Terminology associated with ITIL and the benefits that it could potentially bring;What on earth is an SKMS?

Element A: Scenario

Elite Cars South Wales (ECSW) is a fairly small but expanding car hire company based in Cardiff. ECSW has an internal IT department that manages their IT system which is critical to several aspects of the business. Among other things, the IT system is used to:

  • Keep track of customer bookings made online or over the phone.
  • Keep track of suppliers who provide ECSW with an ever-updating fleet of cars.
  • Maintain records of the current fleet of cars
  • Human resources information
  • Analyse business trends to determine how best to update the fleet of cars ECSW have been operating for 8 years and their recent success has led to an increase in their customer base. The larger customer base brings with it additional profits, but also additional demands that the business needs to be able to cope with in order to maintain their success.

In order to help cope with the increased demands on their IT system, the Head of the IT Department has decided to implement ITIL procedures. However, he has limited experience of the practical application of ITIL and has decided to hire an ITIL Consultant (you) on a temporary basis to assist with the implementation.

On your first day in the job, you receive the following email from the CEO of ECSW, Andrew Driver:

Dear Student

 I understand that you have been hired by the head of IT to act as an ITIL Consultant to us at Elite Cars South Wales for the next few months. I am not an expert in IT, but have heard of ITIL and know that some IT experts feel it to be an effective method of organising an IT department, if it is applied correctly. I would appreciate it if you could explain to me some of the terminology associated with ITIL and the benefits that it could potentially bring, along with the issues that might need to be addressed in order to successfully apply it. I have four questions that I would be particularly interested to hear an answer to: 1. What types of agreements would our IT provider need to have in place? I have heard terms like SLA, OLA and UC being used but don’t know the difference.

  1. What on earth is an SKMS?
  2. Why is it important for the Service Desk to differentiate between Incidents/Events/Problems?
  3. What is the point of Service Portfolio Management? Please can you incorporate references to any sources that you use to support your explanations?

Many thanks,

Andrew Driver

Your task:

You must respond to the email. An introduction and sign-off have been provided below and you must complete the explanation by writing 2500 words (within 20%, ie 2000-3000 words) to answer the questions stated. You should include a reference list (which does not contribute towards your word count).

Dear Mr Driver,

Thank you for your email. You are correct that ITIL can bring benefits to an IT department, but also needs careful consideration when choosing how to apply it. To answer your four questions in turn: [INSERT YOUR 2500 WORD RESPONSE HERE]

I hope that you find these answers helpful and look forward to offering my support to your business over the coming months.

Kind regards,

A Student

Hints for achieving better grades:

  1. Make sure you are fulfilling the task as set out above: you don’t need to create your own introduction or sign-off, just to answer the four specified questions.
  2. Try to allocate your word count approximately evenly across the four questions.
  3. In general, try to keep your response as concise as possible; if your response is over-long or wordy or repetitive you are likely to lose marks. Try to avoid unnecessary jargon. Take care of the word count and do not miss out on marks for writing too much or too little.
  4. Remember who the answers to these questions should be aimed at, taking into account the level of prior knowledge, as well as the context of the business that has been described. If the scenario does not specify something that you feel would be important to know, then try to cover all bases, for example your response might contain a phrase like “If your business does X, then…. However, if it does Y, then…” 5. Make full use of references to support your response.
  5. As far as possible, don’t copy/paste material verbatim from existing sources; paraphrase into your own words. Whether you are quoting verbatim or paraphrasing, cite and reference your sources using the Harvard System.
  6. Look carefully at the assessment criteria to ensure you are covering aspects that will be needed to earn marks.

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