Service operations is believed to maintain status quo of IT services – to keep it running as per the design. While this is true, IT services evolve through technological changes and the changing requirements of the customer and the IT environment setup. While maintaining and running existing IT services along with bringing in new changes and modifications in the environment calls for a stable environment. And this stable presence can be achieved through balancing certain key aspects. In view of this, ITIL service operations has identified four major balances that are to be achieved in the service operations lifecycle phase in order to successfully manage and maintain IT services through the evolution. They are:
Internal IT View vs External Business View
Stability vs Responsiveness
Cost vs Quality
Re-activeness vs Pro-activeness
This list is not comprehensive at the least. There are a number of other balances that the IT organization must play with like employee’s work-life balance.
Organizations must look toward balancing situations and not completely lean towards one side or the other. As we are aware , we can become obese by consuming plenty of fatty foods and are susceptible to diseases like gout by consuming excess amounts of protein. So, anything is excess is bad for all situations. The point being, balance is necessary. In this case, a balanced diet would do a world of good.
An IT organization is like a motorcycle manufacturer. Plenty of work would have gone into designing the motorcycle and building it from raw materials. Once the product is ready, if it cannot balance the rider on its two wheels, the whole purpose of its existence gets nullified. Even if the rider balances, he must be able to go in the direction he wishes to, and that is possible only through the right balance.
Likewise an IT organization must identify all the delicate situations and find a suitable balance. Without balance, targets are not achieved, conflicts arise and the smooth working of organizations become distant dreams.
Over the next few posts, I will discuss each of these ITIL service operations balances in detail.