The advancement of technology in business has brought a wide variety of services, equipment and systems to the IT environment, which increase complexity in managing the environment but require even more careful management to ensure all resources are always available and secure.
Technological advances in information processing have placed the IT industry in a position of extreme relevance in companies. This area is very important for managing, controlling and ensuring the quality of the products or services provided. For this to be done with quality, it is essential to have resources (software and systems) aligned with the company’s objective.
Careful IT resource management is necessary to avoid a series of unpleasant incidents and surprises, while at the same time improving the results of IT delivered services and even business results.
IT governance will be helpful in identifying the most important points to manage, which services need the most attention, and helps define incident recovery plans. Having control over your business processes is indispensable to achieving business success. Thus, IT governance can be thought, above all, as “management management”, since it corresponds to a set of practices that should guide managers in decision making to achieve the company’s strategy IT governance is a concept designed to design and plan strategies that can give IT tools competitive advantages.
Managing IT resources becomes much more effective when you follow a governance plan aligned with business strategies.
The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a simple idea with major repercussions for managing the entire IT infrastructure. Assuming that business processes must be serviced by technology rather than being harnessed to it, CMDB is an ideal, centralized source of information for all components of the IT architecture. What is wanted is that this is the source for enabling effective management and achieving new levels of service within and for the organization.
In the ITIL concept CMDB is the reliable source of information about every IT environment. Each component is called a Configuration Item (CI: Configuration Item). In CMDB, in addition to maintaining the registration of each CI, the relationship of interdependence between them is maintained.
In theory CMDB looks like a feature enjoyed by a trusted vendor that integrates other applications by extracting or providing information. But in practice this is not quite so. While ITIL describes all the processes and procedures that involve the CMDB, nothing is said about how it is built, how it will be fed, and how the data will be structured within it.
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Many vendors have rushed to fill this information gap left by ITIL by creating their own CMDB implementations and architecture. There are several products on the market, including those developed by CA, HP and BMC. But all of these products are essentially proprietary, and there is no movement in the IT industry for some standardization of what is meant by CMDB. That is, there is no interoperability between the various products.
Given this we look for a tool that meets this demand, joining CMDB with ITIL and that was free.
We can say that CMDB is more than a repository with various information regarding the IT infrastructure, applications, systems and business of organizations, ie a database with relevant information about all components that are used in IT services, including their interdependencies, be it an IT service company, or a traditional organization.
Companies now have an organized view of all of their configuration items, their relationships to services that are delivered to analyze a variety of information, addressing any perspective, whether in implementing IT management best practices such as ITIL or in the elaboration of plans for acquisitions of IT items.
- Control of IT assets;
- Measurement of acquisition of storage disks;
- Control of equipment warranty maturities;
- Improved system reliability through faster detection by fully monitoring configuration items
- Configuration correction and / or bug detection, anticipating problems that could negatively impact the business, or its availability;
- application of formal audit policies and procedures with respect to IT assets;
- Effective management of IT assets, making better use of equipment capacity and availability;
- Impact analysis, testing procedures and assertiveness in asset documentation.
Deploying a CMDB generates costs and commitment at all levels of the company, a lot of effort, time and money needs to be invested in order for the deployment to be successful, control mechanisms and process adoption need to be implemented so that during the process, changes in the IT environment be controlled, avoiding rework.
Company management plays a fundamental role in the implementation of a CMDB, directors must enforce all stages of the project, as changing habits creates discomfort, and it is necessary to engage all departments so that all the investment and effort employed generate results.
The implementation and maintenance of a CMDB is necessary in today’s companies, and because it is a project that will never be closed, because changes in the IT environment will always occur, needs attention and constant effort. This initiative should not only be maintained by the IT area, on the contrary, the entire organization needs to join, and employee engagement is crucial to the success of the enterprise.
This implementation requires a high level of strategic planning, it is necessary to establish a sequence of procedures that must be followed, according to the objectives to be achieved, otherwise the changes may generate resistance, which may lead to project failure.
If the corporation is not aware of the importance of having an up-to-date information base, the implementation of the best tool in the world will be of no use, as it alone will not solve its problem. The difficulty is also not having well-defined and documented processes to support CMDB maintenance. The problem is people, who have enormous resistance to changing old habits.
Some other points that need to be evaluated are:
- make a good definition of the organization’s service catalog;
- identify and relate infrastructure items to provide needed services;
- identify technological configuration items (CIs).
Implementing and maintaining a CMDB requires strategic planning. In other words, you need to follow a consistent line of deployment and make use of it according to your principles and goals.
ITIL is a collection of IT Service Management best practice publications that includes information about processes, roles, and other skills. Basic elements for a service provider to deliver quality IT services.
ITIL suggests that service management activities be structured based on the service life cycle. This cycle considers the ‘life’ of the service from conception to discontinuation.
ITIL is not focused on creating things (products) as is commonly the focus of projects. It focuses on practices for delivering IT services to the business, which are organized into IT service management processes and one of its pillars is the constant cycle of improvement in management services and processes.
Many aspects of ITIL can be implemented using tools, but tools should not necessarily be imposed or required. For small organizations, spreadsheets and simple templates can do the trick. For larger organizations, you will probably need to find appropriate tools to support IT service management.
