We have now spent some time talking about IT Governance as well as the Business IT Planning phase of the lifecycle and so I wanted to jump ahead a bit from planning straight into the Operations and Support phase of the lifecycle, with emphasis on the Operations piece. Please understand that I am intentionally leaving out the middle at this point, the design, build, stabilize, and deploy phase that creates a service and moves it into production for the Operations and Support groups. But I do promise we’ll come back to that one shortly and fill in the gap.
Operations and Support is an area that Microsoft has to get right as we have a responsibility to assist our customers with operating and supporting our platform in the most efficient and painless manner possible. And that requirement does lead very naturally to our goal, or mission statement, for this phase.
“To operate, maintain, and support existing IT services in line with SLA targets.”
To support that goal, we’re proposing streamlining the existing Operating Quadrant by combining several of the current Service Management Functions (SMFs) and mapping that workflow throughout the lifecycle in addition to providing technology specific work instructions. In our proposed model, we would be making several changes to the existing Operating quadrant SMFs. I’ll list out the current SMFs and then talk about the changes. For a better, graphical representation, please download and review the attached PowerPoint presentation.
- Systems Administration SMF
- Network Administration SMF
- Directory Services SMF
- Storage Management SMF
- Job Scheduling SMF
- Security Management SMF
- Service Monitoring and Control SMF
The first four of the above list: Systems, Network, Directory, and Storage would all be merged into a single Operations Management SMF. Service Monitoring and Control, as well as Job Scheduling would be moved over to the new lifecycle phase as standalone SMFs, though the focus of each will be updated to reflect both our new form factor and modern IT issues, technology, and concerns. Lastly, Security Administration would be moved to the foundational layer of the lifecycle that includes IT Governance, Compliance, Risk, and related concerns.
Now if we take a deeper look at the objectives of Operations Management SMF, we have five goals we hope to accomplish:
- Provide modeling based questions that help the IT pro identify the necessary work instructions
- Help the Operations Manager organize the execution of planned daily, weekly, and monthly tasks
- Offer guidance around controlling the work performed
- Show the integration of the SMF into the overall IT lifecycle
- Provide specific technology work instructions for the Microsoft platform
Again, a graphic showing this workflow is included with the attached PowerPoint.
So, with all of that said, I once again have a couple of specific questions I’d like to ask you:
1. What do you think about the proposed consolidation of the Operating Quadrant SMFs?
2. What specific technology work instructions would you find most useful (a prioritized list)?
Thank you all and look for another post from me in the next few days which will provide an in-depth look at our new SMF structure featuring Availability Management.