterprise feedback management systems. FSM may also be referred to as enterprise service management (ESM) or field workforce management (FWM).
Term used to describe the customer-facing functions within a business or organization. Typical examples are sales, marketing, customer support and service consulting. A service catalog ties an organization's back office and front office together, by presenting back office services to business users in easily understood terms.
The process of managing multi-departmental or multi-function responses to disruptions in operations. The goal of Incident Management under the ITIL framework is to minimize operational disruptions by responding to requests and restoring service operations as promtly as possible. Its effectiveness is dependent upon a properly designed and accurate CMDB, and is enhanced by use of ITIL Problem and Change Management guidelines. Because it provides quick and visible reductions in cost and increases in service delivery quality, Incident Management is frequently among the first processes implemented within the ITIL Service Desk framework.
A library of best practices for managing IT-related procurement processes. It outlines planning, contract management, and risk management best practices for buying and vendor organizations. Focused on the buyer-vendor relationship, ISPL assists with request-for-proposal (RFP) writing, contract writing, and delivery management. While DSDM focuses on best practices in application development and ITIL focuses on IT service delivery, ISPL is focused on the information services procurement process. Because of its service acquisition focus, ISPL fits well with ITIL implementations. It is targeted at managers in procurement, contract administration, facilities and IT.
An independent IT-accreditation organization based in the U.K., the ISEB seeks to increase competence and performance standards for IT professionals by offering a variety of industry-recognized certifications. The ISEB conducts qualification examinations that provide accreditation in various IT disciplines. It is not a training organization but does promote training providers that meet its qualifications for course topics, instructional quality, useful materials, and a productive learning environment. The ISEB and EXIN have a formal alliance to promote the use of industry-recognized standards such as COBIT, CMMI, ISO 20000, Six Sigma, and ITIL. More information is available at the ISEB website .
A standard promulgated by the the International Standards Organization (ISO) which defines requirements for IT service delivery and management. The ISO 20000 standard has a number of purposes, including setting benchmarks for IT services management, improving service delivery, and establishing the capability to deliver services that meet customer requirements. The standard consists of two documents: a service management system specification and a set of practices. Combined, these documents establish a framework of service management processes required for high-quality service delivery. ISO 20000 is a high-level specification that aligns with the service delivery processes recommended by ITIL.
The accumulated, unfinished tasks built up within an IT department over time, which prevent IT from addressing new service requests in a timely manner. ITIL processes help reduce the IT backlog by defining standard changes—repetitive, common tasks that are candidates for standardization. Such standardization improves IT service delivery efficiency and enables management to focus attention on more strategic activities.
Variously defined as an integrated set of IT best practices recommendations, a framework for accepted IT service management best practices, and a set of documents designed to improve IT service delivery. ITIL provides an extensive set of IT management procedures designed to improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of IT services delivery. The library was first developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), a U.K. government agency. It is now managed by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC). ITIL V3 consists of five core documents: IT Service Design, IT Service Introduction, IT Service Operations, IT Service Improvement and IT Service Strategies. One key element of ITIL service delivery recommendations is the establishment of an easy-to-use, dynamic IT service catalog; Kinetic Request service catalog software supports implementation of a service catalog by providing service request management functionality on the BMC Remedy platform.
An approach to managing large-scale IT systems and processes focusing on the customer perspective of service delivery (as opposed to technology-centric), and promoted by ITIL best practices. ITSM is a framework for continual improvement in the IT services delivery process, much as CMM is focused on application development. Effective IT service management integrates technology with people and processes in a manner that supports industry best practices, such as implementation of a service catalog .
The Information Technology Service Management Forum (itSMF) is a professional forum dedicated to helping member organizations achieve operational excellence by promoting and assisting in the implementation of best practices in IT service management and delivery. In addition to hosting an annual conference of IT professionals, the organization provides ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 certification, publications, and assistance with planning and implementing IT service management and service catalog best practices. Specifically, itSMF assists members with improving service delivery, enhancing management tools, improving service level agreements (SLAs), and making IT operations more "auditable." The itSMF collaborates with the Office of Government Commerce (OCG) on the development of ITIL publications.
The ITPESC is a partner with the OCG in the management of ITIL and publishes a wide variety of IT service management publications, including textbooks, pocket guides, white papers and websites. Among its publications are Introduction to ITIL, METRICS for IT Service Management, Six Sigma for IT Management, and IT Service Management from Hell. The group ensures that all publications produced by local itSMF Chapters meet consistent standards for quality and utility to itSMF members globally.
