Many words, acronyms, and phrases are used in discussions of ITIL service catalogs, ITIL best practices for IT service delivery management, and IT service management (ITSM). Some are unique to this realm, while others are more commonly used terms that have a unique meaning when used in a service management context. To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data, a leading provider of enterprise request management (ERM) and IT service delivery management applications and tools, has compiled this set of definitions.
BMC Remedy ARS ® is an IT service delivery management platform for automating and managing business processes. It includes pre-built modules for notifications, escalations, and approvals, and also provides business activity monitoring functionality.
A key term in relation to ITIL service catalogs
A methodology for providing users with the ability to order and obtain physical items or resolution of issues in a manner that permits new offerings to be defined and added to the system quickly; that makes it easy to change existing items; and that allows new items to be added iteratively, starting with one or a small set of offerings and scaling to large numbers of varied items. With an agile approach to service request management Agile service request management also provides the flexibility to easily accommodate changing user needs, such as modifying or expanding existing service offerings to support mobile users.
An application management best-practices framework, developed to guide IT in supporting business processes. The ASL is focused on processes rather than management structures, making it suitable for a wide range of organizations. More information can be found on the ASL Foundation website .
Software that enables the control and monitoring of all assets (equipment, software licenses, etc.) owned by an organization. These packages typically provide information about assets such as description, location, condition, cost, and warranty status. Combining an IT asset management repository with the configuration management database (CMDB) increases the value of that repository across the organization.
Software functionality that automatically identifies and assists in managing IT assets such as servers, databases, applications, devices and services. Auto discovery tools are essential to accurately populating the CMBD, but they are only a partial solution.
Term used to describe the functions within a business or organization which are critical but non customer-facing. Typical examples are facilities management, accounting, human resources, and IT. A properly implemented ITIL service catalog ties an organization's back office and front office together, by presenting back office services to business users in easily understood terms.
Software tools which automate and monitor the execution of business processes and tasks. They enable managers to analyze performance and modify processes for continual improvement in service delivery management.
Extending the concept of providing a portal interface in which physical items or issue-resolution processes are defined and can be requested by users, from IT-related items only to all functional departments across an organization. Though the concept of service catalogs began in IT as a recommendation of ITIL, evolving into enterprise or business service catalogs according to Forrester Research. Accordingly, service catalog software is increasingly being seen as business software, architecture of enterprise service catalogs is evolving to accommodate a wider range of service offerings than just IT services; to enable non-technical business function managers to define and optimize their own service fulfillment task workflow processes; and to scale to the enterprise level. This evolution extends the benefits of service catalogs across the business.
Software management tools that help IT to align processes and prioritize projects based on business objectives. BSM tools provide information that enables IT to avoid over-committing resources to low-priority processes, prevent downtime for critical processes, and improve overall systems performance. Service catalogs reflect the priorities and service levels determined through BSM and IT service delivery management tools.
Acronym for "bring your own device," this is one manifestation of the consumerization of IT, schedule-based rather than queue-based support services to better accommodate mobile workers. By adopting processes such as simple BYOD device registration and remote installation of required software, lower overall support costs and happier employees.
A methodology used to develop and continually improve software development processes. The model consists of five-levels of increasingly mature and structured processes. CMM was originally developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). CMM has similarities to the ISO 9001 standard but provides a framework for continuous improvement rather than just a specification for minimum acceptable process quality. At level 3, an organization standardizes processes for delivering IT services; standard services are developed and can be communicated through a service catalog.
Broadly speaking, compliance simply means having processes in place that meet the requirements of a range of regulations, from OSHA dictates to SOX. Service catalogs built using tools such as Kinetic Requestassist service catalog can control service request access, track request history and provide an audit trail. Kinetic Survey also supports SOX compliance through its Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) capabilities, including the ability to easily manage compliance certification processes through task scheduling, and to centralize all projects and resulting data.
A configuration item (CI) is any IT infrastructure component that is under configuration management control. All CIs are uniquely identified by their name and attributes, and are generally viewed as self-contained units for identification and change control. CIs vary in type and complexity from an entire service (involving people, software, and hardware) to an individual device. The CMDB should ideally contain all of the CIs in an organization. An IT service catalog tool presents users with services, which may be a single CI or consist of several CIs used together.
