The ITIL Service Lifecycle divides the ITIL service management framework into five distinct stages that aide in determining the most ideal approach to designing, delivering, managing, and improving how IT is used within any organization. The ITIL Service Operation is the fourth stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on ensuring IT systems run efficiently by effectively managing the organization’s services in the supported environments.
The ITIL Service Operation Stage
The ITIL Service Operation stage emphasizes best practices to ensure an organization’s operational excellence. At the ITIL Service Operation stage, services and value is directly being delivered and operations teams are accountable for achieving an agreed level of service.
The ITIL Service Operation stage supports the organization in balancing service reliability and costs through a number of essential processes:
- Event Management
- Access Management
- Request Fulfillment
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
The purpose of the Event Management process within the ITIL Service Operation stage is to monitor all events that occur in the IT infrastructure in order to permit normal operations, as well as detect and correct disruptions to regular service operations. Events are usually notices, warnings and/or exceptions created by an IT service, a configuration item, or a monitoring tool. Event Management can be applied to any aspect of Service Management that can be controlled or automated, therefore allowing for early detection of service issues, a faster response rate to address the exception, and an overall reduced downtime of service operations.
The purpose of the Access Management process within the ITIL Service Operation stage is to grant authorized users the right to use a service, while also preventing unauthorized usage of the same services. Information Security Management defines the various identity, access, and rights policies. Access Management essentially executes on those policies defined by adding, changing, or revoking access rights.
The purpose of the Request Fulfillment process within the ITIL Service Operation stage is to complete Service Requests. Service requests are often standard changes that are considered to be routine requests part of the service operation. Service Fulfillment begins with recording and categorizing the Service Request, through to processing the Service Request within an agreed upon time schedule in accordance to the appropriate monitor and escalation measures.
The purpose of the Incident Management process within the ITIL Service Operation stage is to restore a regular service operation as fast as possible. Normal service operation is defined as a service being delivered within parameters of the Service Level Agreement as defined in the ITIL Service Design stage. Incident Management also delivers a temporary or work-around solution in instances where the incident cannot be resolved immediately or needs specialized technical support.
The purpose of the Problem Management process within the ITIL Service Operation stage is to identify and resolve the underlying causes of reoccurring incidents. This process aims to prevent problems (defined as the cause of one or more incidents) from occurring. Problem Management also minimizes the business impact in instances where it is not possible to prevent a particular incident from happening.
The ITIL Service Operation stage enables the organization to maintain the day-to-day services in accordance to business priorities as defined and designed in the previous stages of the ITIL Service Lifecycle.
Learn more about the other stages in the ITIL Service Lifecycle and how this framework supports business transformation:
- The ITIL Service Strategy stage is the first stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle and guides the development of IT service management by understanding the organization’s objectives and customer needs.
- The ITIL Service Design stage is the second stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on meeting customer needs by turning the organization’s service strategy into an executable plan for delivering business objectives.
- The ITIL Service Transition stage is the third stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on building and deploying IT systems by improving the organization’s capabilities for introducing new services into supported environments.
- The ITIL Continual Service Improvement stage is the fifth and final stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on re-aligning IT services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing incremental service improvements for the organization.
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