IT Service Automation Helps Canada Ensure a Safe Blood Supply
Is Ivanti on your vendor shortlist for a reliable, proven IT Service Management (ITSM) software solution? This case study tells the inside story on how Ivanti® Service Manager has helped Canadian Blood Services reduce outages in its IT environment by 70 percent, achieve a change success rate of 95 percent, and reduce call volumes by 50 percent.
IT at the Speed of Life
Across Canada, patients rely on Canadian Blood Services to manage a safe, secure, and cost-effective blood system. It also operates a stem cell and marrow network, cord blood bank, and national patient registries for organ donation and transplantation.
“Four years ago, we had an issue,” recalls Steve Aiston, Senior Program Manager for IT at Canadian Blood Services. “Many of our IT service processes weren’t achieving the results we needed, or we lacked an appropriate process.” When it comes to people, process, and technology, Aiston says, “we knew we had good people but we were missing sufficient IT service management automation, and we needed new and better processes.”
Many IT processes were manual, being managed through databases, spreadsheets, and paper. “We were a paper-driven organization,” says Aiston. “That creates a tremendous constraint when you deal at the speed of IT.”
The Path to Ivanti
The IT team set out to find an enterprise-class service management platform. IT service automation was key to delivering quality IT services more efficiently. “We needed a system that delivered information about operations quickly to the right people to allow them to make informed decisions and communicate with the people who need to execute the work,” Aiston says.
Beyond robust support for ITIL® principles, IT wanted a solution with strong workflow and self-service capabilities to increase efficiency. As a point of qualification, the chosen solution had to be able to automate a critical intake process for SAP—streamlining the coordination of the initial request, validating the roles, coordinating the training, and creating the account access. “It was a complex process, and that was our high-water mark,” says Aiston.
After a formal RFP, Canadian Blood Services chose Ivanti Service Manager and deployed it in the cloud. “We want to be experts in using an IT service management system, but running the system is best handled by the industry experts that designed it,” says Aiston.
A Measured Rollout
Canadian Blood Services has taken a measured rollout of its IT service management system, beginning with Incident Management, Service Request, Self Service, Service Catalog, Problem Management, and then building on that foundation with Change Management, Release Management, Survey, and Service Level Management.
“We have progressively enabled IT service management automation and new processes in a bottom-to-top approach,” says Aiston. “Service Manager allowed us to entrench each forward step in our operation procedures and build on each process to become a more mature IT shop and a much more effective service provider to the business.”
Cultivating Success with Supported ITIL Processes
The results are impressive. Ralph Michaelis, CIO of Canadian Blood Services, says, “Ivanti and our IT Service Management program at Canadian Blood Services has had a significant impact on IT operations. Our service management implementation is providing us the visibility, data, and agility we need to transform the business of IT.” As an example, with ITIL processes supported by the Service Manager platform, Canadian Blood Services reduced its outage rate by 70 percent. Its change success rate improved from around 75 percent to 95 percent.
Self Service Drives Efficiency
Empowering employees to use self service has cut service-desk call volumes in half and moved a third of intake to the web. The shift was organic. “The ease with which our business took to the web as a means of request submission is a testament to Service Manager,” says Aiston.
Keith Colwell, Director of Client Delivery, says, “Improving our IT services processes has allowed us to relieve the pressure on the service desk. We were being hit with a large number of outages and incidents due to our ineffective processes. The changes allowed the service desk to provide better service to users as well as being able to redirect funding into other strategic areas of our business like our Web and mobile programs, which brings in more donors.”
Just the Right Amount of Process
Aiston has learned that when it comes to ITIL, you need just the right amount. “There’s a tendency to skim the surface with ITIL, which isn’t very effective—or people go to the other extreme and go whole-hog,” says Aiston. “When ITIL implementations get in trouble, it’s often because they lost track of ITIL’s operational value and they do things strictly for what looks like good ITIL reasons.
“When that happens, people lose interest in the process,” he continues. “The returns diminish when you overburden a process with information. People stop being able to make the right decisions at the right time.
“That’s why Service Manager was the right system for us,” Aiston concludes. “Service Manager has a good understanding of the inherent operations and doesn’t have a lot of clutter around ITIL. It was just the right amount.”