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What’s CSR Got To Do With IT? #9 and final20/08/10

Eight weeks ago I started this series of blogs in the lead up to the itSMF Australia National Conference being held on 23-25 August at the New Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

My keynote presentation at this years conference is entitled:

What’s CSR Got To Do With IT?

IT Service Management and Corporate Social Responsibility

You can access the full conference programme at the itSMF website here.

This is post #9 and the final in the series.

In the previous posts we looked at the link between CSR and IT and why it is so high on the CEO agenda. We looked at what it means to the CIO and where the pressure to respond to the demands of CSR was coming from.

The last four posts suggested that there are four key areas that the CIO should have on his/her agenda in order to underpin the agenda of the CEO in relation to CSR.

These were integration; transparency; employees and green IT.

Last week I will started to look at question being posed – “What has IT Service Management got to do with CSR”?

IT Service Management has absolutely everything to do with CSR. ITIL best practice guidance can help the CIO meet the objectives of the CSR of the organisation without the need for additional frameworks or methodologies.

In addition to “Alignment and Integration” which we looked at in the last post, the following is a summary of how some of the other areas of ITSM can assist. A full white paper will be publised on the Macanta website shortly with more detail on the relationship between IT Service Management and CSR. For now, here is a taster.

Demand Management and Financial Management

Understanding the patterns of business activity and the associated user profiles enable IT to respond to demand in a controlled and planned fashion. IT is better able to avoid idle capacity, which is neither economic nor ecological.

All IT initiatives, including those related to CSR, require financial inputs to impart visibility and accountability to the decision making process.

Suppliers

Organisations will mandate requirements of suppliers to support the CSR policy through appropriate contract negotiation and renegotiation.

Service Design

Every process within Service Design is critical to the support of the CSR of the organisation. In addition Service Design provides a framework for environmental architectures and standards.

For example:

Capacity Management is crucial to the green aspect of the CSR and provides an organisation with the ability to plan how it introduces IT capacity in a more sustainable way.

Service Level Management – If the sustainability of IT services is a strategic consideration – and it should be – negotiation with customers and business users must be guided by the CSR policy in organisations

Service Transition

Every process within Service Tranisition is critical to the support of the CSR of the organisation.

For example:

Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) will be paramount in the support of the organisations CSR from a sustainability perspective.

Change Management normally assesses Requests for Change (RFC) for their financial and business impact. Change Management can incorporate assessment of RFCs for their adherence to the organisations CSR objectives.

Service Operation and Operational Activities

Service Operation has many aspects in support of the organisation’s CSR. Investment in Problem and Knowledge Management not only reduces the requirement for support staff to attend on site to fix (a) recurring Incidents due to lack of Problem Management and (b) Incidents that could have been resolved at first point of contact, had the knowledge been available. It also supports consideration of employee health and well-being in that undue requirements for overtime and out-of-hours support are reduced.

It is in the operational environment that the day-to-day activities undertaken should be considered for support of the organisation’s CSR. There is plenty of evidence to support the economic and ecological savings of “turning it off” when not in use; double sided printing; consumable and paper recycling; travel reduction and so on.

It is in this area that the CIO can make some significant cost and carbon savings – for example, a reduction in travel and promotion of flexible working opportunities.

Continual Service Improvement

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is one of the most important aspects of ITSM and also one of the greatest reasons to use ITSM to support CSR.

The CIO can utilise CSI to drive continual improvement in processes, products and services to support achievement of CSR objectives.

CONCLUSION

The pressure is on the CIO. The CEO is looking to the CIO and IT to deliver in accordance with the organisation’s CSR objectives and provide visibility and transparency of information.

The CIO needs to:

  • align IT CSR with that of the business
  • embed CSR into the fabric of IT and integrate it into every aspect of the service lifecycle
  • have increased information about the sourcing, composition and impact of products, services and operations
  • manage the end-to-end supply chain process
  • drive improved sustainability of IT from an ecological perspective whilst demonstrating cost reduction at the same time
  • ensure that treatment of employees – flexible working and work-life balance, health and safety, training, reward and incentives are on the their agenda
  • collaborate with the business and engage the full base of employees in the CSR objectives
  • put in place a structure for CSI in support of CSR

ITSM and ITIL guidance provides the framework for much that the CIO and IT needs to do in support of CSR.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this series of posts on IT Service Management and CSR. Please leave a comment on any of the posts. I would love to receive your feedback.

If you are at the conference, please come to the Macanta stand (B10) and say hello.

Karen Ferris is a Director at Macanta Consulting.