Water, Water Everywhere … but not a Drop to Drink

6/30/14 6:38 AM

johnworthingtonBy John Worthington, Transformation Consultant, VMware, Inc.

I’m one of the new guys. A Transformation Consultant. Almost 35 years in IT, ITIL Expert, CISA, PMP and over ten years in the IT service management space (blah, blah, blah). In truth as far as VMware’s concerned I’ve yet to even START. J So rather than giving you answers I’ll be asking some questions, before I really begin my journey here and also before the end of the innocence that’s normal to new guys like me.

How much should we invest in formal stakeholder management?

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Topics: Service Catalog / Service Portfolio, Cloud

Guidance for Major Incident Management Decisions

6/3/14 7:49 AM

BrianBy Brian Florence, Transformation Consultant, VMware Accelerate Advisory Services

If you’re an IT director or CIO of a corporation that has large, business-critical environments, you’re very aware that if those environments are unavailable for any length of time, your company will be losing a lot of money every minute of that downtime (millions of dollars, even).

Most of my IT clients manage multiple environments, many of which fall into the business-critical category. One proactive step is to define “key” or “critical” environments, which can be assigned to a specific individual accountable for the restoration of service for that environment.

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Topics: Incident Management

Configuration Management in the Cloud

4/28/14 8:02 AM

kai_holthaus_474x640Kai Holthaus, ITIL Expert & Director of Consulting, Third Sky

“The Cloud” is one of the biggest paradigm shifts in the IT world. Instead of provisioning physical hardware in a physical data center and then managing applications running on the physical hardware, virtualization has allowed IT organizations to decouple logical infrastructure from physical infrastructure, and thereby deliver new-found flexibility to provide and manage value-add services.

Additionally, IT organizations can now provision the cloud infrastructure itself, along with the infrastructure they are already running themselves. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) are now available to supplement or even replace traditional IT offerings. One common use case is to monitor the performance of a web server.

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Topics: Cloud, Configuration Management

Identifying Cost Savings with Service-Based IT Cost Modeling

4/14/14 6:03 AM

By Reginald Lo

ReginaldLo-cropResponsible service provisioning requires an appropriate balance between quality and cost. But this balance cannot be achieved without a clear understanding of the service costs and the relationship between cost and service levels. With this knowledge comes the power to make decisions on where and how to spend to reach the desired balance.

To achieve this, you need to:

  • Create a cost model for a service and thereby
  • Understand what contributes to costs
  • Provide levers and/or options for the business to control costs within acceptable service levels.
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Topics: IT Financial Management

Third Sky is Joining the VMware Family!

3/6/14 9:54 AM

 joshJoshua Barrow, President, Third Sky, Inc.

The team at Third Sky is proud to announce that we are joining VMware family as of March 6th 2014!

As the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions, VMware enables businesses to thrive in the Cloud Era.  As with any great product, your success in reaching desired business outcomes is often directly related to the amount of expertise and training you put into it. 

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Topics: VMware

Don’t let Event Management be ITIL’s Nowhere Man

3/6/14 6:30 AM

Reader Question: How and where does Event Management ‘fit’ in our IT service management program?

johnworthington

Third Sky Expert:  John Worthington, Director of Consulting, Third Sky

While the Event Management process is not typically one that is formally defined early in a client’s ITSM road map don’t assume it’s not important, particularly in today’s cloud-based service infrastuctures.

In fact when we establish ITSM processes we often are participating in event management activities, even though we may not have formally defined this process. For example, most ITSM suites have configuration parameters in the tool that can be set to trigger actions such as:

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Topics: Event Management

Standard Changes in Request Fulfillment

1/21/14 6:59 AM

Reader Question:  How are standard changes handled using the Request Fulfillment process?

Third Sky Expert Answer:

kai

Keplyn Robinson, Senior Education Consultant, Third Sky

Standard changes can be handled through the Request Fulfillment process as a type of service request. This should only be done after much preparation and written procedures. Having written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for what types of changes are approved (by Change Management) to be handled through the Request Fulfillment process is a first step. Knowing how to process these properly through the use of SOPs and models is another critical step.

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Topics: Request Management, Change Management

How to set (and achieve) your 2014 goals for ITSM

1/6/14 10:10 AM

2014goals_(200x134)Question:  We are just about to start a new year and everyone will be gearing back up after the holidays.  I want to make some real progress on our ITSM initiatives, but I’m afraid the other projects on people’s plates will distract them.  Any suggestions to get/keep this rolling?

Third Sky Expert Answer:

louLou Hunnebeck
Vice President ITSM Vision & Strategy
Third Sky

Sure.  This is a common challenge faced by ITSM programs – everyone is so busy!  Somehow, when people sit down and talk about ITSM they say that it is important, but in the crunch they don’t see it as urgent.  To combat this, consider these factors:

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Topics: Vision & Strategy

Why should we create models for change management?

12/19/13 6:38 AM

change-ahead-sign-300x199Reader Question:  I am having trouble explaining to my team why we should spend time creating models for things like changes.  They always say they are too busy and that it's just creating bureaucracy.  How can I explain the value of using models and the different places they can be helpful? 

Third Sky Expert Answer:

kai

Keplyn Robinson, Senior Education Consultant, Third Sky

Using models drives consistency and creates efficiency, such as allowing more efficient leveraging of tool features like workflow engines and templates. Once your staff has created these models they will be able to apply them as needed without further creation. This also allows for less human error and faster service throughout IT, particularly at the Service Desk.

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Topics: Help Desk, Change Management

Are You Ready for Analytics?

11/22/13 12:00 AM

JohnThird Sky Expert:  John Worthington, Director of Consulting, Third Sky

AnalyticsWith the emergence of BIG DATA we’re hearing more about ‘analytics’ as a way to improve IT operations, and companies are investing in these areas:

“Service analytics is useful to model existing infrastructure components and support services to the higher-level business services. This model is built on dependencies rather than topology – causality rather than correlation. Infrastructure events are then tied to corresponding business processes. The component-to-system-to-process linkage – also known as the service model – allows us to clearly identify the business impact of an event. Instead of responding to discrete events, managers can characterize the behavior of a service. This behavior is then compared to a baseline of the normal behavior for that time of day or business cycle.”

- ITIL Service Strategy, Section 7.1.2

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Topics: Technology, Monitoring & Analysis

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