Where the distinctions tend to complicate themselves is when the game is actually an application for a specific IT solution, like incident management.
Now you have the incident management application, the infrastructure supporting incident management, and the process and procedures supporting the infrastructure which will include incident management and may in fact be using the same application it’s supporting. Using ITIL In Web Applications As mentioned, ITIL is a series of books covering every major topic of IT management.
Since its inception, the library grew to over 30 volumes.
The release of ITIL version 3 consolidated the volumes into five core titles: Service Strategy pertain to the processes used to identify market opportunities where services can be developed to meet a requirement.
The key areas of this title are Service Portfolio Management and Financial Management. Service Design pertain to all the activities required to develop the strategy in a design document covering every aspect of the propose service.
The key areas of this tile contain Availability Management, Capacity Management, Continuity Management, and Security Management. Service Transition pertains to the implementation of the service design and implementation of a production service or modification to an existing service.
The key areas found under this tile are Change Management, Release Management, Configuration Management, and Service Knowledge Management. Service Transition pertains to the activities necessary to operate the service and maintain functionality.
Key areas in this title are Incident Management, Problem Management, Request Fulfilment, and Event Management. Continual Service Improvement pertains to creating the ability to deliver improvements to the existing services.
This title covers the key areas of Service Reporting, Service Measurement, and Service Level Management. ITIL is a management protocol that change IT management from being IT bound to being business bound and is one of the most used Business Driven IT Management (BDIM) tools.
As mentioned, Web services have become another major driver for how business is done.
Cloud computing services for platforms, applications, even storage, have become available to provide a low cost, low maintenance solution to traditional in-house solutions that consume much of a company’s IT budget as well as their overall business finances.
These services are marketed as pay-as-you-use solutions that have the possibility to fit nicely into a company’s IT strategy either to replace or extend the current infrastructure. Whether a company is looking to utilize one of these services or are providing these services themselves, the opportunity of ITIL is equally important for their focus on effective delivery of IT services.
The problem with applying ITIL principles to the support of web applications is the nature of web application being an interwoven set of resources, web pages, and services.
The problem escalates the more systems that are tied into the web application.
The underlining problem is based on the concern of who to call when a failure occurs.
With traditional network problems, the application administrator was usually the last person to call, having most incidents being routed to network or server administrators to resolve the applicable network or server problems.
Since many web applications are portals for viewing the results of business logic which may reside in those more traditional systems, the incident routing tables may be more convoluted.
However, with careful planning, the adaption of ITIL to meet the requirements for supporting web applications is both possible and highly advantageous. Adapting Service Strategy The Service Strategy is an important aspect of ITIL for companies looking to utilize the web infrastructure to hosting or utilize applications on the web.
The framework focuses on implementing the best practices for developing a long term service strategy. For enterprises looking to utilize the web, this means identifying the potential benefits to utilizing the web for all or part of their IT strategy.
In cases where it is a transition from a traditional approach to using web services, the decision needs to be made pertaining to the transition period from one approach to the next.
But why would a company want to take a web approach to deliver IT services.
Most reasons for such a move for into one of three areas: Scalability, Availability, and Cost. Web services are highly scalable.
This is one of the selling points for the many pay-as-you-go services available on the web.
For using web applications, the company can pay for a single instance of use or multiple instances.
For most business applications, storage is required to house any data that is used with the applications.
The more that application is used, the more storage that is required.
Storage-as-a-service solutions allow companies to define how much storage they need progressively increase their storage as time continues.
The same concept is applied to the data throughput of the network.
Every company will experience spikes in usage every once and while due to increased workloads, new releases, or even effective marketing campaigns.
Web services can scale those increases appropriately to handle those spikes automatically or with prior communication. One of the primary concerns of companies is the availability of their applications and the data used by those applications.
When of the benefits of using the web is inherent ability to increase availability: anyone can access the web at any time or from any location.
This provides a great advantage for a company because they don’t have to increase their current infrastructure to increase availability.
Additionally, proper implementation of workload balancing, backup and restore, and redundancy procedures can provide additional assurances to availability.
Typically, these procedures are part of the service, though additional requirements may be available through a custom design. The greatest benefit of cloud computing solutions is the cost to businesses.
To provide the scalability and availability mentioned, companies traditionally needed to expand their existing infrastructures to provide the physical support required and build traditional fat applications to take over or expand existing software capabilities.
These solutions take on a great cost in time and money for companies.
By utilizing the web, the costs of these solutions are shared with the provider of the service.
In fact, the cost is drastically because the service provider absorbs the buck of the cost with the intention of sharing those portions of the cost with other companies requiring the services. For the company seeking these services, they simply need to understand what they need and find the service provider who is willing to provide it. — Using the Web to Promote ITIL The technology of the web is very conducive for implementing and monitoring the disciplines of ITIL.
Three types of applications can be built to support the processes: Monitoring Workflow Documentation Libraries ITIL is a standard which to manage the IT environment effectively and efficiently.
A possibility of being evaluated for ITIL compliance adds a certain assurance that the disciplines will be properly implemented.
