Warwickshire County Council keeps firm control of change with Supportworks
Warwickshire County Council (“Warwickshire”) is a UK public sector organisation, responsible for an area of almost 2,000 square kilometres in the West Midlands. It provides vital services to the county of Warwickshire’s 530,000 inhabitants. These include education, environmental services, road maintenance, libraries and other leisure facilities and social care. The council has 5,000 IT users spread across the county and its various services, from workers in the councils’ main offices to library staff and mobile workers, such as health visitors; the council also supports 8,000 users in the county’s schools.
Warwickshire has been using Hornbill’s Supportworks ITSM Enterprise since 2008.
Hornbill was selected due to Supportworks’ ease of use and configurability, all of which helped Warwickshire ensure that it could more efficiently follow ITIL best practice processes.Warwickshire has a core ITSM team of 20 staff and an additional 200 IT staff; Supportworks has helped Warwickshire’s support team not only provide a strong service to end users but also to use Supportworks’ reporting capabilities to gain a deeper understanding of problems and ensure they don’t re-occur.
Since the start of 2011 Warwickshire has steadily updated its Configuration Management DataBase (CMDB), in order to better assess any changes it makes to its IT infrastructure and the impact this has on end users. Warwickshire decided to upgrade Supportworks ITSM Enterprise, as the updated Change Management functionality could be more easily integrated with the newly expanded CMDB.
Supportworks has also helped Warwickshire amalgamate the IT services of its schools users into its wider IT infrastructure. School users operate on a different set of applications and infrastructure than the wider council network, and sit within their own IT department. As well as ensuring that users across the council and schools have a consistent level of IT services, Warwickshire could also use Supportworks to plan and support the project’s implementation.
Warwickshire now has tighter management of its CMDB and can more easily monitor and predict the impact of any changes to the IT infrastructure, allowing it to better plan for IT projects and ensure that those projects cause the absolute minimum amount of disruption for users. Additionally, Warwickshire has standardised IT services for its end-users in all environments, including in its educational institutions.
Change management capabilities help prevent user disruption
Integrated with Warwickshire’s CMDB, the updated Change Management functionality allows Warwickshire to review and plan for changes to its IT infrastructure more effectively. It can associate every action taken and issue reported with the relevant hardware and software assets, the IT procedures that those assets influence and the specific business services affected. Warwickshire can therefore identify exactly where, when and how the actions it takes are affecting end users; reducing worker downtime on IT projects and eliminating lost productivity on each project.
Warwickshire predicts faster project completion thanks to Change Management
Since the Change Management functionality automatically logs all changes directly to the CMDB, rather than having to manually log them through the IT Support Desk as previously, Warwickshire can analyse the effect on IT and business services much more quickly. Consequently, Warwickshire has been able to plan and complete IT projects such as upgrading of desktop computers to Windows 7; email replacement with Google; and the merger of the Schools IT Support desk with the rest of Warwickshire’s ITSM team.
Upgrade completed with minimal disruption
Warwickshire rolled out the upgraded Supportworks ITSM Enterprise in June 2011. In order to minimise the disruption to Warwickshire’s IT users, the switch needed to be completed quickly and comprehensively. Thanks to Supportworks’ ease of use, the roll-out could take place over a single weekend; meaning that users left work on Friday and returned on Monday with no disruption to their ITSM services. The next upgrade is currently being planned and is again expected to be carried out over a single weekend with no disruption for users.
Supportworks upgrade builds on existing success
Since 2008, Warwickshire has seen steady benefits from its Supportworks implementation beyond the ease of following ITIL best practice. For example, 15 per cent of calls are now routed through the Supportworks Self Service module, allowing users to log calls and check the progress of their issues independently. As a result, since the recent upgrade, calls to the support desk have dropped by 10 per cent and the percentage of requests within SLA targets have been increased to around 95 per cent. Warwickshire now plans to expand the Self Service capabilities with the introduction of a Service Catalogue; and utilising workflow to further speed up requests and tasks such as fixing simple issues.
Standardised IT service for all users
The separation of school and council IT users added extra complexity to Warwickshire’s IT services. By using Supportworks to both provide consistent IT services across all users and to manage the transferral of IT services to a single unified IT department, Warwickshire has been able to streamline its IT Service Management as well as providing full capabilities such as self-service to over 13,000 IT users.
At a glance
Warwickshire County Council
Supportworks ITSM Enterprise
Change Management, together with CMDB, al- lows implementation of large-scale IT projects whilst maintaining ITIL best practice
- Over the past three years, 15% of calls were routed through Self Service while requests within SLA targets increased to 95%
- 10% reduction in calls to the service desk in the past 12 months
- Change Management functionality enables IT project and changes to take place with minimum of user disruption, potentially saving £60,000 per project
- Integration with Schools IT Support Desk performed significantly quicker as a result of improved Change Management processes
- School IT users receive same level of service support as other end users despite separate infrastructure
- ITIL best practice compliance maintained