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Availability Management

4.4.1 Purpose/goal/objective

The goal of the Availability Management process is to ensure that the level of service availability delivered in all services is matched to or exceeds the current and future agreed needs of the business, in a cost-effective manner.

The purpose of Availability Management is to provide a point of focus and management for all availability-related issues, relating to both services and resources, ensuring that availability targets in all areas are measured and achieved.

The objectives of Availability Management are to:

  • Produce and maintain an appropriate and up-to-date Availability Plan that reflects the current and future needs of the business
  • Provide advice and guidance to all other areas of the business and IT on all availability-related issues
  • Ensure that service availability achievements meet or exceed all their agreed targets, by managing services and resources-related availability performance
  • Assist with the diagnosis and resolution of availability-related incidents and problems
  • Assess the impact of all changes on the Availability Plan and the performance and capacity of all services and resources
  • Ensure that proactive measures to improve the availability of services are implemented wherever it is cost-justifiable to do so.

Availability Management should ensure the agreed level of availability is provided. The measurement and monitoring of IT availability is a key activity to ensure availability levels are being met consistently. Availability Management should look to continually optimize and proactively improve the availability of the IT infrastructure, the services and the supporting organization, in order to provide cost-effective availability improvements that can deliver business and customer benefits.


The scope of the Availability Management process covers the design, implementation, measurement, management and improvement of IT service and component availability. Availability Management needs to understand the service and component availability requirements from the business perspective in terms of the:

  • Current business processes, their operation and requirements
  • Future business plans and requirements
  • Service targets and the current IT Service Operation and delivery
  • IT infrastructure, data, applications and environment and their performance
  • Business impacts and priorities in relation to the services and their usage.

Understanding all of this will enable Availability Management to ensure that all the services and components are designed and delivered to meet their targets in terms of agreed business needs. The Availability Management process:

  • Should be applied to all operational services and technology, particularly those covered by SLAs. It can also be applied to those IT services deemed to be business critical regardless of whether formal SLAs exist
  • Should be applied to all new IT services and for existing services where Service Level Requirements (SLRs) or Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have been established
  • Should be applied to all supporting services and the partners and suppliers (both internal and external) that form the IT support organization as a precursor to the creation of formal agreements
  • Considers all aspects of the IT services and components and supporting organizations that may impact availability, including training, skills, process effectiveness, procedures and tools.

The Availability Management process does not include Business Continuity Management and the resumption of business processing after a major disaster. The support of BCM is included within IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM). However, Availability Management does provide key inputs to ITSCM, and the two processes have a close relationship, particularly in the assessment and management of risks and in the implementation of risk reduction and resilience measures.

The Availability Management process should include:

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