A database of "data about data" the purpose of which is to enable reliable and uniform access to information stored in various databases. This database defines the header values of rows and columns used in database tables to provide clarity and consistency (for example, so that everyone within an organization is using a consistent definition of "customer" for data entry and analysis purposes: a "customer" may be defined as a company, business unit, department, location, individual or some other entity). A metadata repository provides a means of cataloging organizational information; Nick Gall, program director at the META Group, has stated that "The lack of adequate catalog services is the No. 1 impediment to interoperable distributed systems. The information is at our fingertips; we simply lack the ability to get it when and where we need it." While both a CMDB and a metadata repository support IT service management processes, the CMDB, with its focus on configuration, tends to be more dynamic than the repository of descriptive data about data.
Although all of an organization's assets are, practically speaking, "discoverable," this term is often used in place of the more technically accurate "non-autodiscoverable." These assets (items such as phones, projectors, furniture, contracts, license agreements, etc.) can't be automatically detected by asset management, network monitoring, systems management or other software applications, yet monitoring their condition and location is just as important as for hardware and software assets. An enterprise feedback management system such as Kinetic Survey is a valuable tool for properly managing non-autodiscoverable assets.
The OGC is a government agency in the United Kingdom, an independent office of the U.K. Treasury. Its objective is to increase efficiencies in procurement across governmental functions. Among its initiatives are quality, regulations, vendor relations and efficient procurement practices. The OCG reviews and advises other government agencies on best practices in procurement across services, property, equipment and IT-related expenditures. Along with the itSMF, the OCG publishes and promotes the use of ITIL best practices in IT service management and feedback.
The development of specific improvements and implementation plans for IT service delivery processes. These improvements are usually based on more closely aligning those processes with recognized best practices outlined by ITIL, COBIT, CMM or other widely accepted models. Process enhancement initiatives assist IT organizations in identifying key areas for improvement, quantifying the benefits, and redesigning processes based on established IT standards.
A global organization dedicated to promulgating best practices in project management, PMI provides its members with education and professional networking opportunities for skills enhancement and career advancement. Its services include education and training, publishing, events, setting standards, and certification in project management. The organization's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide is the only accepted American National Standards Institure (ANSI) project management standard. PMI offers three levels of professional project management certification: Project Management Professional (PMP®), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®), and the Program Management Professional (PgMPSM) designation for individuals coordinating multiple projects simultaneously.
ITIL defines a service catalog as a list or directory of services provided to employees (and sometimes to customers), which enables users to submit requests and a service delivery department (such as IT) to fulfill them. Service catalogs are a key component of ITIL standards for IT service delivery management. While they are often a user-facing subset of components of a CMDB, service catalogs are neither dependent on a fully-developed CMDB for implementation nor confined to IT services; they can just as easily present services delivered by human resources, facilities or other business user service provision functions. Within the catalog, the listing for each service typically includes a service description, estimated delivery time or SLA, costs, fulfillment instructions, and possibly approval processes and delivery tracking instructions. Kinetic Request offers BMC Remedy users an easy-to-use, native tool for creating and managing actionable service catalogs across departments.
Originated by Forrester Research in 2002, SDA is the overarching term for a set of processes that specify how a service delivery function (such as IT) efficiently, reliably and repeatedly provides predefined services to business users. Accoring to Forrester, "Services procurement applications are a growth segment in the overall eProcurement/eSourcing market...Enterprise spending on services—ranging from temporary workers and consultants to marketing, legal, and facilities management—represents a large but largely unmanaged proportion of enterprise spending. Standard eProcurement applications don't help because they only focus on the initial buying and not on the day-to-day management of services delivery against a contract." Service catalogs are a central component of effective service delivery automation, coordinating the efforts of departmental or even cross-functional teams to manage the delivery of business services in an effective and timely manner.
The function of coordinating the processes involved in providing a business service to meet organization standards for quality and timeliness, frequently based on established service level agreements (SLAs). SDM encompasses the proper definition of an IT or other business service, establishment of quality control and approval procedures, status reporting (for both the business user submitting the request and IT / functional service group management), service delivery processes, and enterprise feedback. SDM optimizes the service provision processes of IT or other internal service delivery functions with the needs of business users. An actionable IT service catalog is a key component of effective SDM.
The coordination of all tasks and processes required for business service delivery, including: service identification; service modeling; service development; service publishing (i.e. through a service catalog); service delivery; process improvement; establishment of and management to SLAs; and enterprise feedback collection, evaluation and integration for continuous process refinement and management. This lifecycle applies to any business service and serves as a useful model for developing and managing repeatable business services.