Assuming that ITIL is a series of approaches in different areas, an organization can implement some or all of these approaches. There are no rules imposing that everything must be implemented.
There are no rules that emphasize the need for all practices described in ITIL® to be implemented at once. Many organizations implement these practices in phases over certain periods.
Figure 1 – ITIL Process
At this stage, the activities and processes necessary to deliver the services to clients and business users are coordinated and executed and managing the services at the agreed levels.
This is the ‘moment of truth’. The moment when IT services are consumed by customers and users. So, we will focus only on this stage of all ITIL processes.
The processes of this life cycle stage include:
- Event Management
- Incident Management (our focus)
An incident is an unplanned interruption of an IT service or a reduction in the quality of service provided. This definition is given by ITIL, a library of best practices in IT service management (ITSM).
Incident Management is a process that aims to resume a service as soon as possible, causing minimal damage to the business. Thus, the Service Level Agreements signed with the business areas are maintained. This can be done through a quick repair or by providing a customer alternative solution.
Examples of incidents: lack of internet access, server down, computer malfunction, etc. They can be identified by IT staff, monitoring systems, or reported by users and customers.
Figure 2 – Incident Management Diagram
- Request Fulfillment (our focus)
It is a user request for information, advice, standard change or access to an IT service. The Service Desk will own the request, and will monitor, scale, dispatch, and often fulfill user requests.
It must be dealt with by a separate process so as not to clog or obstruct Incident Management and Change Management processes.
Many Service Requests will occur frequently, so you can create a flow already with the steps required to fulfill the request consistently and to meet agreed service levels.
Many of these requests are small changes with low risk, recurring frequency and low cost.
Examples of requests: password change, installation of additional PC software, desktop relocation
Figure 3 – Request Fulfilment Diagram
- Problem Management (our focus)
This process aims to analyze the cause of incidents that occur in the IT infrastructure, providing palliative and definitive solutions, avoiding their recurrence, minimizing impact (or avoiding) of incidents. In practice, problem management does not deliver as fast results and is not as visible as incident management. The focus of problem management is to resolve the cause of incidents, while incident management is to re-establish service. They are complementary but different processes.
Some process concepts:
- Problem: The unknown cause of one or more incidents.
- Contouring solution: A solution that allows you to re-establish the service level.
- Known Error: A failure known to the root cause and a workaround exists.
- Known bug database: This is where you document already fixed bugs and workarounds. It is the knowledge base.
An incident never becomes a problem but may be related to a problem. This means that in your calling tool
Figure 4 – Problem Management Diagram
- Access Management
According to our project we had a period of time to research a tool for managing desktops and user support.
We conducted a brief search where we found several applications that did not have many features. We ended up defining the iTop tool for two reasons, first we use this tool in the discipline MGMT2205-18F-Sec1-Information Technology Service Management. And the second reason is that one of the members implemented this same tool during his Co-op period in the company he worked for.
ITop is for anyone looking for a free IT service management and CMDB tool. The application integrates in a single web interface HelpDesk and incident management, service and contract management, change management, configuration management, automatic SLA management and etc.
The tool is not yet 100% perfect, but it has matured and grown a lot.
According to the website https://www.itophub.io/wiki/page, iTop stands for IT Operational Portal. iTop is an Open Source web application for the day to day operations of an IT environment. iTop was designed with the ITIL best practices in mind but does not dictate any specific process, the application is flexible enough to adapt to your processes whether you want rather informal and pragmatic processes or a strict ITIL aligned behavior.
Figure 5 – iTop Feature Table
Gives users a simple way to formulate intervention requests and to follow progress.
Figure 6 – User request objects
Figure 7 – Dashboard for Request Management
Incident monitoring, link with SI components, cascading resolution and information of all users involved.
Figure 7 – Incidents objects
Figure 8 – Dashboard for Incident Management
To avoid repetition of incidents, the problem management module is the analysts’ tool, contributing to the pool of knowledge for common mistakes.
Figure 9 – Problem objects
Figure 10 – Dashboard for Problem Management
The Project Charter (TAP), or Project Charter, is the document that formally authorizes the project. It gives the Project Manager the authority to use the organization’s resources to perform project activities. A project should not be started without the Project Charter being created and signed by senior management and / or the project sponsor.
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All companies that have at least one IT-related object need support for this equipment. Be the support given externally or internally by a department within the company. This area covers all equipment related to technology, ranging from a simple keyboard to a complex router. It is not possible to perform support without human interaction in any way. There must always be at least one person on one side of the communication.
A configuration management database (CMDB) is a database that contains all relevant information about the hardware and software components used in an organization’s IT services and the relationships between those components.
This project will propose the use of a management tool (CMDB) to better support this support.
- Not all ITIL processes will be implemented, only the Operations Service
- No registration of all existing iTop CIs
This project did not require financial viability or cost management.
- Resources will be available for 100% of the duration of the project
- Will not be deployed in a real company
- No actual data will be used
- Process flow will not be drawn
Virtual machine out of service
Create copy of virtual machine and use copy if necessary
Corrupting the application database
Name & Organization
Knowledge and content manager
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