A repository of all configuration items (CIs) in an organization: IT assets, configurations, and services. According to BMC. is a smaller "quick win" project that not only provides tangible value to business users, but also builds management support for CMDB implementations.
The trend for technology being developed first in consumer markets (such as smartphones and tablets) then spreading into business enterprises and government organizations, rather than the reverse (such as happened with personal computers and laptops) order, as has traditionally been the case. The term also refers to the changing expectations of workers for virtually all aspects of workplace technology (devices, processes, support, online social interaction, user interfaces) to more closely mirror the experience of the consumer world. Wikipedia calls consumerization "a major IT industry shift." While this shift creates challenges for IT organizations (such as supporting multiple device types and operating systems, and addressing mobile device security risks), the consumerication of IT also creates opportunities to reduce costs (in training, hardware, and wireless access) and improve business competitiveness.
An iterative, ongoing effort to improve the quality and reduce costs of delivering IT and business services to an organization. CSIPs are addressed as part of service-level management in the ITIL service delivery module, which also prescribes the use of an IT service catalog to manage business requests for IT services.
A set of IT governance and security guidelines, and related toolset, to assist IT managers in setting control policies and managing processes to reduce risk. The first version of COBIT was published in 1996 by the IT Governance Institute ® (ITGI), which has recently released COBIT 4.0, focused on regulatory compliance and increasing the value IT brings to the organization. One of several IT management and measurement standards (including ISO 20000 and Six Sigma), COBIT focuses on compliance, which ITIL addresses as part of IT service management.
Commonly used to mean a software capability to check for acceptable input to a survey, as well as reject bad input and provide an appropriate error message. The data validation capabilities of Kinetic Survey enable security, support compliance, and reduce errors in enterprise feedback management projects. In addition to providing field-level validation, Kinetic Survey also enables IT asset validation for non-autodiscoverable (see Auto discovery ) items at predefined intervals; so, for example, you can verify the location and condition of assets such as projectors on a regular basis using automated tools.
Few terms in the realm of ITIL and IT service management are as controversial to define as DevOps; there seem to be nearly as many definitions as the number of people trying to define it. What's common across sources is that DevOps is a joining (in practice as well as in the term itself) of development and operations in order to improve the design and execution of operational services through the application of development processes including policies, metrics, QA and automation. It's a philosophy and methodology focused on collaboration between development and operations professionals to apply agile principles to improve operational performance, encompassing organizational culture, techniques and tools. ( Kinetic Request and Kinetic Task are helpful tools in applying DevOps to request-oriented operations.) Popular though differing definitions of the term include: "the philosophy of unifying Development and Operations at the culture, practice, and tool levels, to achieve accelerated and more frequent deployment of changes to Production" (The IT Skeptic); "the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support" (The Agile Admin); "a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration, integration, automation, and measurement of cooperation between software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals" (Wikipedia); a "philosophy...which emphasizes people and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams (and also attempts) to better utilize technology—especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective" (Gartner); and finally, "the idea that developers and operations should collaborate more closely than they traditionally have, so neither side is caught with their pants down when something blows up" (ScriptRock Blog).
The ability of survey creation and administration software or Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) tools to branch to a different set of questions based on the answers to previous questions; a feature of Kinetic Survey.
A rapid application development framework emphasizing iterative software development to respond to evolving user needs. DSDM was developed in the 1990s by a group of IS vendors and experts in the U.K. to provide a set of best practices for developing applications on time and on budget. DSDM is focused on best practices in application development as ITIL focuses on IT service delivery.
External ad internal customer survey software tools that enable companies to systematically gather and manage feedback, and integrate results with other information systems for a comprehensive, accurate, and actionable organization-wide view. Gartner Group predicts that by 2008, 40 percent of survey-response tool implementations will incorporate EFM, which fills a critical gap not addressed by stand-alone web survey software applications or other types of enterprise software. EFM automates the response-gathering process, increases efficiency and lowers costs by eliminating the use of multiple, redundant, disconnected survey tools. EFM tools such as Kinetic Survey enable functional groups to gather timely feedback on service quality and requirements, and monitor perceptions through frequent feedback. EFM systems improve overall organizational effectiveness by controlling survey frequency, alerting management to trouble conditions, and integrating with other enterprise applications.
