This is an excerpt, you will find more detailed descriptions in the book.
Everything that will have to be in operation for a substantial period of time needs to be maintained. Most organizations call this preventive maintenance activity. Within IT organizations, these are tasks which are easily given less priority when there is a lot to do. On many occasions, there is also no documentation of what should be done or how to do it. In the best case, there is a technical analyst responsible who knows what to do and performs the activities when there is time. On the business side, maintenance is usually a much higher priority, regardless of whether it involves machinery in a production line or technical equipment that is required for a particular operation. There is a clear and direct link between equipment not functioning and the business grinding to a halt.
At the same time, businesses are becoming more and more dependent on IT, which means that the preventive maintenance of, for example the infrastructure, should be as important as it is for the technical equipment in the business’s production process.
However, as it is not viewed as equally important, these tasks within the IT organization are not documented as thoroughly. Neither are they timetabled, which means that no-one actually knows the extent of resources required simply to maintain the IT environment that already exists.
The Operational Maintenance process has the function of highlighting the maintenance the IT department performs so that it clearly set out which activities are required, how long they take and how much they cost.
The main purpose of Operational Maintenance is to increase the quality of the services that are delivered to the business through performing the necessary preventive maintenance activities in a controlled way in order to maintain the agreed level.
The purpose is also to have control over the amount of activities and the resources required to maintain the current IT environment.
Operational Maintenance comprises the products and components included in the IT environment. Preventive activities should be defined and documented with a procedure for implementation. Examples of preventive maintenance activities can be:
- Checking logs and alarms (that did not generate an incident)
- Checking that automatic runs are implemented
- Testing restore and redundancy
- Checking and refilling consumables
- Checking documentation
- Producing reports
- Performing updates to operating systems and security programs
As the Coordination process manages the specific operational issue when it is registered, this process only contains the activities needed to produce and maintain the procedures which constitute the basis for the operational issue.