Business Solutions and Application Integration

Business solutions and application integration – Keeping your IT systems running smoothly is not only a matter of ensuring the systems are up and running, but also of starting out on the right footing with carefully designed solutions targeted at delivering what the business needs. SCS assists customers in and beyond the borders of South Africa with a comprehensive IT service covering all the implementation phases.

Starting with consulting and systems design, through to project management and the actual implementation, SCS provides a range of specialised skills to ensure every step of a client’s IT implementation is handled quickly, professionally and with as few comebacks as possible. Delivering functioning IT solutions that assist businesses in the pursuit of their corporate goals is the only acceptable result for SCS and those in its employ. To achieve this constant level of excellence, SCS is continually focused on training and broadening the skills-base of its staff. It also partners with similarly driven companies to deliver premium solutions to its customers. Part of this drive includes partnering with black-owned SMEs and PDIs to empower and engage in skills transfer programmes in an effort to build long-term relationships.

Amidst all the current hype about service delivery that rarely translates into reality, SCS has quietly been going about its business of providing comprehensive, workable IT solutions that take care of customer implementations from the design stage to the continual proactive monitoring of IT facilities. SCS customers can rely on the company to ensure their facilities are functioning at their peak and that any potential problems are quickly identified and dealt with.

ITIL Service Infrastructure Management

ITIL Service Management is the most recognized framework for IT service management in the world. Delivering a cohesive set of best-practice guidance drawn from public and private sectors internationally, ITIL helps service providers with best-practice guidance on the provision of quality IT services, and the processes, functions and other capabilities needed to support them to implement service management.

Benefits it infrastructure management
ITIL provides a systematic and professional approach to the management of IT services. Adopting its guidance offers users a huge range of benefits that include:

  •     Reduced costs
  •     Improved value creation
  •     Improved IT services through the use of proven best-practice processes
  •     Improved customer satisfaction through a more professional approach to service delivery
  •     Alignment with business needs, including the development of a business perspective
  •     Improved productivity
  •     High-quality IT services that benefit the business customer
  •     A balanced and flexible approach to service provision
  •     Well-designed services which meet customers’ needs – now and in the future
  •     Ability to adopt and adapt to reflect business needs and maturity.

IT Infrastructure Definition
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. It can be generally defined as the set of interconnected structural elements that provide framework supporting an entire structure of development. It is an important term for judging a country or region’s development.

The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as “the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions.”

Viewed functionally, infrastructure facilitates the production of goods and services, and also the distribution of finished products to markets, as well as basic social services such as schools and hospitals; for example, roads enable the transport of raw materials to a factory. In military parlance, the term refers to the buildings and permanent installations necessary for the support, redeployment, and operation of military forces.

How to Adopt ITIL V3 Through Simulation

The introduction of the long awaited third edition of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) brings the best practice framework for IT Service Management firmly into the 21st century. It essentially takes the common sense approach of ITIL V2 to the next level by adopting a service-oriented life-cycle approach to ITSM that is aimed at aligning the IT and business spheres.

In light of this challenging change, Foster-Melliar’s longstanding partnership with G2G3 enables them to provide a highly effective training method that is aimed at accelerating the adoption of ITIL V3 through simulation by means of an innovative product called Polestar ITSM. “G2G3 is the leading provider of communication tools, gaming solutions and simulations that propel enterprise IT and business alignment,” says Linda King, head of Marketing G2G3.

“Polestar ITSM is a highly-interactive simulation that offers a high-impact, energetic way to accelerate understanding and acceptance of Service Management concepts such as ITIL V3. The Service Management, cultural and process issues that are faced by organisations is brought to life through Polestar ITSM, ultimately encouraging strategic partnership between IT and the business. It is achieved by means of realistic, exhilarating scenarios to which participants can directly relate to and have an actual experience of,” explains Russell Steyn, Foster-Melliar’s general manager of Strategic Development.

The Polestar simulation uses gaming dynamics to mirror the real world interaction between IT and the business, from both a strategic and operational perspective, which is normally delivered across five rounds. The simulation structure is designed to reflect the entire Service Management lifecycle as defined by ITIL V3 whilst incorporating the elements of the ISO/IEC 20 000 standard. Participants progress through the rounds, increasing operational maturity and gaining an holistic understanding of quality Service Management as they go. In addition, the simulation experience continues between rounds through defined service transition phases, which require the participants’ engagement in planning for strategic and operational continuous service improvements.

