ITIL Service Operation
The ITIL Service Operation volume is the fourth of five books in the Information Technology Information Library (ITIL). It focuses on the service operation lifecycle stage of IT service management. Overall, this was a good book for those people who work in IT operations. Unfortunately, because IT operations is so vast, this book tries to be everything to everybody. As such, while there are many good sections, it does fall flat in places.
The first three chapters of the volume prepare the reader by covering an introduction to ITIL, an overview of IT service management, and the basic principles of service operation. Many of these topics are those covered by the ITIL Foundation course; however, additional detail is provided in terms of the basic principles of service operation.
As with the other ITIL volumes, chapter four is rather long. It covers the five processes that make up the service operation lifecycle stage. The processes include Event Management, which is the process for handling events and alerts; Incident Management, which provides guidance on ensuring that incidents are handled effectively; Request Fulfillment, which covers the differences between incidents and requests and how they can be appropriated managed; Problem Management, which ensures that readers understand the differences between incidents and problems–and how they are handled differently; and Access Management, during which the Information Security Management policies are put into action.
The remaining five chapters serve as a framework for common service operation activities, including server and mainframe support, network management, storage and archive, database administration, directory services management, desktop and mobile support, middleware management, and Internet/Web management; the ways in which to organize for service operation, including the four service operation functions: the service desk, technical management, IT operations management, and application management; technology considerations; how to implement service operation in an organization; and possible challenges and risks in service operation, as well as the critical success factors in service operation.
In addition to these nine chapters, there are also nine appendices that offer other guidance for implementing service operation. These are nice additions and should probably be read with the rest of the volume. This is especially true for the three troubleshooting appendices: Kepner and Tregoe, Ishikawa Diagrams, and Pareto Analysis. For anyone interested in effective IT service operation, this volume would be a fine addition to your library.