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IT operations management has become a hot topic in CIO circles today.  For some time now, corporate America’s top IT pros have been bombarded with messages about becoming an internal “partner” to the business.  Yet, many IT departments are still seen as back room cost centers within the organization.  IT organizations have done a good job of implementing efficiencies to drive costs down in the data center, but they haven’t done a good job of adding value – or of showing how they add value – to the business.

Corporate users often see IT as a bottleneck – an impediment to the business moving as fast as it needs to move.  As a result, many business users have attempted to bypass internal IT departments, procuring the IT services they need externally and, by cutting IT out of the process, leaving their companies open to significant risk along the way.

To change this, CIOs have to quite literally think outside the box, altering the way they manage the company’s IT infrastructure, the way they respond to resource requests, and the way they add value to both the process and experience of delivering information technology tools to the organization’s users. In short, IT pros have to become more proactive. One way to do this is to implement IT service management (ITSM) tools and processes that deliver a more value-added operations management strategy for internally and externally provided services.

CIOs can take this proactive approach to the next level by employing event management tools, orchestration and automation policies, and a service-aware decision-making philosophy that drives true business agility and enforces standards that reduce both cost and risk.

Implement Event Management

Event management ITSM tools receive events from a data center’s various monitoring tools, consolidate them and add intelligence to the evaluation of those events to both reduce the number of events presented to the operations center and to deliver increased information alongside actionable events, allowing IT staff to act more quickly.

Use Orchestration and Automation

Providing structure to routine processes and the automation of everyday tasks, IT can use orchestration and automation tools to speed the remediation of incidents as well as the provisioning and configuration of the infrastructure.  While this reduces the level of effort needed to perform these tasks, perhaps the most important reason to use orchestration and automation tools is to allow a very quick, agile response to the business units as compute needs change. With event management and with orchestration and automation, IT pros can either deploy the tools themselves or partner with a third-party managed services provider to deliver these tools as a service.  In either case, CIOs may benefit from consulting with an expert before implementation.

Be Service Aware

IT has traditionally been technology focused, but to become a partner to the organization, it must become more service aware, seeing the impact IT decisions or events have on the business as a whole.  If, for example, the company allows customers to place orders through a service, rather than just knowing that a server is down, IT needs to understand how that server being down is impacting customers’ ability to place orders.  This allows IT to prioritize responses to events or the fulfillment of change requests based on the impact to the overall organization, mapping service delivery to an understanding of the impact changes have on the business units and their functionality.

Interested in learning more? Watch as Logicalis’ Mike Alley explores the benefits and challenges of ITSM as well as important implementation strategies in this brief video, then take Logicalis’ 11-step quiz to help you find out if ITSM can really make a difference in your organization.  You can also explore five innovative ways to use ITSM, then read an article outlining the top reasons ITSM must be part of every cloud strategy.