Hundreds of organisations across the world have invested heavily in V2, spending considerable amounts of time and money bringing their people, processes and technology in line with the teachings of V2. “ITIL V3 is not however a complete change to ITIL life as we know it,” says Russell. “The ITIL V2 processes continue to be a core element of V3, but they have been absorbed into the wider, all-encompassing life-cycle approach. The seamless integration between old and new means that organisations do not need to reinvent the wheel in order to take their service management into the realms of V3.”

To bring staff members that are new to ITIL V3 up-to-speed may constitute a significant learning curve, which needs to be addressed. “Accelerating the adoption of ITIL V3 and bridging the gap between V2 and V3 through simulation might be the answer as it allows participants to experience it through simulations or gaming solutions. This approach greatly enhances the understanding of the concept in addition to transforming learning into an engaging and highly memorable shared experience. The technique of utilising simulations for training have a significant success rate, with participants absorbing 89% of the content during the training session in addition to showing a further 63% retention rate three months later. The beauty of this approach is that it accelerates cross-organisational understanding of the complexities and guidance of V3 allowing everyone to speak the same language in no time,” explains Russell.

ITIL Benefits to Success

ITIL Benefits to Success – ITIL is the most comprehensive approach to standardizing IT operations and improving overall management. It is currently used by thousands of companies worldwide with proven results. Most IT managers struggle with a lack of structure and a reactive mode of operation that accompanies a lack of processes and procedures. ITIL offers a solution for putting the pieces of the puzzle into place to take a more proactive approach to improving the IT organization’s performance.

IT management has been in transition for some time, from a focus on managing the technology itself to using technology to help a business achieve its strategic objectives. In theory, imposing disciplines on IT processes should improve productivity and make IT more responsive to the business. Many organizations are turning to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, better known as ITIL, to accomplish this goal.

This Research Byte is a summary of our full report, ITIL Implementation Trending Up, But Adoption May Slow.
Large IT organizations are continuing to expand ITIL initiatives at a healthy pace, but new adoption may be slowing. The obstacles to adoption are real, and benefits are sometimes difficult to quantify. Furthermore, the current economic crisis is not favorable to investment in long-term improvement programs such as ITIL. On the other hand, a downturn in business volume may be the best time to make changes to IT processes and services, as personnel may have more time for such initiatives.

Our study does find some indication that organizations already engaged with ITIL have been accelerating their investments. This is a good sign, as we believe that in the long run organizations focused on continuous improvement will survive and ultimately prosper.

ITIL v3 Emphasizes Service Life-cycle Management
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a comprehensive set of policies and concepts for managing IT infrastructure and service. The document is founded on the principle that an alignment between IT and business strategy is critical and that effective IT service management is necessary for that alignment.

ITIL was originally published in the 1980s by The U.K. Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, and it is still governed by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce. Even though ITIL was developed during the 1980s, adoption was light until the early 1990s and has only gained traction in the U.S. within the past few years.

ITIL’s goal is to provide structured, flexible guidelines for establishing governance standards around IT service management. Advocates tout the program’s benefits as improving alignment between the business and IT, increasing user satisfaction, lowering costs, optimizing outsourcing, improving service levels, increasing service availability, and improving the ability to manage change, among other things. Some critics find the guidelines too prescriptive and inflexible, and barriers to adoption include lengthy implementation, disruption of current processes, high up-front training costs, and relatively slow return on investment.

Online Help Desk Software

The Help Desk application provides a simple, efficient and reliable software solution for both reactive and planned maintenance. CAFM Explorer has clever on-screen alerts, filters and search functionality. The Help Desk can also be simplified for an easier maintenance call logging process for end Users.

The PPM application assists with the management of the full life cycle of all facilities planned maintenance tasks and enables the facilities team to mitigate the risk of planned maintenance. When the schedule determines that planned maintenance work is due, the software will automatically generate a Work Order into the Help Desk.

Key Help Desk features include:

  • Fully scalable for multiple or single company, location or buildings
  • Ability to schedule work and view Trades People availability on a work Planner
  • Work assignments to both internal maintenance staff or external contractors
  • Easy tracking of maintenance activity status updates and the provisional on screen alters
  • Automated email notification of work requests
  • Easy search and visibility of calls
  • Automatic associated hazard and asbestos alerts
  • Clear and proactive Management of service Level agreements
  • Easy cost allocation and option to raise purchase orders during call logging process
  • Live statistic reporting of Help Desk performance on a dashboard
  • Planned tasks are automatically generated as Work Orders at the required time
  • Provision of data for future resource planning and allocation
  • Management of legal servicing and maintenance requirements
  • Provisions of required documentation i.e. risk assessment or standard operating procedures against scheduled work
  • Scheduled work planner displaying planned maintenance tasks and available of man hours to cover the work
  • 52 week planner showing status of planned maintenance schedules