In today’s fast-evolving business world, the demand for IT services has a lot of momentum. It can either improve or slow down the growth of an organization. In order to navigate through this terrain, businesses turn to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Demand Management.
By using ITIL demand management, you can create a framework for ensuring that your service levels are always maintained. In addition, it helps you identify and track current and future service demands so you can plan accordingly.
This process also allows you to optimize resources and prevent over or under-servicing customers.
In this blog post, we will explore the steps involved in the ITIL processes, the pattern of business activity (PBA), benefits, challenges, and tips for success.
What is ITIL Demand Management?
ITIL demand management (Information Technology Infrastructure Library demand management) is the process of planning, tracking, and controlling the continuous delivery of IT services against agreed-upon service levels. It includes capacity planning, service portfolio management, ordering, and fulfillment strategies.
It simplifies providing customer service in a quality-oriented, cost-effective manner. Demand management is an essential part of ensuring sustainable service levels.
The advent of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) management can be traced back to the 1980s when it emerged as a collection of best practices for managing IT services, initially developed by the UK government.
Over the years, it has transformed into a globally accepted framework that helps organizations align their IT services with business requirements.
ITIL has undergone several modifications, with the latest version being ITIL 4. This updated version incorporates contemporary IT practices and places a strong emphasis on comprehensive service management, promoting adaptability, collaboration, and customer focus.
ITIL has played a crucial role in enhancing the quality and efficiency of IT services while ensuring better synchronization between IT and organizational objectives in various industries worldwide.
What are the Steps Involved in ITIL Demand Management?
There are five steps involved in the ITIL demand management process:
- Identify customer service requirements – This step involves understanding customers’ needs and determining their expectations of the organization’s services.
- Translation of these requirements into operational service levels – Once customer requirements have been identified, they must be translated into measurable operational service levels.
- Forecasting and planning to meet these service levels – This step involves ensuring that the organization has the resources and capacity to meet the forecasted demand.
- Tracking and trend analysis- It can track changes in customer demand over time. This information can be utilized to identify trends and forecast the future market.
- Continual review and optimization of the process – It is essential to continually review and optimize the ITIL demand management process to ensure it is effective and efficient.
The Pattern of Business Activity (PBA)
The Pattern of Business Activity (PBA) concept in ITIL demand management refers to how an organization’s resources are used throughout the year.
Organizations typically have peak periods in their business activity, and the PBA helps identify these patterns so businesses can better plan their IT resources accordingly.
For example, suppose an organization knows its website usage typically increases significantly during the holiday season. In that case, it can plan accordingly by ensuring its servers handle increased traffic.
Based on PBA, we can measure the following aspects of customer service usage.
- Frequency – Frequency is the number of times an activity occurs over some time.
- Volume – Volume is the number of units involved in an activity.
- Duration – It is the amount of time taken to complete an activity.
- Location – Locations are places where activity is conducted.
Demand management VS capacity management VS availability management in ITIL
There is a slit difference between demand management, capacity management, and availability management in ITIL.
Demand management focuses on the volume and frequency of the service needed for the customer.
Capacity management focuses on the speed and efficiency of the service.
Availability management focuses on service availability to support the client in fulfilling their business requirements.
ITIL Demand Management Activities
Within the framework of ITIL Demand Management, a series of essential activities are carried out to streamline IT service provision. These activities collectively form the backbone of ITIL Demand Management, ensuring that IT services are delivered effectively and in alignment with organizational objectives.
1. Service Catalog Management
This involves the meticulous establishment and ongoing maintenance of a comprehensive service catalog. This catalog serves as a repository of all available IT services and their detailed specifications.
2. Service Request Identification and Qualification
Rigorous processes are employed to systematically identify and assess new service requests. These requests are subjected to a qualification process to ensure alignment with organizational goals and IT capabilities.
3. Business Impact Assessment
A critical step involves evaluating the potential business impact of each service request. This assessment considers factors like cost, resource requirements, and strategic importance to the organization.
4. Service Request Prioritization
Service requests are systematically prioritized based on their significance and urgency. This prioritization ensures that the most critical requests receive prompt attention and allocation of resources.
5. Resource Allocation
Efficient allocation of resources is crucial for meeting the demands of service requests. Resource allocation is guided by the prioritization established earlier, ensuring optimal utilization of available IT resources.
6. Demand Monitoring and Reporting
A continuous process of monitoring and reporting on service request demands is maintained. This involves tracking the status of requests, resource utilization, and adherence to service level agreements (SLAs). The collected data provides valuable insights for process improvement and decision-making.
ITIL Demand Management Benefits
There are several benefits of using this process, including the following:
- First, organizations can create a framework for ensuring their service levels are always maintained.
- This process helps to identify and track current and future service demands so that organizations can plan accordingly.
- It also helps organizations optimize resources and prevent over or under-servicing customers.
- Demand management can provide valuable insights into trends and customer/business needs trends by tracking and managing requests for IT services. This information can decide service levels, capacity planning, and other areas.
- Organizations can avoid unnecessarily over or under-spending on IT resources by understanding and managing service demand.
The main challenges involved in the ITIL process are
- Accurately predicting future demand for IT services
- Aligning that demand with available resources
- Ensuring all requests for new or changed services are appropriately tracked and fulfilled.
Additional challenges can include
- Managing competing demands from different business units within an organization
- Balancing short-term operational needs against long-term strategic goals
- Dealing with unexpected spikes in demand due to incidents or events
Tips for Success with ITIL
- Make sure that customer requirements are clearly understood and documented.
- Verify that service levels are realistic and achievable.
- Ensure that required resources are available to meet projected demand.
- Ensure the demand management process is reviewed and optimized regularly.
ITIL Demand Management in Virtualization and Cloud Computing
ITIL Demand Management plays a critical role in optimizing technical resource allocation and ensuring cost-effective scalability in the domain of virtualization and cloud computing.
For example, consider an organization that has embraced a hybrid cloud model, utilizing both on-premises and cloud-based resources for its technical infrastructure.
The organization experiences a surge in demand for a specific technical application, resulting in increased resource consumption within its cloud environment.
In this case, demand management serves as the technical compass guiding resource allocation decisions. It involves:
Using historical data and technical analytics, IT teams anticipate spikes in demand for the technical application.
Business impact assessment
Technical experts assess the potential technical and business consequences of scaling resources in the cloud.
Technical resource allocation
Based on demand projections and technical evaluations, resources such as virtual machines and storage are dynamically allocated in the cloud to ensure optimal technical performance.
Continuous monitoring of technical performance metrics ensures that the application operates smoothly, and resources are allocated as needed.
Demand Management also keeps a watchful eye on technical costs, ensuring that technical expenses remain within budget while delivering the necessary technical resources.
This application of ITIL Demand Management in virtualization and cloud computing showcases how technical organizations can balance the need for technical scalability with cost control and optimal technical performance.
What is the demand prognosis?
Demand prognosis is a technique used in demand management to estimate future service demand. It involves predicting future service demand based on past trends and statistical analysis. This data can then be utilized to schedule resources and plan capacity accordingly.
Demand management is a critical process in any organization, and the ITIL demand management process is no exception. With this framework’s help, you can ensure that your strategy is well-organized and efficient.
By taking the time to understand the steps involved, the PBA, and the benefits and challenges of implementing this process, you can set your organization up for success.