As a standard, some guarantees are in place.
The first guarantee is that data is available to show how the different aspects of the IT solution are working to meet the service requirements place on them.
The second guarantee is that the processes and its components are clearly defined, including roles and responsibilities and cross process relationships.
The third guarantee is that the required databases are in place to support the IT service.
These guarantees all mention the existence of the components that make up the requirement framework for effective ITIL implementation, but their existence does not guarantee that the components are being used effectively. Fortunately with these guarantees in place, the foundation for creating web application around ITIL are also in place.
The first type of application possible is monitoring the services required by the customer.
One of the web technologies for applications is the mashup.
With this technology, three possibilities can be fulfiller: the ability to monitor two or more distinct functions in parallel; the ability to combine the data for two or more distinct functions together to do trend analysis, for instance, combining measurements for availability and capacity to identify the relationship between the two; and the ability to combine the data of two of more distinct functions in a cause and effect relationship, for instance the number of changes that are the result of problems. The advantage of the mashup for monitoring the IT infrastructure lies in the user interface.
In mashups, the user defines what they want to see in the interface and, ultimately, the interface can be different for each user.
This promotes supporting the diverse responsibilities in business.
For instance, a system administrator will want to see more detail in what they are monitoring than the overview statistics appropriate to an executive manager.
It the same comparison, the system administrator is wants to map data to ensure that the operation is intact, while the executive is looking to map the data to finances.
For each user, how the information is interpreted is just as important as having the information available and the ability to build their own interface only serves to have the data interpreted in the desire way. Additionally if the mashup component that allows the data to be interpreted in the desire way does not exist, the development of such a component is made simpler using web technologies.
Even if the system from which the data is retrieved is a traditional non-web implementation, the technologies of the web hold the keys for tapping into these applications and retrieving the data necessary for monitoring.
And the web technologies do not stop there.
If they can be used to retrieve information, they can also be used to enter information into the system.
One of the problems faced in any IT organization is the diverse range of applications in place to ensure that operations are maintained. These applications are diverse in the languages they use, their handling of data, and their functional purposes.
To have two or more of these applications communicating with each other used to require a bridge that was extensively developed and acting as a third application between the two primary systems.
Web development can create this bridge as a add-on to both applications and maybe even all the applications used within the environment.
In creating these “bridges,” the possibility of creating applications that contribute to workflow management are realized. Workflow management specifically focuses on moving work through several process and in doing so identifying bottlenecks for work and improvements to the support infrastructure or processes.
For IT support, workflow opportunities are everywhere.
For instance, when a incident happens, a “ticket” is created and routed to the first level of support.
If a resolution cannot be applied at this level, the ticket is routed to the next level of support.
This routing usually involves moving the ticket from one support team’s queue to the next.
Depending on the context of the incident and its severity, further notification may be required.
Furthermore, if the incident is caused by a known error, the resolution may be attached to the ticket for purposes of understanding how often a particular resolution is utilized. If a the incident is not caused by a known error, then the resolution or workaround will be placed in the ticket when it is found, allowing the database holding all known errors and resolutions to be populated with the new information.
But the workflow doesn’t necessarily end at this point.
If a incident is unresolved, it is now taken over by the problem management process where the problem is diagnosed and a resolution sought out.
Once a resolution is found, the change management process is now initiated to implement the resolution accordingly.
And since all changes are essentially changes to one or more configuration items, the process configuration management process is not evoked to complete the change.
The work can continue depending on the impact of the problem and resolution, but this short description will suffice.
Essentially, a single ticket can move through the incident management, the problem management, the change management, and the configuration processes.
Unfortunately since the processes are different, the likelihood exists that the databases supporting the processes are different and may not communicate between each other.
Using web technologies, a ticket can be created and based on sufficient checkpoints be automatically routed through the processes, updating the appropriate databases along the way. Every ticket has specific information that can act as triggers for how it should be handled.
Severity, which describes the potential impact on the business from critical to minor, will require that ticket be handled as a major event even a disaster if the severity is considered critical.
The normal processes for handling incidents are not bypassed, only that additional processes are invoked that run in parallel.
In a critical disruption of service, the technical support teams are still attempting to resolve the incident and potential problem and, at the same time, business management is attempting to minimize the impact of the disruption.
Tracking the activities of both groups may be necessary for ensuring that everything that is being done is communicated and the results can be analysed at a later time.
So not only is workflow necessary but some capability around collaboration.
Web applications have already shown some success in build components that allow successful collaboration. Finally, a number of databases exist within the IT support environment with the goal of supporting the processes.
Each of these databases serve a specific purpose and are typically assigned to a specific process.
For instance, the Configuration Management Database is assigned to the process called configuration management.
Change records are housed in a change management database that is assigned to change management.
Known errors are stored in their own database and assign to both the incident management and problem management processes.
These databases usually consist of information that is similar and as such have relationships that are not usually exploited by a service organization.
Web application development can create a solution that can assist in establishing their relationships, retrieving the information from several databases to compile into a single record and updating the databases when new information is created.
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