Category Archives: IT Operations

9 Steps to consider when transforming service mindset in an IT service operations

By | IT Operations, IT Service Management, IT Services | No Comments

Many times, operationally we achieved “green” Service Level, but in reality, did we delivered service within customer expectation? Have you ever wonder, could this be wrong defined SLA?  Or do we focus too much on SLA and we forgot the most crucial factor that is, customer’s perception and users’ experiences?

Excellence service is the integral part that will reflect your business culture and retention of customers. Hence, the ability to provide consistent high service levels can be challenging. But how can we maintain the ever continuous demands and able to overcome situations and challenges?

In this white paper, we will provide you with 9 steps for you to consider when transforming service mindset in your IT service organization. http://www.qaaf.my/download/9-steps-to-transform-it-service-operations/

How to reduce IT Complexity

By | IT Operations, IT Strategy | No Comments

Excessive complexity in the IT Environment can drive up IT costs and reduce the IT organization’s flexibility, agility and overall ability to support the company’s objectives.

Reducing this complexity is difficult, however, as it typically builds gradually and stems from multiple causes.

There are four must haves in design and implementation of a successful IT simplification effort:

  1. Blueprint for the target end state and a roadmap for getting there;
  2. A program management office that helps to drive progress and track results;
  3. Simplification principles that are embedded into the company’s governance structures;
  4. Buy -in from senior management

In the article by Boston Consulting Group, there are 6 drivers and high-level approach that are served as basis for reducing IT complexity. The approach is shared as per diagram can be pursued simultaneously, sequentially or an isolation.

BCG Analysis - Reduce IT Complexity

You can read the full article here:  Simplify IT – 6 Ways to Reduce Complexity.

Malaysian CIO: Spend your IT budget wisely

By | General Insights, IT Operations | No Comments

Malaysian chief information officers (CIOs) are still spending their IT budgets in the wrong places.

Companies should be looking at hot and cold investments and spend less on cold technology like ERP where current tech is good enough, leaving more budget for hot investments like business intelligence and analytics.

Gartner’s recommendations are that Malaysian CIOs should consider cybersecurity as a priority now but also add artificial intelligence/cognitive computing investments as a priority for the future.

Read more from this article:

http://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2017/02/16/gartner-says-spend-your-limited-it-budget-on-hot-investments/

Short Tips: 2 ways to reduce costs using IT

By | General Insights, IT Operations | No Comments

There are many ways to reduce costs, but I would like to share with you, 2 ways to reduce costs using IT and still keep your margins:

1. Invest: Cleverly invest into IT systems or technology that not heavily rely on the people to do mundane and routine work. Mundane and routine works tend to bore people and at certain time, you may face increase of staff turnover. This will significantly increase your company costs i.e. Additional time and money spent to onboard, train and coach new staff.

2. Automate: Relook at your current business process. Find manual and paper based processes that can be automated. Nowadays, there are a lot of free and cloud based systems that can help you to automate your business processes. This will increase efficiencies.

Comparison Corrective, Preventive and Predictive Maintenance

Comparisons between Corrective, Preventive and Predictive IT Maintenance

By | IT Operations, Predictive Analytics | No Comments

Keeping the lights up for the IT team is a never ending job. With the advent cloud and Internet of Things, support and maintenance tasks and costs are impacting the companies’ workforce and budget.

Attempts to reduce these costs have led to the development of several maintenance strategies and solutions along time. There are three types of common IT maintenance practices, offered by IT Managed Service Provider (MSP):

  1. Corrective Maintenance implies that the IT equipment and devices are repaired after a failure has occurred. As long as an equipment is under a warranty agreement, the equipment owner does not usually pay for the repair though he can experience an unexpected malfunction.
  2. Preventive Maintenance requires performing periodic inspections and other operations at a schedule predetermined by the service provider mostly on the basis of time in service.
  3. Predictive Maintenance, which heavily rely on machine learning system and statistical model, can schedule an intervention based on some sensory information representing the current condition of the IT equipment, devices and its subsystems and a probabiliy of failure. This approach should, on one hand, minimize the risk of unexpected failures, which may occur before the next periodic maintenance operation, and on the other hand, reduce the amount of unnecessary preventive maintenance activities.

As when the business grows, the IT infrastructure and applications implementation gets into complex integration. The failure touch points are beyond IT team to comprehend.  Hence, this is where the predictive analytics come in with the capability to understand reliability of equipment’s at any point in time, to identify and isolate potential failures before they occur; to predict and plan for scheduled maintenance and downtime and to reduce unnecessary time-based maintenance operations is required.

This is the new era of IT support and maintenance – there will be a tremendous reduction of manpower to perform predictive maintenance in the future, except if there is a requirement of physical intervention. An alarming state for human brain and who is to blame?

SMART AND PREDICTIVE MANAGED SERVICES

By | General Insights, IT Operations, Predictive Analytics | No Comments

Many of traditional Managed Service Provider (MSP) engagements delivered around fixed-pricing models, a big junk of the costs from this pricing model is the cost of IT labor.

For MSP to maintain its profitability, one well-known MSP company, InfoSys  has been making massive investments in software to automate as many processes as possible. As a result, the need to take thousands of people out of the process.