The introduction of a Service Management Knowledge System in ITIL V3 is viewed as a key improvement to the standards. The ITIL SMKS incorporates former knowledge bases from V2 such as known error and CMDB, but it expands on these on a much broader scope. According to the itSMF, "All books in the core will have guidance on knowledge management and introduce the principles of moving from simple data collection to extracting information from data, deriving knowledge from information and wisdom from knowledge...This is far more synergistic to the concepts in practice today for knowledge management and those predicted by knowledge management thought leaders for the future...It is also the direction that enables growth from reactive to proactive service management."
A collection of software applications and tools designed to help manage IT service levels and to identify, model, communicate, deliver, and monitor the delivery of IT or other business services to improve the timeliness, quality, and efficiency of business services management (BSM). These include tools for asset management, SLA management, service catalog creation, service delivery, help desk, knowledge management, and enterprise feedback management among other service management applications.
A software structure or framework that utilizes loosely coupled software services to address business process requirements. SOA relies on services that are independent of each other and have defined interfaces that can be accessed to perform tasks in a standard way. Services don't rely on knowledge of the application, and the application doesn't need to know how the service works. In an SOA environment, network resources are exposed as independent services that can be accessed by applications regardless of their underlying platform. Being platform- and technology-independent, SOA may be implemented using Web Services, REST, RPC, DCOM or CORBA protocols. SOA is an IT architecture style that allows developers to create applications or business process tools by combining interoperable, loosely-coupled services that interact autonomously from the programming language or underlying technology platform, making components both reusable and platform-independent. So, for example, services running on .Net and written in C# and Java services can both be accessed by the same application. Applications developed on either platform can also utilize services running on the other.
A term used to describe how IT groups coordinate and present services to business users. Service portfolio management helps align IT resources and services with the needs of business users, providing higher business value, a better understanding of the value of IT to business users, and an effective management system to ensure that IT is delivering needed services in an efficient and effective manner. This includes standardizing and documenting internal and external IT services, presenting IT services to users in common business terms, automating workflows and approval processes for fulfillment of user requests, and reporting on IT delivery performance. The advantages of service portfolio management are better service for business users; improved IT management; successful ITIL implementation; improved visibility of costs; and regulatory compliance. Kinetic Request is a critical tool for presenting IT services in an actionable service catalog and managing the service request process; Kinetic Survey enables IT organizations to easily collect critical business user feedback on the quality and timeliness of service delivery.
A key component of an actionable ITIL service catalog, service request management is the underlying workflow and processes that enable an IT procurement or service request to be reliably submitted, routed, approved, monitored and delivered. This is a key component of Kinetic Request, which enables rapid development of service catalogs built on the BMC Remedy platform and utilizes the underlying workflow structure of BMC Remedy to effectively manage and fulfill business user services requests across departments.
A software tool or application that manages the entire service request and fulfillment process, including: presentation of IT or other business services to users; service request submission; request routing and workflow; request approvals; and service delivery. An actionable IT service catalog itself is one component of a larger service request management system. While most commonly associated with request management and delivery of IT services, a flexible SRMS, such as Kinetic Request, enables any service delivery function (IT, human resources, facilities, sales and marketing, etc.) to create service catalogs and automate approval and service delivery workflow processes.
A measure of near-perfect quality, statistically no more than 3.4 defects per million. In business terms, Six Sigma is a structured, information-driven process that strives for near perfection, the virtual elimination of defects through process control. It can be applied to any process, from development to manufacturing to service delivery. According to iSixSigma, "A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications." The goal of the Six Sigma methodology is measurement-based process improvement that reduces variation and hence the chance of defects. Though often associated with General Electric, where Jack Welch introduced it very successfully, the Six Sigma system of practices was developed originally at Motorola. Six Sigma is separate from and independent of ITIL, but the two standards can be used in combination: ITIL provides a framework of guidelines for best practices in IT services, specifying what an organization should do—but not how to do it. Six Sigma, in contrast, provides a specific process of measurement and quality improvement.
Any user-response questionnaire delivered in a browser. Web surveys can be created and disseminated using either external (software services) or internal tools. External tools are often low-cost and easy to use, but they are difficult to standardize and manage across organizations, and often rely on manual processes for any integration with existing business applications. Internal survey-creation tools, such as Kinetic Survey, provide greater flexibility (e.g. email and phone surveys in addition to web-based) and are pre-integrated with existing platforms (in the case of Kinetic Survey, BMC Remedy) allowing for easy automatic routing of survey responses for a variety of uses, including planning, quality control, and process management.