Our customer, a global supermarket chain, had difficulties implementing adequate IT monitoring in their IT infrastructure as well as in their applications relevant to run the business (various SAP systems, marketing campaigns systems, payment systems, point of sale systems, etc.). They decided to start a project to implement governance structures to ensure accountability and responsibility will be defined and mechanisms established to better organize and govern IT monitoring, eventually improving downtimes and incidents in business critical systems.
qedcon provided two consultants for the project, specialized in governance and provider management. Why provider management? In this field it is of utmost important to steer and govern your provider adequately and as our customer had most of the IT services sourced to various providers, we wanted to make sure to address all aspects for govern IT Monitoring.
Challenges and dependencies
After project start the scope of the project was directly changed by senior management as various major incidents have led to severe service degradations. Therefore, instead of developing a governance framework at first, we were asked to asses the implemented IT monitoring for the most precious and critical IT services (40+ IT services). qedcon collaborated with the internal IT Monitoring team to develop a comprehensive assessment document, which – in essence – is a structured interview along with a fit for purpose scoring system to easily understand whether an IT service has an adequate IT monitoring setup in place.
The structured interview was tested with the IT monitoring service itself first but then conducted with 40+ IT services (mainly applications), documented and presented to senior management. In parallel, using the results of the assessments, a governance framework was developed resulting in a formal policy for IT monitoring and event management (as both things go hand-in-hand), integration of the IT monitoring into the existing „demand / request“ processes (based on ServiceNow) and setting up an informal „Community of Practice“ with various IT monitoring (and event management) subject matter experts.
Thanks to the structured approach, paired with excellent communication skills and adequate expertise in IT Monitoring, our customer was able to successfully implement the „IT Monitoring assessment“ as a mean to determine an adequate IT monitoring setup. This assessment is now used across all IT services, assessments are being performed for each IT service at least annually and even third party auditors reference this „tool“ in their reports to evaluate the IT monitoring implementation.
The developed governance thereby provides the necessary formal foundation to accompany the actual practical usage of the assessments and helped to streamline and improve the customer’s IT monitoring practice.