A successful business cannot thrive in today’s world unless it focuses on ongoing improvement in every area of its operation. Stagnation is, in effect, the backward motion of progress. This is where the concept of continual service improvement (CSI) comes into play. As the business grows and changes, CSI is applied to produce both small and large changes across every facet, from service to operational efficiency to business continuity. Yet true CSI cannot be accomplished, at least in terms of technology, without IT automation.
What is Continual Service Improvement?
In simplest of terms, continual service improvement examines past successes and failures to identify areas within a business that need to be changed, adapted and improved in order to make the organization as a whole more successful. In particular, the goal of the CSI process is to continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT processes and services.
What Areas can CSI be Applied?
The question should actually be what areas of your business could use improvement? The answer should inevitably be every area. However, CSI is typically a concept that is specifically aimed toward improving IT efficiency. An audit should be performed to identify those areas that are most in need of change, and then individual programs and projects can be defined, developed and prioritized based on the organization’s overall strategic objectives. In other words, CSI can effectively influence every phase of the business process, but is typically implemented in IT and in order of importance.
How Does Automation Fit In?
Once the areas in need of improvement are identified and prioritized, IT automation can then be applied to streamline them. With the right platform, everything from basic manual tasks to complex workflows can be shifted from human to machine, eliminating errors, dramatically improving efficiency and productivity and creating a more lean, effective operation overall.
IT automation can be applied to any task-based process, such as incident management, problem management or change management. It can also be applied to non-IT processes, such as project management or any custom application, essentially broadening the spectrum and extending CSI across the entire organization.
As we get closer to the end of the year, the focus on continual service improvement will only increase. This is due in part to more and more businesses beginning to understand the benefits of embracing this concept, and realizing its affects across their entire organization. It’s also due to the fact that automation is delivering innovative ways to help businesses implement the CSI process with ease and efficiency, making it easy to incorporate the concept into the everyday operations and, in essence, the very culture of the business.