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IT and Service Management

The achievement of all the various and challenging tasks of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology depends also on a high degree on the delivery of good-quality IT services. Important quality metrics are here the usability, availability, capacity, continuity and security of the delivered services. Due to that reason SCC uses consequently standardized and established procedures for IT Service Management. These procedures will be aligned and optimized on the performance requirements of a scientific computing centre.

New Challenges for IT Service Delivery

The merger of two datacentres (the Rechenzentrum of University Karlsruhe and the Institute for scientific computing, Forschungszentrums Karlsruhe) came with changes which directly impacted the established IT service delivery. These are:

  • the restructuring of executive board and head offices
  • the realignment of the science and service portfolio
  • the design and definition of new interfaces in the IT service delivery procedure
  • as well as the IT service delivery distributed over two sites

Extensive coordinating tasks and standardizations in workflows are required in order to balance the quality of our IT services with the given constraints on the accustomed high level. The department IT Security and Service Management (ISM) is addressed to these tasks. The main aspect while addressing and implementing these tasks is the comprehensive communication with all IT departments. This supports target-oriented information flow and establishes and strengthens internal and external obligations.

A further goal is it to bring the benefits of these internal processes and workflows to the perception of the customers. SCC aims to become the confident partner for reliable services. ISM is preparing the necessary workflows and structures to make sure that customer requirements pass the organization in an efficient and well-ordered way. In the design of our service offerings we consider also the integration of decentralized systems of customers and institutes if this will be a contribution to the overall service quality.

Standardization and Structuring of Operative Processes

SCC organises its operative IT processes according to the guidelines described in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL, best practices for IT Service Management). The following ITIL-processes will be considered and established:

  • Incident Management (resolve incidents as quickly as possible into the defined service levels)
  • Service Request Management (order processing)
  • Change Management (minimizing risk and impact to the service operation due to changes in the infrastructure)
  • Configuration Management (provisioning of all process relevant context concerning the IT infrastructure and services)
  • Service Catalogue Management (manage the service offerings)

Another core task of ISM is the enterprise IT-Security Management. Without enduring introduced IT security processes it is not possible to realize the high quality requirements for IT services. While introducing innovative IT solutions at KIT, IT security is an integrated part of the process, adjusted with the Datenschutzteam (data privacy) and Abteilung Recht (legislation) of KIT. So the SCC supports also the IT Governance of KIT. 

Service Catalogue and Customer Requirements

With the introduction of standardized IT service management procedures a new common IT service catalogue has been compiled. This catalogue holds external (customer view) and system relevant information (IT operations view). The comprehensive IT performance specifications (scope, operation purpose, target group, preconditions and regulations of the IT service) and the mapping and allocation to internal service modules and components are bringing out the following benefits for customers and IT teams:

  • good overview and a demand oriented selection of services is possible
  • all data to internal and external dependencies or structures are in sight and are supporting the implemented processes
  • improved planning and design of recent services
  • improved phasing out of disused services

ISM will be the contact if there are still questions, suggestions and requests according to the portfolio of SCC. ISM coordinates and attends these dedicated requests along the entire working and decision progress. During the working progress the relevant status information flows to the customer and in case of need we will discuss individual solutions and strategies for these concerns in dedicated project or stakeholder meetings. This is especially important if the combination of decentralized IT solutions with SCC services have to be considered. SCC discusses and manages Change requests and feedback from customers in regular intervals in the first-line management. Where necessary a change request on the service portfolio will be addressed and executed. 

Development of new IT Solutions

The multitude of development tasks in interdepartmental projects requires a coordination framework that is capable to transfer prototype solutions into the IT production process. To accomplish this task SCC has designed and established dedicated stakeholder boards - the platform for all involved persons of important projects in progress. So problems can be detected at an early stage, assessed and escalated to be solved in time and with minimized friction on specific department barriers.