Introducing process-oriented IT service management at an academic computing center: An interim report
ABSTRACT The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, LRZ) is a service provider for a variety of academic institutions, mainly in the Munich (Germany) area. The services provided range from network services, server hosting, application services to specialized supercomputing services. Even in academia, computing services become ever more business critical : IT services for university spin-offs, virtual labs provided to other universities as an application service, and an increasing number of industry cooperation projects require highly available and reliable services. As scope, volume, complexity and required quality of services increase, financial and personal resources to provide these do not (at least not on the same scale). The only way to meet this challenge is to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency. Such improvements do not seem achievable just by purchasing or developing more management tools (the LRZ already uses an abundance of management software applications). Addressing the, in the past often somewhat neglected, organizational aspects of IT service management (ITSM), i.e. process-oriented ITSM, promises to yield much better gains in efficiency. A project to introduce process-oriented IT service management at the LRZ was started at the end of 2007. This presentation outlines the motivation and scope of this long-running (3-4 years), multi-faceted project, and presents and interim report on results and experiences in the introduction of process-oriented ITSM at a large academic computing center.
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ABSTRACT: Using IT in ways that can trigger major organizational changes creates high-risk, potentially high-reward, situations that I call technochange (for technology-driven organizational change). Technochange differs from typical IT projects and from typical organizational change programs and therefore requires a different approach. One major risk in technochange—that people will not use information technology and related work practices—is not thoroughly addressed by the discipline of IT project management, which focuses on project cost, project schedule, and solution functionality. Organizational change management approaches are also generally not effective on their own, because they takes as a given the IT 'solutions' developed by a technical team. Consequently, the potential for the IT 'solution' to be misaligned with important organizational characteristics, such as culture or incentives, is great. Merely combining IT project management and organizational change management approaches does not produce the best results, for two reasons. First, the additive approach does not effectively address the many failure-threatening problems that can arise over the lengthy sequential process of the typical technochange lifecycle. Second, the additive approach is not structured to produce the characteristics of a good technochange solution: a complete intervention consisting of IT and complementary organizational changes, an implementable solution with minimal misfits with the existing organization, and an organization primed to appropriate the potential benefits of the technochange solution. With hard work and care, the combined IT project management plus organizational change approach can be made to work. However, an iterative, incremental approach to implementing technochange can be a better strategy in many situations. The essential characteristic of the technochange prototyping approach is that each phase involves both new IT functionality and related organizational changes, such as redesigned business processes, new performance metrics, and training. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Information Technology (Palgrave Macmillan) is the property of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)Journal of Information Technology (Palgrave Macmillan). 03/2004; 19(1):4-20.