IT Services Management Frameworks
IT services are those activities performed by an IT support company to help its clients achieve IT success. IT Services provide essential computer network maintenance and setup. They are used to create new products and business solutions. To ensure the quality of IT services delivered, there are several factors to consider in selecting an IT service provider. This article will discuss some of these factors to provide IT service providers, with guidelines for quality improvement.
IT managers need to set firm IT service standards. These standards should include the quality of work that is produced, as well as the performance of end-users. Therefore, it is crucial for IT managers to establish IT service standards, to set benchmarks against which to compare current quality practices, and to gauge future changes to the quality of services. The most effective method of establishing quality standards in the industry is to use quality indicators. Quality indicators provide a concise measure of end-user satisfaction for services provided by an organization. Following established quality indicators can significantly improve IT service quality.
IT managers also need to improve IT services continually. To ensure that quality remains high, managers should regularly monitor existing processes, services, and IT investments. Through continuous improvement, IT managers can identify opportunities for improvement, implement changes, and pursue quality objectives.
IT service quality management involves two primary processes: quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance occurs before a product or program goes to market. Quality control deals with the end-user processes involved in obtaining, using, and maintaining IT services. These processes include software installation, training users, providing support, and maintenance. Both of these processes must be monitored by IT managers regularly to ensure that quality continues to improve, even as new technologies are introduced into the market.
A successful IT service quality management system will first address core processes. The most common of these core processes are quality assurance. This involves assessing the current technologies and systems being used in the organization and testing to verify these technologies and systems deliver the services designed. A quality assurance process framework should define the testing procedures required to verify the technology and system capability. It should also define the test methods, reporting guidelines, and results used to measure progress.
IT service quality management systems should also address business processes. Business processes are usually divided into at least five primary activities. These activities include customer requirements and service delivery, product development, business analysis, service marketing, and information technology support. IT managers should monitor all of these activities and perform quality assessments regularly to determine whether business processes are meeting expectations.
IT services are required by businesses to remain competitive. To stay competitive, organizations must strive to improve their quality while simultaneously reducing costs. IT managers should therefore strive to ensure that quality is consistently improved and that costs are reduced as much as possible. Doing so requires an understanding of what customers expect and the ability to quantify those expectations. Managers should conduct quality assessments regularly and use the results to determine whether changes to the services being provided improve quality, reduce costs, or make the services more accessible to customers.
IT services management frameworks need to consider several factors to achieve business goals. Frameworks should first address core processes and then consider the business goals of those processes. It should then address quality management by conducting process audits, analyzing the quality management processes within existing frameworks, and evaluating any changes to be made within existing frameworks to achieve the business goals. Finally, it should address business processes by developing quality processes dependent upon previous processes’ results and incorporating them into future processes.