An approach (also sometimes described as a model, framework, concept or strategy) to enabling employees of an organization to ask for and check on the delivery status of any type of shared service or equipment needed in their work roles, which incorporates a single intuitive web-based portal linked to an orchestration engine or task workflow automation software which automates approval, scheduling and fulfillment processes. Enterprise request management is like having an Amazon.com for requesting internal services and products, incorporating service item descriptions with cost information and the ability to track delivery status online at any time. The request process, which may involve one or multiple shared services functions for fulfillment, is managed by the orchestration engine, which communicates among and between enterprise software platforms and departmental applications (e.g., ERP, HR, facilities, finance, ITSM) to automate fulfillment, reporting and follow up. ERM improves and accelerates business processes, reduces service delivery costs.
An approach to sharing data between systems driven by the need to provide services. The ESI approach allows employees in key functional areas to utilize their systems appropriately as process stakeholders, using specialized applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). By providing a centralized hub for service design and integration, not only can data be integrated across systems, but approvals, notifications and messaging can be centrally managed via a workflow automation engine.
An independent, global IT-examination body, focused on improving the knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT) professionals through testing and certification. The organization offers international certification programs, in multiple languages, in IT standards such as DSDM, ISO 20000, and ITIL.
Term used to describe the customer-facing functions within a business or organization. Typical examples are sales, marketing, customer support and service consulting. A service catalog ties an organization's back office and front office together, by presenting back office services to business users in easily understood terms.
The process of managing multi-departmental or multi-function responses to disruptions in operations. The goal of Incident Management under the ITIL framework is to minimize operational disruptions by responding to requests and restoring service operations as promtly as possible. Its effectiveness is dependent upon a properly designed and accurate CMDB, and is enhanced by use of ITIL Problem and Change Management guidelines. Because it provides quick and visible reductions in cost and increases in service delivery quality, Incident Management is frequently among the first processes implemented within the ITIL Service Desk framework.
A library of best practices for managing IT-related procurement processes. It outlines planning, contract management, and risk management best practices for buying and vendor organizations. Focused on the buyer-vendor relationship, ISPL assists with request-for-proposal (RFP) writing, contract writing, and delivery management. While DSDM focuses on best practices in application development and ITIL focuses on IT service delivery, ISPL is focused on the information services procurement process. Because of its service acquisition focus, ISPL fits well with ITIL implementations. It is targeted at managers in procurement, contract administration, facilities and IT.
An independent IT-accreditation organization based in the U.K., the ISEB seeks to increase competence and performance standards for IT professionals by offering a variety of industry-recognized certifications. The ISEB conducts qualification examinations that provide accreditation in various IT disciplines. It is not a training organization but does promote training providers that meet its qualifications for course topics, instructional quality, useful materials, and a productive learning environment. The ISEB and EXIN have a formal alliance to promote the use of industry-recognized standards such as COBIT, CMMI, ISO 20000, Six Sigma, and ITIL. More information is available at the ISEB website.
A standard promulgated by the the International Standards Organization (ISO) which defines requirements for IT service delivery and management. The ISO 20000 standard has a number of purposes, including setting benchmarks for IT services management, improving service delivery, and establishing the capability to deliver services that meet customer requirements. The standard consists of two documents: a service management system specification and a set of practices. Combined, these documents establish a framework of service management processes required for high-quality service delivery. ISO 20000 is a high-level specification that aligns with the service delivery processes recommended by ITIL.
The accumulated, unfinished tasks built up within an IT department over time, which prevent IT from addressing new service requests in a timely manner. ITIL processes help reduce the IT backlog by defining standard changes—repetitive, common tasks that are candidates for standardization. Such standardization improves IT service delivery efficiency and enables management to focus attention on more strategic activities.
