The decision as to whether to maintain the status quo or to approve changes is a constant conflict within the IT business operation. The service operation manual highlights the key areas of conflict and shows how the IT organization can identify at an early stage when it is tending towards extremes. The following four typical conflicts within service operation are examined:
- Internal IT viewpoint versus external customer viewpoint.
Optimum and reliable services that meet both the needs of the customer as well as the feasibility based on the capabilities of the IT organizations can only be achieved by taking a balanced account of both views.
- Stability versus response capability in the event of a need for change.
technology requirements change over the course of time. Ensuring stability and simultaneously implementing changes on time must be weighed up appropriately, giving due consideration to the risks.
- Service quality versus service costs.
IT organizations are under pressure to permanently reduce their costs. This normally also entails a reduction in quality. The task is to ensure a considered balance between cost savings and the simultaneous adherence to quality standards. This will avoid disproportionate risks for the company.
- Reactive versus proactive.
Purely reactive organizations only respond to external influences. Examples: new business requirements, disruptions or customer complaints. Organizations like these tend to focus exclusively on the stability of the services. This is not the way to encourage a proactive attitude on the part of the employees. By contrast, proactive organizations continually look for internal and external improvements. However, where this approach is too marked these organizations can take on unnecessary risks and put too much pressure on employees in the IT operation. It is fundamentally better to manage IT services on a proactive basis. The task is to find an optimum balance and not to jeopardize the business with unnecessary ‘pseudo improvements’.