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Author's profile photo Rick Porter

The Changing Role of ITSM and How SAP Change Control as ITSM Integration Partner can Shrink Outage Windows (Part II)

ITSM – Information Technology Services Management – has as many definitions as there are people writing about it. The definitions all hold that the goal of ITSM is to govern IT processes and deliver business processes smoothly and with as little system downtime as possible.

In most midsize to large businesses, key IT processes are developed as a series of separate applications whose product or output is developed in isolation before being delivered. On the business side, such processes might consist of complaints direction, facilities management, HR and ERP, ECC, BW, CRM, SRM, SCM, SEM, GRC, BW portal, enterprise portal, HANA (technology), data services, and more, each with associated IT governance, risk management and compliance programs.

Historically, each worked in a logical or functional “silo” with its own processes enabled on the IT side by specific data flows. Ensuring that each provides “trustworthy” critical information, making updates as needed and coordinating any actions that result, can be seen as the job of IT service managers.

ITSM and SAP Change Control obviously overlap in various aspects of all this. Both center on delivering data and directing changes to and through the infrastructure to serve business processes. Both are deeply involved with governance as change moves out to organizational functions.

But as ITSM matures as a discipline, it increasingly centers on moving processes out of the old siloes by bridging and, ultimately, integrating them across multiple business functions, making ITSM an important enabling technology. Particularly for those organizations serious about implementing a cross business DevOps strategy.

That’s why if an organization runs SAP, integrating an SAP change control solution with ITSM technology can be a key to increasing the success of the overall ITSM initiatives. This is not just theory. McKesson Corporation, currently no. 15 on the Fortune 500 list, recently integrated its automated SAP change control solution, Rev-Trac, into its ITSM service application, BMC Remedy, and realized dramatically smaller outage windows for applying major changes.

For a company like McKesson, with a significant SAP Environment comprising 41 different landscapes and over 100 SIDS serving 37,000 global employees, any tool that shortens outage windows produces significant ROI.

McKesson’s Rev-Trac/Remedy integration leveraged three key features enabled by Rev-Trac:

  • Automatic creation of a Remedy ticket with auto field completion by Rev-Trac, eliminating manual input errors
  • Automatic Remedy ticket status updates giving all parties from IT developers to business users complete visibility into the process from start to finish
  • Rev-Trac automation and enforcement, eliminating workarounds and undocumented changes

With the greater visibility and the briefer outage windows, McKesson’s documented ROI from this Rev-Trac/Remedy integration included:

  • Reduced release deployment and infrastructure change collision opportunities and earlier problem detection
  • Improved communications, planning and approvals by business/SLA system leadership
  • Greater efficiencies for planning and coordination across technical and functional teams
  • Significant cost reductions of shorter outage windows and earlier problem detection

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