Variously defined as an integrated set of IT best practices recommendations, a framework for accepted IT service management best practices, and a set of documents designed to improve IT service delivery. ITIL provides an extensive set of IT management procedures designed to improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of IT services delivery. The library was first developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), a U.K. government agency. It is now managed by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC). ITIL V3 consists of five core documents: IT Service Design, IT Service Introduction, IT Service Operations, IT Service Improvement and IT Service Strategies. One key element of ITIL service delivery recommendations is the establishment of an easy-to-use, dynamic IT service catalog; Kinetic Request service catalog software supports implementation of a service catalog by providing enterprise-wide service request management functionality coupled with backend process automation via Kinetic Task.
An approach to managing large-scale IT systems and processes focusing on the customer perspective of service delivery (as opposed to technology-centric), and promoted by ITIL best practices. ITSM is a framework for continual improvement in the IT services delivery process, much as CMM is focused on application development. Effective IT service management integrates technology with people and processes in a manner that supports industry best practices, such as implementation of a service catalog.
The Information Technology Service Management Forum (itSMF) is a professional forum dedicated to helping member organizations achieve operational excellence by promoting and assisting in the implementation of best practices in IT service management and delivery. In addition to hosting an annual conference of IT professionals, the organization provides ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 certification, publications, and assistance with planning and implementing IT service management and service catalog best practices
The ITPESC is a partner with the OCG in the management of ITIL and publishes a wide variety of IT service management publications, including textbooks, pocket guides, white papers and websites. Among its publications are Introduction to ITIL, Six Sigma for IT Management, IT Service Management from Hell.
Accelerating and simplifying the completion of small business tasks and processes by substituting technology for manual human effort. Business process automation (BPA) is often thought of in terms of automating large, complex business processes (such as supply chain operations or order-to-cash cycles), which involves multi-disciplinary planning groups, significant technology investments, and relatively long project timeframes. "Lightweight" BPA applies simpler technology solutions—leveraging existing applications and technology investments—to quickly and cost-effectively automate smaller tasks like conference room or equipment reservations. Unlike large BPA projects, lightweight BPA processes empower non-technical business users to create and manage their own task automation processes, extending the benefits (time and cost savings, reduced manual effort, increased accuracy) of BPA anywhere and everywhere across an enterprise.
A database of "data about data," the purpose of which is to enable reliable and uniform access to information stored in various databases. This database defines the header values of rows and columns used in database tables to provide clarity and consistency (for example, so that everyone within an organization is using a consistent definition of "customer" for data entry and analysis purposes: a "customer" may be defined as a company, business unit, department, location, individual or some other entity). A metadata repository provides a means of cataloging organizational information; Nick Gall, program director at the META Group, has stated that "The lack of adequate catalog services is the No. 1 impediment to interoperable distributed systems. The information is at our fingertips; we simply lack the ability to get it when and where we need it." While both a CMDB and a metadata repository support IT service management processes, the CMDB, with its focus on configuration, tends to be more dynamic than the repository of descriptive data about data.
The software architecture used by outsourced service providers to offer a common suite of applications and services to a large number of external clients (tenants). In its original form, multi-tenancy 1.0 enabled segmentation of client data, so that service providers could securely utilize a single instance of an ERP, ITSM, HR and other enterprise software suite, across multiple clients. However, customizations and configurations for specific clients were cumbersome (if even possible), requiring changes to core code that risked "breaking " a function elsewhere in the application suite, and such customizations had to be rebuilt with each new release of the underlying software suites. The result was that service providers offered clients what were effectively "one size fits all" service packages, with limited customization or differentiation, and limited ability to adapt to trends like BYOD and enterprise mobility. The new iteration of this architecture, multi-tenancy 2.0, enables service providers to create innovative new services, and customize services for clients, without modifying core code in enterprise applications. Today's multi-tenant software applications reduce risks associated with customization, improve the client experience, and lower the costs of service provision. Multi-tenancy is a core requirement of cloud computing applications.
Although all of an organization's assets are, practically speaking, "discoverable," this term is often used in place of the more technically accurate "non-autodiscoverable." These assets (items such as phones, projectors, furniture, contracts, license agreements, etc.) can't be automatically detected by asset management, network monitoring, systems management or other software applications, yet monitoring their condition and location is just as important as for hardware and software assets. An enterprise feedback management system such as Kinetic Survey is a valuable tool for properly managing non-autodiscoverable assets.
