The Availability Management process should maintain an AMIS that contains all of the measurements and information required to complete the Availability Management process and provide the appropriate information to the business on the level of IT service provided. This information, covering services, components and supporting services, provides the basis for regular, ad hoc and exception availability reporting and the identification of trends within the data for the instigation of improvement activities. These activities and the information contained within the AMIS provide the basis for developing the content of the Availability Plan.
In order to provide structure and focus to a wide range of initiatives that may need to be undertaken to improve availability, an Availability Plan should be formulated and maintained. The Availability Plan should have aims, objectives and deliverables and should consider the wider issues of people, processes, tools and techniques as well as having a technology focus. In the initial stages it may be aligned with an implementation plan for Availability Management, but the two are different and should not be confused. As the Availability Management process matures, the plan should evolve to cover the following:
During the production of the Availability Plan, it is recommended that liaison with all functional, technical and process areas is undertaken. The Availability Plan should cover a period of one to two years, with a more detailed view and information for the first six months. The plan should be reviewed regularly, with minor revisions every quarter and major revisions every half year. Where the technology is only subject to a low level of change, this may be extended as appropriate.
It is recommended that the Availability Plan is considered complementary to the Capacity Plan and Financial Plan, and that publication is aligned with the capacity and business budgeting cycle. If a demand is foreseen for high levels of availability that cannot be met due to the constraints of the existing IT infrastructure or budget, then exception reports may be required for the attention of both senior IT and business management.
In order to facilitate the production of the Availability Plan, Availability Management may wish to consider having its own database repository. The AMIS can be utilized to record and store selected data and information required to support key activities such as report generation, statistical analysis and availability forecasting and planning. The AMIS should be the main repository for the recording of IT availability metrics, measurements, targets and documents, including the Availability Plan, availability measurements, achievement reports, SFA assignment reports, design criteria, action plans and testing schedules.
Be pragmatic, define the initial tool requirements and identify what is already deployed that can be used and shared to get started as quickly as possible. Where basic tools are not already available, work with the other IT service and systems management processes to identify common requirements with the aim of selecting shared tools and minimizing costs. The AMIS should address the specific reporting needs of Availability Management not currently provided by existing repositories and integrate with them and their contents.