Business Continuity Planning in Business-Aligned IT Service Management

Business Continuity Planning in Business-Aligned IT Service Management

Stewart H. C. Wan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-847-0.ch004
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This chapter aims at presenting the common planning issues in service-oriented Information Technology (IT) management. They include the following aspects - the key issues for implementing ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) based IT service management in practical case, how to improve the understandings of business services in IT operations as well as the role of business continuity planning (BCP) processes in IT service management. In commercial operations, it is common for IT functions to have different focus with business functions. Business-aligned IT management forms one of the missions for senior management especially the IT manager. The exercises in initiating and implementing BCP provide a platform for an organization’s management to realize the mapping of IT and business operations, which kick-off the campaign of business-aligned IT services.
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The existing service management standard, process management frameworks and the approaches for BCP processes are discussed below.

International Standard of IT Service Management

The international standard ISO/IEC 20000 Information Technology – Service Management series (ISO, 2005) is the world’s first standard for IT Service Management (ITSM). The standard specifies a set of inter-related management processes, and is based heavily upon the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. As a process-based standard, organizations developing service management tools, products and systems may use both specification and the code of practice in part 1 and part 2 respectively to develop tools, products and system that support service-oriented IT management. ISO/IEC 20000 specifies a number of related service management processes as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Service management processes in ISO/IEC 20000, Source: ISO (2005)


In ISO/IEC 20000 Part 1 – Specification, it lays out the objective and defines the requirements for each of the service management processes. To deliver managed services effectively and meet the business and customer requirements, it promotes the application of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) methodology/framework for all processes.

In ISO/IEC 20000 Part 2 – Code of practice, it takes the form of guidance and recommendations. It recommends that the organizations aiming to achieve the standard should adopt common terminology and a more consistent approach to service management. It gives a common basis for improvements in services and provides a framework for use by supplier or service management tools. This part of ISO/IEC 20000 provides guidance to auditors and offers assistance to service providers planning service improvements.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Service Desk: Service Desk is the centralized customer-provider interface for service management functionalities between a customer and a provider.

User: Users are those people who use the services on a day-to-day basis. A user accesses the service subscribed by its corresponding customer at the service access point.

Customer: A customer subscribes IT services. He may allow a set of users to use them. A customer interacts with the service management using the Service Desk.

Incident: Any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of that service.

Service Level Agreement: An SLA is a contract between a customer and a provider. For each service it contains a set of parameters with targets. The provider guarantees to meet the agreed targets with respect to certain time intervals (e.g. an availability of 99.5% on a monthly calculation basis). Service credit or penalties may be used in case of SLA violation.

Service: A service is a set of functionalities that are offered by a service provider to a customer at a customer provider interface. The customer may allow a set of users to access the service at the service access point. Service operation is based on resources and may involve using other services called subservices.

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