Before you delve headlong into service mapping implementation, it is imperative that you properly prepare the necessary elements for the same.
Business service mapping is a robust process that can help you efficiently manage your IT infrastructure. It allows you to gain insight into how your applications and services are connected and gives you an accurate picture of how these connections work.
How often have you struggled to identify how each of your applications, servers, and hosts are interconnected? In addition, how many times have you missed additional configuration items (CI) while mapping them? This process becomes even more complicated when you add remote devices to the mix—especially those for which you have limited or no information. On average, an employee uses between 2 and 3 devices at work. When you consider doing a manual mapping exercise for all of them, that would need a lot of time and effort you do not have or, instead, should not waste.
Fortunately, this is where an automated service mapping tool like Virima’s ViVID™ Service Mapping can help you consolidate everything in one place. However, to ensure that you implement service maps successfully, it is critical to design your implementation plan beforehand.
In this article, we will discuss five steps that will help ensure your business service mapping implementation is successful.
Step 1: Obtain buy-in from relevant stakeholders involved in the mapping process
If you have a service-oriented environment, it is vital that all stakeholders are on board with the project. This includes:
- User support
- IT support
Depending on the stakeholder, it’s essential to modify your business case using an automated service mapping tool. For example, if you are talking to the company’s leaders, you can tell them how such tools help you see the bigger picture and have a bird’s eye view of every single CI within your infrastructure. It can help reduce the time taken for root cause analysis, recover from outages faster, and ensure your systems are compliant.
Companies do not want to invest more time and energy into yet another tool—which is why explaining the benefits from their perspective matters. If you do not have the support of these stakeholders, it will be challenging to implement your project.
Once you get buy-in, you can give them a simple overview of what the entire process will look like and what you need from them—ensuring everybody’s on the same page.
Step 2: Determine internal dependencies, develop a deployment strategy and align them with the ITSM framework
You must develop a detailed implementation plan and deployment strategy to ensure successful service mapping implementation. The two main focus areas should include identifying your business goals and determining how the organization can use a service map to support them.
In addition to these considerations, make sure that your plan is aligned with all three parts of the IT Service Management (ITSM) framework:
Service Strategy: Service strategy concerns what services are needed within an organization and how they will be delivered over time. This part of ITSM helps organizations determine their strategic direction regarding their services.
Service Design: Service design refers to defining how those services will look from a technical point of view. It includes things like choosing specific technologies or platforms for delivering a particular type of solution or system, making decisions about hardware/software components that make up each service component.
Service Operation: This involves taking those designs into reality through deployment workflows across different teams within an IT environment. You might have operations engineers working with developers on rollout plans. Some teams may require more planning than others depending on their function within this process, while others may even require more technical expertise depending on what kind of tasks are needed at each stage during rollout.
Understanding how each department’s stakeholders depend on each other will make it easier to identify where you need to begin. Plus, this also enables you to map goals to success metrics—so you know what to expect from the mapping process.
Step 3: Identify stakeholders responsible for governing the service mapping process
It is crucial to create a designated team for governing the entire project, as the lack of one could lead to chaos in no time. The team can include business process owners, IT service desk leads, project managers, and other stakeholders.
Once you have a team in place, decide on a weekly or monthly cadence of meetings to plan and assess the progress of the implementation process. During these meetings, you can also identify bottlenecks in the project and review organizational change management activities to determine if everything is on track.
Essentially, this team must ensure that the implementation process remains on track at any given time and plays a role in achieving project success. You can include a technical governance subcommittee, too, if required. This committee will handle the technicalities of the process and bridge the gap between end users and the team.
Step 4: Identify data sources for mapping and create a dynamic workflow to consolidate that data
As you begin to map your services and processes, you must determine where your data is stored. It is necessary to identify the data sources that need to be pulled from and then develop a data map for your business service mapping tool.
Once you have mapped out where all your information comes from, making sure it is accurate becomes much more manageable. You can create a workflow for updating or modifying the data to always reflect the current state of affairs at any given time.
Another essential aspect is that maintaining your service map is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. A lot changes in an IT environment daily—so your service map should reflect these changes. When you keep updating it, you will be able to update and refine it as new information comes in and your business grows.
Our ViVID Service Mapping tool can help you with just that. It scans your network at a specified time and interval as per your needs to ensure you don’t miss critical CIs in your system.
Step 5: Determine your team’s readiness for implementation and kickstart the process
Once you have a dedicated governance team and project manager in place, it is time to confirm if all business teams are on board. For this, you need to identify if you have all the data sources in hand. Plus, you need to determine if any third-party integrations are currently being used.
We would also recommend checking in with business process owners who own the process design and technical owners who will implement and monitor the project. After you do this, gather all your resources—like the Quick Start Guide provided by Virima and ensure that every stakeholder knows how the implementation process will be carried out. Once you have everything in place, conduct a pilot run, gather user feedback and do a final run.
Once you have completed these steps, you will have a basic business service map (like the one in the image below) — giving you a consolidated overview of all your IT interdependencies.
Service map example as seen within a Virima dashboard
Map your services with Virima today
As you can see, service mapping is a powerful tool that you can use to improve both internal operations and customer experiences. However, it is crucial to note that it takes time and effort for any new technology or process to become part of your everyday workflow. So, do not be discouraged if it does not feel natural at first. It just means that now is the time for you to take the steps we outlined above:
- Develop buy-in from stakeholders upfront so they understand what service mapping does and why it matters;
- Make sure everyone sees the value in this new process before starting;
- Develop an implementation plan for how exactly these changes will happen within your organization;
- Map data sources together with where they need to pull information from (or ask someone else to do this);
- Finally, work on service maps as an ongoing process instead of something finished after just one go-around through all steps involved.
If you are ready to automate your service mapping process, book a demo with Virima today—and we will show how you can do so within your organization.