Service Level Management involves planning, coordinating, monitoring, and reporting of SLAs. It reviews services on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are being delivered cost-effectively and are meeting desired service targets. ITIL also introduces the concept of a Service Catalog that lists all the services delivered by IT to the business. Creation of this catalog forces IT to think in business terms and to link the IT infrastructure and its costs to the services that are being delivered.
Availability Management coordinates, designs, measures, and manages IT infrastructure availability, taking into account all aspects of the infrastructure and supporting organization. It coordinates and integrates loose-knit technology silos to ensure that needed services can actually be delivered at required levels and cost. This process brings together key disciplines such as reliability, serviceability, maintainability, security, and responsiveness for each service being delivered. It also assesses service risk and identifies mitigations where necessary.
Capacity Management looks at IT capacity, performance, and throughput compared with business workloads and objectives. Historically, the majority of IT organizations have focused on managing capacity based on how IT resources are being used. ITIL requires IT to first identify business drivers of capacity, translating them into service workloads through modeling and development of projections before applying them to the IT infrastructure. Other activities such as performance tuning and the sizing of hardware and software for application projects are included in this process.
IT Service Continuity Management ensures that IT services can be recovered in the event of a major disaster. It turns on the concept of Vital Business Functions and forces IT to look at how services -- rather than just technologies -- can be restored. ITIL aligns IT continuity plans with the business continuity plan in order to coordinate, design, plan, and test disaster-recovery policies to keep IT services running in the event of a major disruption to the business.
Finally, IT Financial Management provides budgeting, accounting, and charging services to manage IT costs and spending. In today’s world, very few IT organizations can actually identify what services they deliver, let alone what costs are incurred to deliver them, which is one reason IT has had little credibility in the boardroom. Developing the ability to articulate costs and IT’s contribution to the bottom line brings market dynamics and modern business practices to the IT organization.
The Service Desk exists here, too. In a typical business organization, business users and customers will interface with the Service Desk function on a daily basis as part of the Service Support workflow. At the same time, executives and management will interface with the Service Level Management process to put new services into place and review service quality using the Service Delivery workflow. This is how ITIL neatly divides the work that IT does, with emphasis on how it touches the business.
5. How about the other seven books? Are they chopped liver?