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IT Service Management needs to prepare for Big Data

Long-term continuous experimentation and trial-and-error are at the heart of a successful Big Data initiative. It’s unlikely you’ll achieve perfect results first time, and you’ll need to keep playing with new tools and techniques to discover value in your data. What does that mean for your IT Service Management?


Get your change management processes ready for experimentation

Big Data applications must evolve with your business, with high value data forming the basis for decision making in the future. Without the capacity to handle frequent change, your ability to find value in your data will be limited.

Treat a new Big Data initiative as an opportunity to look again at your change processes. Simplify service transition, get support teams more involved with the development process, and automate release processes.


Make sure support teams understand how your Big Data applications fit together

Big Data applications bring together a greater variety and volume of data into one place. As your environment grows into an “enterprise data lake”, a complex ecosystem of Map-Reduce jobs, real-time data views and other analytics will each contribute a piece of the business value. When problems occur, you need to be able to identify the root cause amongst all those moving parts.

Make sure that your new release process includes updating a comprehensive dependency map for each application. It will make it much easier for support teams to understand how everything fits together when the pressure is on.


Allow users to see for themselves what “service available” means for their Big Data application

Losing one data source will not necessarily “bring down” a Big Data application, but it might well affect the quality of its results and damage user confidence.  Clearly presenting the availability and significance of each constituent data source to users is more important than before.

We have seen success with a real-time “data dashboard” approach. It allows the users of your service to see the availability and timeliness of each data source – or group of sources – and their role in the end user experience.

Ensuring that your service management practices are ready for services that change continuously and grow organically means you are in position to make the most of Big Data.