The software automation is geared towards Smart and Predictive Managed Services.  It features the big data analytics services capability in capturing massive amounts of machine data that can be used to diagnose potential problems long before they occur. Additionally profound technical advance is machine learning algorithms that promise to automate IT operations at levels of unprecedented scale.

While  MSP is forcing to look at the profitability and find ways to be more cost-effective, the customer is demanded to reduce the stress and overhead of IT security.

From that perspective, many “agentless” IT monitoring tools are starting to incorporate machine learning algorithms to identify and help resolve potential issues before they become a problem.

For MSPs, the goal going forward is no longer how quickly they can fix an IT issue, but rather what can be done to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Given the current level of IT complexity most organizations face today, there is an assumption that something will go wrong with IT sooner or later. It’s the role of the MSP to mitigate the impact of that complexity on the business.

Difference Between ITIL® 2011 & ITIL V3 Processes

By | IT Operations, IT Service Management, IT Services, ITIL Coaching | No Comments

Processes – ITIL 2011 vs ITIL V3

Service Strategy – 2 new processes added

1. Strategy Management for IT services – new
2. Service Portfolio Management
3. Financial Management for IT services
4. Demand Management
5. Business Relationship management – new

Service Design—1 new process added

1. Service Catalogue Management
2. Service Level Management
3. Supplier Management
4. Capacity Management
5. Availability Management
6. IT Service Continuity Management
7. Information Security Management
8. Design Coordination – New

Service Transition—1 process renamed

1. Transition Planning and Support
2. Change Management
3. Service Asset and Configuration Management
4. Release and Deployment Management
5. Knowledge Management
6. Service Validation and Testing
7. Change Evaluation- The word Change has been introduced

Service Operation

1. Event Management
2. Incident Management
3. Problem Management
4. Request Fulfillment
5. Access Management

Continual Service Improvement

1.  Seven Step Improvement

Apart from the above 26 processes distributed across five life cycles, there are four functions, which are same as ITIL® V3, namely –

1. Service Desk
2. Application Management
3. Technical Management
4. IT Operational Management

These four functions fall under the Service Operation lifecycle.

TOP 5 SIGNS YOU NEED MANAGED SERVICES PROVIDER

By | IT Operations, IT Services | No Comments

In today’s’ business, the effective and efficient of the business operations are synonym with how effective and efficient you manage your IT.

Your IT systems have to function properly 24/7. Keeping up with your IT operations can be difficult and expensive while also distracting you from achieving your business’s goals. What are the signs that you may be ready to outsource to a managed IT service provider?

1: The IT problems just keep on coming
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The IT industry employs the most in-demand set of specialized skills in the corporate world. As a result, with constantly changing technologies and new methods to master, IT departments are struggling to keep up with their daily workload. By hiring a managed services provider, you’ll help to relieve the burden on your staff and achieve more efficient operations.
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2: Your current IT department can’t keep up with service demands
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Most companies are finding it is more prudent to hire a staff that has generalized technology knowledge rather than a staff with specialized IT skills. When the demand for support solutions expands beyond what your staff can provide, managed services providers are necessary to keep your IT department from straining under the added demand.
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3: You deal with sensitive information.
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For businesses that need to store, access, or transmit critical data—such as personal details, financial information, and medical records—managed services help ensure that it’s protected at all times.
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4. Your technology budget is fluctuating and unpredictable
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If you find that your IT costs vary widely each month, it may be time to shift to managed services. With an outsourced support model, you’ll pay a fixed fee no matter how much support you utilize. This allows you to create—and stick to—a predictable budget. And when something goes wrong, you won’t be stuck paying sky-high emergency support.
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5. Your service needs will have top priority.
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When you contract with a managed services provider, your IT needs will be prioritized around the clock. Your systems will be monitored 24/7, and if an issue arises it will be identified and resolved before it can impact your business operations.

7 Most Important KPI’s for Service Center

By | IT Operations, Performance Measurement | No Comments

Service Level
While I am preparing myself for next month, consultancy service to improve the client’s support team, I stumbled across this excellent article. I was surprised to see that the 7 most important KPI’s / metrics which we used 10 years ago still relevant.

The metrics were not from a hunch, googling, suspicion nor  academic exercise.  But it was derived and concluded from empirical evidence from more than a thousand service desk benchmarks.

80% of the value receive from performance measurement and management in your Service Desk can be derived from these seven simple metrics! The seven that really matter are as follows:

 1. Cost per Contact
 2. Customer Satisfaction
 3. Agent Utilization
 4. First Contact Resolution Rate
 5. First Level Resolution Rate
 6. Agent Satisfaction
 7. Aggregate Service Desk Performance

Download the full article here:

Managed Services/IT Outsourcing

By | IT Operations | No Comments

Managed Services/IT Outsourcing
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Often, the analysis we made when we performed the IT Outsourcing assessment is that the managed service provider (MSP) is excellent in managing reactive issues, but lacking in managing proactive issues.

Major pain by MSP is hiring the right people.

The skills and mindset needed to manage a customer’s IT systems is different from break-fix/preventive maintenance due to the nature of the MSP is to not to have problems. They fix and work on things before they become broken.

They need to be focused not on solving problems but on proactive daily maintenance issues that will keep IT managed objects from breaking.

If the MSP “beautity” their problem management processes and as much as possible automate the monitoring of the IT managed objects, possibly, they can operate in the optimum level.

Qaaf Malaysia