MITA Ser­vice Man­age­ment – a vi­sion

Malta Independent - - Ict - MATTHEW CATANIA Matthew Catania Con­sul­tant - Ser­vice Man­age­ment Projects

The world has for a while been liv­ing through another rev­o­lu­tion where dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion and fus­ing tech­nol­ogy are trans­form­ing, im­prov­ing and at the same time chal­leng­ing a wide array of in­dus­tries. This is also im­pact­ing so­ci­ety at large since for many as­pects of life, tech­nol­ogy is no longer just a ne­ces­sity, but a crit­i­cal need that de­ter­mines whether out­comes are un­der­lined by suc­cess or fail­ure. Adapt­ing to tech­nol­ogy trends and us­ing dig­i­tal ser­vices there­fore re­quires a shift across all facets of the so­cial land­scape.

Cer­tain cir­cum­stances, such as the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion, push so­ci­ety to rely on tech­nol­ogy even fur­ther. In any case, the list of busi­ness pro­cesses or day to day ac­tiv­i­ties which have ab­so­lutely no reliance on tech­nol­ogy is on a heavy de­crease.

This im­plies that man­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) and ser­vices has be­come a piv­otal ac­tiv­ity with­out which many tar­geted re­sults be­come un­ob­tain­able. In­deed, the world has also evolved within the ser­vice man­age­ment do­main. Mod­ern method­olo­gies com­ple­ment and some­times take over the more tra­di­tional ones. For ex­am­ple, shift­ing to­wards Ag­ile prac­tices may be more ap­pli­ca­ble than a Wa­ter­fall ap­proach in cer­tain con­texts. Also, adopt­ing less rigid, flex­i­ble pro­cesses is fre­quently pre­ferred to what was more com­mon­place in ear­lier times. The list goes on.

The Malta In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Agency (MITA) is not ex­empt from this in­flu­ence. As the Gov­ern­ment Agency for IT, and specif­i­cally through its Ser­vice

Man­age­ment Depart­ment to­gether with a range of stake­hold­ers, the need to look into the sign of the times and duly re­spond, be­comes a crit­i­cal mind­set. This does not mean chang­ing ev­ery­thing, all at once, at all costs. Rather, it is a grad­ual process of fo­cus­ing on value, re­tain­ing the good, im­prov­ing in small steps and col­lab­o­rat­ing be­tween dif­fer­ent parts of the or­gan­i­sa­tion there­fore in­clud­ing the client.

The Ser­vice Man­age­ment Depart­ment is al­ready en­gag­ing to reach ob­jec­tives deemed crit­i­cal to thrive in the cur­rent in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion. The ob­jec­tives, aligned to the Agency’s strat­egy are based on the pri­mary el­e­ments of ser­vice man­age­ment: peo­ple, tech­nol­ogy, process and part­ners.

While MITA re­quires the tra­di­tional IT ser­vice man­age­ment ap­proach for a num­ber of ar­eas and ser­vices it ad­min­is­ters, it is clear that it is vi­tal to hav­ing a plan for the up­skilling of its hu­man re­sources en­abling them to speak mod­ern “lan­guages” and adopt novel mind­sets and ap­proaches. This of course en­ables the work­force to be able to reap value through a spec­trum of method­olo­gies and grad­u­ally shift to a more value-cre­at­ing cul­ture. For in­stance, ef­fec­tively en­sur­ing that the tra­di­tional IT Op­er­a­tions, or sys­tem ad­min­is­tra­tion, is in­jected with knowledge per­tain­ing to soft­ware-de­fined data cen­tres, in­fra­struc­ture as code and au­toma­tion of “ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble” is a fun­da­men­tal need. Also un­der­ly­ing these, are var­i­ous meth­ods, frame­works, ap­proaches and cul­tures that may be ex­ploited to im­prove ser­vice man­age­ment.

For the tech­nol­ogy as­pect, which ul­ti­mately is the en­abler that ser­vice man­age­ment ex­ploits to ren­der its ser­vices, MITA has not ceased in­vest­ing. El­e­ments such as cloud tech­nol­ogy, high-speed con­nec­tiv­ity, mod­ern au­then­ti­ca­tion, as well as var­i­ous se­cu­rity lay­ers amongst oth­ers are now a real­ity. Ser­vice Man­age­ment within MITA is there­fore sup­ported by a layer of cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy per­mit­ting the trans­for­ma­tion of op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­mand into value across vary­ing cir­cum­stances.

With re­gards to the process as­pect, MITA has a strong rep­u­ta­tion of ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise since it was one of the lo­cal cat­a­lysts exploring in­ter­na­tional frame­works to im­ple­ment pro­cesses such as in­ci­dent man­age­ment, change en­able­ment and con­fig­u­ra­tion man­age­ment al­most three decades ago. Through on­go­ing main­te­nance as part of the ser­vice man­age­ment key re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, these re­main valid to date. Not­with­stand­ing, fail­ing to look at mod­ern­iz­ing var­i­ous el­e­ments of such pro­cesses would po­ten­tially lead an or­gan­i­sa­tion to fade into obliv­ion. As stated, cer­tain ser­vices are well suited with tra­di­tional pro­cesses. How­ever for oth­ers, fail­ing to ex­ploit mod­ern el­e­ments such as au­toma­tion and more agility, is not an op­tion.

MITA has a long-stand­ing good re­la­tion­ship with its part­ners and this stems from the fact that the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of the Agency is to build and main­tain healthy en­gage­ments which per­mit value co-cre­ation. Build­ing on this char­ac­ter­is­tic is at the cen­ter of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­clud­ing the Ser­vice Man­age­ment Depart­ment.

With its vi­sion aligned to the Agency strat­egy, and col­lab­o­rat­ing as well as be­ing sup­ported by var­i­ous el­e­ments of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Ser­vice Man­age­ment Depart­ment is set to main­tain its key po­si­tion to not only op­er­ate the tech­nol­ogy pro­vid­ing the out­puts to en­abling out­comes, but to drive the im­prove­ments in line with the chang­ing busi­ness needs and hence en­sure the man­i­fest­ing of con­tin­u­ous value to the client. For this to oc­cur, ser­vice man­age­ment re­quires to adopt the said holis­tic view and have a plan to not only evolve but to also adapt while grad­u­ally shift­ing to new cul­tures, as ap­pli­ca­ble.

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