ITIL Implementation - Application Systems

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Step 9: Selection and Implementation of Application Systems

 

If new or changed application systems are needed in order to support the ITIL processes, these must first be procured or developed and implemented.

Objectives

  • Definition of the requirements for new/ changed application systems
  • Selection of suitable system(s) and supplier(s)
  • Implementation of the new/ changed application system(s)

 

Define the System Requirements

Objective of this Project Step

  • Definition of the requirements for new or changed application systems

 

Description

The functional requirements of the application systems are mainly derived from the detailed process descriptions - these illustrate which activities the application system is to support.

Further requirements may be added (example: "The creation of a new Incident must be possible from within the Outlook address book").

The definitions of the process outputs describe which data are processed within the system. The process Incident Logging and Categorization for example, generates an Incident Record - the system must therefore be able to hold such a data structure and offer suitable user interfaces for viewing and editing.

Finally, all non-functional requirements are to be recorded.

 

On the whole the following structure results for the system requirements document (see Fig. 1: ITSM System Requirements):

  • Functional requirements
    • Reference to the detailed process models
    • Additional requirements related to functionality
    • Definitions of the process outputs (data-structures)
    • Reporting functionality
  • Non-functional requirements
    • Requirements related to capacities and quantities
    • Performance and turnover
    • Scalability/ Expansion
    • Availability
  • Requirements from the operational viewpoint
  • Requirements from the viewpoint of IT Security
  • Interfaces with other systems
  • Annex
    • Process models
    • Data to be imported from previously existing systems

 

Once the requirements are complete, an itemized and prioritized list is extracted from the requirements document, which is used as a matrix for the evaluation of suppliers. The requirements should be categorized, like in the following example:

  • Knock-out criteria (Prio 1)
  • Important requirements (Prio 2)
  • Desirable requirements (Prio 3)

 

Prerequisites

 

Results/ Deliverables

  • System requirements document for applications to be changed or procured
  • Prioritized list of requirements

 

Success Factors

It is important not to limit oneself to functional aspects when pinning down the system requirements. Operational aspects are equally important, as are possibilities to expand the system – especially if the introduction of further ITSM processes is to follow.

 

Relevant Views of the ITIL Process Map

The detailed process descriptions from the ITIL Process Map are an important part of the system requirements.

In addition to this, checklists/ document templates support the definition of the process outputs. The attributes usually assigned to an Incident Record, for example, can be found in the Checklist Incident Record.

 

Select System(s) to Support the To-Be Processes

Objective of this Project Step

  • Selection of suitable system(s) and supplier(s) for the application system due to be procured

 

Description

Suppliers of suitable ITSM systems are submitted to a systematic evaluation upon the basis of the list of requirements.

A three-stage approach has proved to be most efficient for this purpose:

  • Firstly, a larger number of suppliers may be approached in writing; the aim here is to find suppliers which are able to fulfill the most important requirements.
  • This results in a short-list of suppliers, who are requested to submit a concrete offer that also contains information about license fees and implementation costs.
  • The final decision is made after a visit by reference clients and possibly a test-installation by the leading contender.

 

Prerequisites

  • Requirements document for applications to be changed or procured
  • Prioritized list of requirements

 

Results/ Deliverables

  • Evaluation of systems and suppliers

 

Success Factors

The number of vendors included in the selection process should not be too large – the product surveys published by the Gartner [1] and Forrester [2] Groups provide excellent assistance when compiling a first list of possible candidates.

 

Implement the Systems

Objective of this Project Step

  • Implementation of the new/ changed application system(s), so that they are ready to support the IT Service Management processes to be introduced

 

Description

Which individual steps must be taken for system implementation will depend in a great measure upon the type of application and its operational environment.

It is usually most efficient to make use of the system-suppliers' expertise when customizing and implementing the new application(s).

 

Prerequisites

 

Results/ Deliverables

  • Fully implemented and operational application system(s)

 

Relevant Views of the ITIL Process Map

The detailed process descriptions and definitions of guidelines and process outputs serve as blueprints for the configuration of the systems.

 

Resources

 

Following Project Activity

→ ITIL Implementation - Step 10: Process Implementation and Training

 

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