Meet the Service Management Office (SMO)
June 25, 2014
The Service Management Office (SMO) is a relatively new concept which is directly analogous to the Project Management Office (PMO). Like the PMO, the SMO provides a centre of excellence within the organization to drive efficiency and effectiveness. Where the PMO focuses on projects however, the SMO is instead concerned with the delivery of services. The concept has emerged largely due to the conceptual shift of businesses from simply delivering IT technology solutions to instead viewing IT as a set of services which must be fully integrated with the strategic goals and objectives of the enterprise. Additionally, the perceived incompatibility of IT service based job functions (especially ITIL roles such as incident, change managers) within traditional IT organizational structures is further driving the adoption of SMO models.
The Service Management Office can provide much more than a revised organizational structure for IT. The growing realization that core competencies in IT are necessary to ensure the ongoing performance and sustainability of the business has led to an increased need to better align corporate objectives and strategy directly with the IT department. Effective governance mechanisms are needed to achieve this and while most organizations are beginning to understand the need for these measures, few have a full understanding for how to realize them. Given the appropriate levels of responsibility and senior management sponsorship, the SMO concept can provide an effective delivery mechanism for instilling IT governance into the organization (potentially in conjunction with a formal IT strategy committee and/or IT steering committee).
In February 2014, Long View formally released the Service Management Office (SMO). Unique to Long View’s SMO implementation is the integration of IT Governance principles into the delivery model. Where most SMO’s tend to focus on the alignment of the ITIL framework, Long View has extended the design to fully integrate the 5 domains of IT Governance into the SMO mandate (Governance Framework, Strategic Management, Benefits Realization, Risk Optimization, and Resource Optimization).
Some of the key benefits of the Long View SMO include:
- Centralized and effective support for the integration, promotion and delivery of best practices.
- Improved quality, value, operational efficiency and alignment to customer business models
- Instilment of industry standards and best practices
- Consistency of support and realization of SLA’s and performance targets
- Ability to reap the benefits of an effective IT Governance program
- Identify, monitor and manage (optimize) IT and business risk
- Optimize use of resources (people, information, infrastructure, applications)
- Align business strategy with operational strategy
- Integrate industry standards and best practices
- Instill relevant roles and responsibilities into service operations
- Improve capabilities to meet strategic objectives and realize associated benefits
- Core driver of continual service improvement
While still in the early stages, Long View’s SMO is already bringing significant value to the organization. Much of this initial success is tied to the unique design and process scope of the SMO practice. Learn more about our best practices.