How information is undergoing a digital transformation

New CA-authored book out on IT Service Management Information Technology Information Library (ITIL) and information lifecycle

Together with Brian Johnson and Nora Osman, my colleague Rob Zuurdeeg and I have co-authored an  IT service management book, ITIL and the Information Lifecycle, which will be released in the near future. Information and its lifecycle are the lifeblood of the application economy.

The book explores how the IT Service Management Information Technology Information Library (ITIL), a set of best practices that provide guidance on delivering IT services, impacts the app economy and how the app economy has changed ITIL and the information lifecycle.

The application economy conjures up images of customers actively interacting with your brand through nice-looking, applications instead of passively experiencing traditional messaging and venues. One early lesson of the application economy is that people who interact through apps expect accurate, useful information—and rightly so.

A reintroduction to Information Management

Consumers definitely like their nice-looking apps, especially when they’re simple to download, install, update and use—no training necessary. In the application economy, information is the engine of those apps.

Information that supports the apps is processed through a lifecycle, but that lifecycle has had to adapt to the needs of companies in the application economy.

Information management is the policy that governs all activities for that lifecycle, including tasks such as planning, harvesting, organizing, retrieving, using, securing, distributing, changing or disposing of information.

In it service management, we tend to consider information in the form of business processes (e.g., banking, manufacturing, government, etc.) and IT services (the actual apps). In other words, the business process is what a company does, and IT services are what the company delivers.

What we sometimes lose sight of is that the information lifecycle is the reason information management technology was created—not the other way around.

Why is Information Management so important?

Without reliable, consistent information, business would be transacted inefficiently or not all. Performing standardized, repeatable actions with inconsistent or unreliable information could result in untrustworthy outcomes and ill-informed decision-making. There goes the viability of the application economy!

The fact that apps are so readily available requires IT to provide the right information quickly and accurately. No matter how pretty an app’s user interface, if the information isn’t right—or at the right level of detail—users can easily try a competitor’s app—and they will.

For that very reason, information management has become even more crucial in the app economy.

Enter the IT Service Management ITIL version 2011 lifecycle. ITIL’s best practices, or framework, provides guidance on delivering IT services by walking practitioners through a series of lifecycle stages:

  1. Strategize (the information’s business purpose, demand, cost, value, etc.)
  2. Design (performance, security, availability)
  3. Transition (deployment, testing, change management, etc.)
  4. Operate (security access, event management, incident management, etc.)
  5. Continuously improve (reporting, monitoring, etc.).

Yes, developing and deploying the right app is important, but managing the information that goes into the app is equally important. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the impact of the information lifecycle and Itil on the app economy and vice-versa.

As we’ll discover together, lessons of the past don’t always apply in the application economy. Companies that understand and leverage the differences will be industry leaders.

We’ll be talking more about how application economy information flow affects business strategies in future blog posts. In the meantime, we welcome comments on how you’ve adapted the information lifecycle to meet your needs in the application economy.

Darren Arcangel is a Senior Principal Services Architect at CA Technologies. He has been the…


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