GSX Blog

Concerns for Messaging Admins: ITIL and Innovation

Posted by Carl Drechsel on Sun, Jun 10, 2012

TechEd

This week I’m going to address the final two main items I’ve come across that are on administrator’s minds or are having an impact their day to day activities. One is self-inflicted, the other is intended to make things more efficient, cost effective and improve service levels.

ITIL

A few of months ago I went fairly in depth covering what ITIL means for messaging and collaboration environments. How is ITIL a concern for messaging administrators? What impact does it have on day to day activities? There’s at least a few ways, but I’ll briefly cover to the main points.

ITIL Zealotry- From an article I posted earlier. “Many companies have found that when implementing ITIL it is easy to get caught up in the fine details of what ITIL intends. This approach often leads to implementations that are just the opposite of ITIL’s purpose. When ITIL is taken to the letter of the law the spirit of the framework can be lost, bureaucracy can actually compromise efficiency and stifle innovation and creativity.  In the same manner a complete ITIL implementation adhering to every tenet also risks costing an organization more than it will save.” It is key to start general and work into the details as improvement areas become clearer, otherwise an implementation can actually stifle productivity and undermine efficiency.

ITIL, An Organizational Project-Administrators are not typically ITIL implementers; however they are generally bound by the policies are implemented. The key to successful ITIL integration from an administrator’s perspective is collaboration. It is imperative that an ITIL implementation has input from each member of the organization that ITIL policies will affect.  This will help ensure that the final policies implemented will not only be functional and efficient but also have the support from members of the general IT organization.

Process Overload-An offshoot of ITIL Zealotry but an important topic to mention.  Like a trip to the DMV where there’s a window for each step of the transaction, and everything needs to be filled out in triplicate, ITIL processes can overwhelm your IT staff.  If there’s a process for a process, there may be a bit of a process overload. Checks and controls are critical to ensure changes have minimal impact, but at some point it can all be too much. The key here is balance, enough control to maintain service but enough flexibility to ensure efficiency.

What has your experience with ITIL been?

Grassroots Innovation

Ok, I suppose this really isn’t a headache or even a concern. Actually most of the time it’s a nice perk of the job. The ability to work with new technologies, which are sometimes even out of the scope of your department can be a welcome departure from the norm for most of us. Sometimes however, our pet projects take on a life of their own and become full time mission critical applications (which usually receive little in the way of additional personnel). A success story? Perhaps. A headache? Sometimes….

How about you, what’s your best pet project story?

This week we are attending TechEd in Orlando, if you’re there please stop by the GSX booth for a visit, check out the products or just say hi. We have a whole bunch of great giveaways and I will be hosting a session regarding the landscape for a messaging admin these days. You can follow me on twitter @Carl_D3 and GSX @gsx_solutions.

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Tags: Exchange 2010, ITIL, messaging and collaboration, Exchange reporting, Lotus Domino Monitoring, New Technologies, Exchange monitoring, lotus domino