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FCW : November 15, 2013
ExecTe c h Service-level agreements attempt to get IT service providers and cus- tomers on the same page when it comes to expectations on performance, availability and reliability. SLAs establish objec- tives and define how performance will be measured. An organiza- tion might track SLAs manually or use some form of automation. The latter approach could involve deploying multiple server and network moni- toring products to determine whether a service is up to scratch. Alternatively, an IT shop could deploy a broader offering, such as an IT service management (ITSM) system, business service management (BSM) product, cloud management platform or special- ized SLA-monitoring solution. SLA management tools can help IT departments keep tabs on the services they offer internal customers or exter- nal users in the case of interagency shared services. Agencies can also use the tools to track how their vendors are doing. The degree to which SLA manage- ment solutions nd use in the govern- ment space, however, differs widely from agency to agency. "We have seen from the technology perspective that there are a wide variety of maturity levels across our govern- ment clients," said David Kramer, vice president of management consulting solutions at Octo Consulting Group. "Some use spreadsheets and some use ITSM modules and some use point solutions." The Energy Department s Fermilab falls into the last category. The lab uses ServiceNow s cloud-based ITSM software to manage SLAs as part of a broader initiative to tap enterprise software-as-a- service solutions, a Fermi- lab spokesman said. Some agencies use a combination of products and manual techniques to mind their SLAs and different approaches to track different parts of the IT infrastructure. The Interior Department pursues multiple paths to service-level management. Inte- rior s Of ce of the CIO has started providing shared IT services for inter- nal and some external customers. The of ce manually compiles service availability metrics when it tracks its Bison Connect cloud-based email sys- tem, which is powered by Google Apps for Government, and measures some desktop support services against SLAs it has established using BMC Software s Remedy ITSM software, said Bernie Mazer, Interior s CIO. Mazer said he believes Interior will continue to use a variety of tools to manage service levels, but the manage- ment approach will evolve over time. The more-than-one-tool philosophy is also the case for the Federal Avia- Managing SLAs: Software tools are starting to catch on ExecTe c h BY JOHN MOORE The options for monitoring service-level agreements come in an endless variety. The trick is guring out which one to use. November 15, 2013 FCW.COM 29 The IT Infrastructure Library recognizes that organizations are increasingly dependent on reliable IT services to achieve their corporate goals. THE TECHNOLOGY THE BUSINESS Business perspective Implementation planning IT infrastructure manageme nt Application management Service management Service support Service delivery Security management
October 30, 2013
November 30, 2013