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Infrastructure Service Technology Reviews – the benefits of conducting them!

It’s been 18 months since SAP Global IT – Infrastructure Services launched Service Technology Reviews (STR) and honestly speaking, I think the biggest learning for me is the fact that a broader ‘service team’ concept actually exists without the members even realizing it.

The reviews have become an effective forum that fosters strong collaboration across the service teams and identifies required improvements for the service under review. It provides an opportunity to jointly step back from day-to-day operations & projects related to the service and assess the current service from an architectural and strategy perspective. The key areas reviewed include:

Ø  Strategic alignment

Ø  Current implementation

Ø  Architecture

Ø  Vendor management

Ø  Risk & resource management

We include representation from all of the functional groups within Infrastructure Services along with colleagues from IT Security & Risk management. This approach supports the broader ‘service team’ concept and provides for some good discussions on the current and future state of the service.

Review findings have basically been categorized into 3 common themed areas: Service Lifecycle Optimization, Standardization, and Improve Customer experience. Actionable tasks are assigned and monitored to the appropriate service team member.

When asked for STR process feedback at the end of each service review, the participants are quite forthcoming and provided responses such as the following:

Ø  not sure in the beginning but once through it you can see areas to help focus on

Ø  made me think about service impact (ie dependency map) and the purpose of the service being offered

Ø  raised valid points about Disaster Recovery Planning that I hadn’t thought of

Ø  skeptic in the beginning; however a good opportunity to show we are providing extra effort to ensure we are meeting the customer needs

Ø  excellent – touches on various components

Ø  worthwhile process to go through as there is new information to learn

Ø  obtained more knowledge

Ø  means to know more people in case they need support 

Ø  useful information; good interview, have to continue; interesting to understand the service

In summary, collaboration and knowledge sharing is essential to ensure the services being provided to our customers are not only meeting their needs but also staying in the forefront of architectural design and industry trends.

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