The OCG is a government agency in the United Kingdom, an independent office of the U.K. Treasury. Its objective is to increase efficiencies in procurement across governmental functions. Among its initiatives are quality, regulations, vendor relations and efficient procurement practices. The OGC reviews and advises other government agencies on best practices in procurement across services, property, equipment and IT-related expenditures. Along with the itSMF, the OCG publishes and promotes the use of ITIL best practices in IT service management and feedback
Software that automates, coordinates and manages interactions and exchanges of data between different computer systems, applications and services. In an enterprise request management (ERM) environment task workflow automation software that communicates between and among enterprise software suites, departmental applications and email systems to automate approvals, scheduling, monitoring, billing for, fulfillment of, and reporting related to service requests.
The development of specific improvements and implementation plans for IT service delivery processes. These improvements are usually based on more closely aligning those processes with recognized best practices outlined by ITIL, COBIT, CMM or other widely accepted models. Process enhancement initiatives assist IT organizations in identifying key areas for improvement, quantifying the benefits, and redesigning processes based on established IT standards.
A global organization dedicated to promulgating best practices in project management, PMI provides its members with education and professional networking opportunities for skills enhancement and career advancement. Its services include education and training, publishing, events, setting standards, and certification in project management. The organization's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide is the only accepted American National Standards Institure (ANSI) project management standard. PMI offers three levels of professional project management certification: Project Management Professional (PMP ® ), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM ® ).
ITIL defines a service catalog as a list or directory of services provided to employees (and sometimes to customers), which enables users to submit requests and a service delivery department (such as IT) to fulfill them. Service catalogs are a key component of ITIL standards for IT service delivery management. While they are often a user-facing subset of components of a CMDB, service catalogs are neither dependent on a fully-developed CMDB for implementation nor confined to IT services; they can just as easily present services delivered by human resources, facilities or other business user service provision functions. Within the catalog, the listing for each service typically includes a service description, estimated delivery time or SLA, costs, fulfillment instructions, and possibly approval processes and delivery tracking instructions. Kinetic Request offers BMC Remedy users an easy-to-use, native tool for creating and managing actionable service catalogs across departments.
Originated by Forrester Research in 2002, SDA is the overarching term for a set of processes that specify how a service delivery function (such as IT) efficiently, reliably and repeatedly provides predefined services to business users. Accoring to Forrester, "Services procurement applications are a growth segment in the overall eProcurement/eSourcing market...Enterprise spending on services—ranging from temporary workers and consultants to marketing, legal, and facilities management—represents a large but largely unmanaged proportion of enterprise spending. Standard eProcurement applications don't help because they only focus on the initial buying and not on the day-to-day management of services delivery against a contract." Service catalogs are a central component of effective service delivery automation, coordinating the efforts of departmental or even cross-functional teams to manage the delivery of business services in an effective and timely manner.
The function of coordinating the processes involved in providing a business service to meet organization standards for quality and timeliness, frequently based on established service level agreements (SLAs). SDM encompasses the proper definition of an IT or other business service, establishment of quality control and approval procedures, status reporting (for both the business user submitting the request and IT / functional service group management), service delivery processes, and enterprise feedback
SIAM (service integration and management) is a business-oriented approach to delivering customer-facing service where fulfillment is coordinated through multiple suppliers. This approach is an effective method to extend ITIL, or other service management practices, across complex multivendor environments with a focus on consistent customer service delivery. To execute an effective SIAM strategy, service providers (or internal service groups serving multiple business units / departments / divisions) must leverage automation where possible, to enable scalable service delivery in a continuous-improvement environment. Very few (if any) organizations today have a single, centralized system of record-managing processes end-to-end across the enterprise. Often, outside vendors and business partners participate in the service delivery process, which entails interaction with additional systems. In order to keep data and processes synchronized across these boundaries, service providers need to integrate ticket, order or other data across multiple applications, platforms, and hosting environments, which can be swapped in and out as needs dictate. To ensure the level of data accuracy required to effectively automate processes, data must be translated, converted and synchronized across delivery towers using an application integration and workflow automation engine.
