Welcome to the IT department, where acronyms and abbreviations are constantly tossed around. From an outsiders perspective it seems like the service desk is speaking a foreign language instead of just a specialized jargon. However, all of these abbreviations and acronyms have (relatively) simple meanings. Here’s your guide to understanding ITIL tech speak that is quickly infiltrating today’s IT service desk.
Business Relationship Management (BRM)
BRM is a new ITIL concept and is not yet fully mature, but is an important aspect of today’s IT operations. BRM is the management of the relations between the business and the IT department. Only when IT understands and closely aligns with the needs and goals of the business can the two operate optimally as one entity.
Capacity Management Information System (CMIS)
Capacity management is the act of planning for the future IT capacity and infrastructure needs of the organization. Capacity management can include things like bandwidth, hardware needs, software needs, and database requirements. Hence, CMIS is a system that helps IT track, predict, and manage the capacity needs of the organization as it heads into the future.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
KPI, or key performance indicators, includes regular assessments of the IT processes in terms of quality and performance. Though performance indicators vary among organizations, industries, and IT infrastructures, there are KPIs to signify strategies, design, operations, etc.
Operational Level Agreement (OLA)
OLA is to the company internally what SLA is to the company and outside entities. OLA refers to what a specific department has agreed to provide in terms of products and/or services, whereas SLA (service level agreement) refers to what an outside vendor agrees to provide another company in terms of products and services. Therefore, when an agreement exists between the IT department (or a particular team within IT) and another department or the rest of the organization, the agreement is an OLA instead of an SLA. An SLA is what you enter into when you buy software licenses or contract with a cloud service provider or SaaS provider.
Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM)
SACM is the process of maintaining the information associated with Configuration Items that are necessary in order to deliver a specific IT service. It includes the relationships among those items. SACM should not be confused with other asset management operations, such as tracking the lifecycle of hardware, managing software licenses, etc.
Value of Investment (VOI)
Value of Investment refers to how much value the organization derives from any particular investment. For example, how much value did the company receive for the investment in a particular software package or perhaps a bank of computers? IT has to justify their expenditures by exhibiting a VOI for approved IT investments in new systems, technologies, personnel, etc.
You can become even more familiar with ITIL abbreviations by undertaking one of the ITIL certification programs. Or, study the terms on your own to improve your understanding of today’s IT service desk and prepare yourself for career advancement opportunities.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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