Defence IT Building Credibility with Services

Defence IT Building Credibility with Services

Defence CIO Greg Farr is confident that within 12 months Defence will finally have a better grip on service level management

When you’re supporting 120,000 desktops spread not just around Australia but in places across the world from Iraq and Afghanistan to Timor and the Solomons, IT service level management (ITSM) can be a trifle tricky.

But Defence CIO Greg Farr is confident that within 12 months Defence will finally have a better grip on service level management and will be delivering both real service improvements and improvements in the robustness of all that IT delivers to Defence.

Farr, who believes ITSM is critical to effective IT operations, says when he joined the Department in November last year from the AustralianTaxation Office he found an organization with no end-to-end accountability for services.

“One of the big issues for us was that my group — CIO group — had responsibility for delivery of some of the services, but they were delivered by Defence Support Group. So there was no end to end accountability for the delivery of that. We're now in the process of transitioning responsibility for those ICT in the bases and sites to the CIO group.”

There is also now a service manager in place who has overall accountability for end-to-end services. Farr, who is due to speak at itSMF Australia’s 11th National Conference and Expo later this month, says the reality is that the IT group generally is judged on the performance of the service desk, because that's where the majority of people that have to deal with IT actually deal with the IT group. It is vital that the service desk, incident management, escalation and communication are all operating correctly, that service levels are properly aligned with the business objectives, and that ICT is delivered in such a way that it is as invisible to users as their electricity supply.

“Within the next twelve months as we will bring that in and as we bed in our service management processes, and we do some alignment of the various areas within the CIO group to give greater visibility end to end and to give that responsibility to an operations manager … that's not the end of the journey that I think we will start to see real service improvements and improvements in the robustness of what we actually are able to deliver to Defence,” Farr says.

“I think we're starting to realize at that service management level we need a level of service that supports our operations and we need it across the board.”

itSMF Australia is an independent IT industry association dedicated to IT service management.

The 11th National Conference and Expo to be held in Canberra from August 27-29 has the theme “Going up a Gear” and will include more than 50 separate sessions over three days including nine half-day workshops, seven keynote or plenary presentations and six breakout sessions for each of the six streams covered by the conference.

Headline keynote speakers include Farr, CEO of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Kim Denham and Convener of IDC Australia’s Information Technology Experience Program Peter Hind. There will also be a joint keynote address by Dave Cannon and David Wheeldon, co-authors of the Service Operation book in the highly popular ITIL v3 IT service management framework library ITIL V3.

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