The coordination of all tasks and processes required for business service delivery, including: service identification; service modeling; service development; service publishing (i.e. through a service catalog); enterprise feedback collection, evaluation and integration for continuous process refinement and management. This lifecycle applies to any business service and serves as a useful model for developing and managing repeatable business services.
The introduction of a Service Management Knowledge System in ITIL V3 is viewed as a key improvement to the standards. The ITIL SMKS incorporates former knowledge bases from V2 such as known error and CMDB, but it expands on these on a much broader scope. According to the itSMF,
A collection of software applications and tools designed to help manage IT service levels and to identify, model, communicate, deliver, and monitor the delivery of IT or other business services to improve the timeliness, quality, and efficiency of business services management (BSM). These include tools for asset management, SLA management, service catalog creation, enterprise feedback management among other service management applications.
A software structure or framework that utilizes loosely coupled software services to address business process requirements. SOA relies on services that are independent of each other and have defined interfaces that can be accessed to perform tasks in a standard way. Services don't rely on knowledge of the application, and the application doesn't need to know how the service works. In an SOA environment, network resources are exposed as independent services that can be accessed by applications regardless of their underlying platform. Being platform- and technology-independent, SOA may be implemented using Web Services, REST, RPC, DCOM or CORBA protocols. SOA is an IT architecture style that allows developers to create applications or business process tools by combining interoperable, loosely-coupled services that interact autonomously from the programming language or underlying technology platform, making components both reusable and platform-independent. So, for example, services running on .Net and written in C# and Java services can both be accessed by the same application. Applications developed on either platform can also utilize services running on the other.
A term used to describe how IT groups coordinate and present services to business users. Service portfolio management helps align IT resources and services with the needs of business users, providing higher business value, a better understanding of the value of IT to business users, and an effective management system to ensure that IT is delivering needed services in an efficient and effective manner. This includes standardizing and documenting internal and external IT services, presenting IT services to users in common business terms, automating workflows and approval processes for fulfillment of user requests, and reporting on IT delivery performance. The advantages of service portfolio management are better service for business users; improved IT management; successful ITIL implementation; improved visibility of costs; and regulatory compliance. Kinetic Request is a critical tool for presenting IT services in an actionable service catalog and managing the service request process; Kinetic Survey enables IT organizations to easily collect critical business user feedback on the quality and timeliness of service delivery.
A key component of an actionable ITIL service catalog, service request management is the underlying workflow and processes that enable an IT procurement or service request to be reliably submitted, routed, approved, monitored and delivered. This is a key component of Kinetic Request,
A software tool or application that manages the entire service request and fulfillment process, including: presentation of IT or other business services to users; service request submission; request routing and workflow; request approvals; and service delivery. An actionable IT service catalog itself is one component of a larger service request management system. Kinetic Request, to create service catalogs and automate approval and service delivery workflow processes.
The development or purchase of technology solutions by business units or functions directly without the knowledge, involvement or approval of an organization's IT group. The direct acquisition of technology, bypassing IT, is often justified by the need for speed to address urgent business requirements and the perceived slowness and/or obstruction of the IT function. While shadow IT can unquestionably reduce technology acquisition timeframes, it also entails a number of risks to the enterprise including excessive or duplicate spending, application compatibility and integration issues, absence of documentation and support, and data security risks. Collaborative approaches such as DevOps for application development and enterprise request management for procurement can reduce the perceived need for and attendant risks of shadow IT activity.
A measure of near-perfect quality, statistically no more than 3.4 defects per million. In business terms, Six Sigma is a structured, information-driven process that strives for near perfection, the virtual elimination of defects through process control. It can be applied to any process, from development to manufacturing to service delivery. According to iSixSigma,
Any user-response questionnaire delivered in a browser. Web surveys can be created and disseminated using either external (software services) or internal tools. External tools are often low-cost and easy to use, but they are difficult to standardize and manage across organizations, and often rely on manual processes for any integration with existing business applications. Internal survey-creation tools, such as Kinetic Survey, BMC Remedy)