7th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology

Quality in ICT Service Management

Foreword by the Chair

Neil McBride (De Montfort University, UK)

Over recent years the focus of ICT has migrated towards IT as a service. Global outsourcing of software development has change the model of software development. The rise of ITIL, CoBiT and ISO20000 has been fuelled by the rebranding of IT departments as service departments. Cloud computing and new models for global IT service delivery have moved the emphasis of ICT departments away from the technical artifact and towards the management of services and of relationships with customers and suppliers. And yet the quality mechanisms to deal with this remain relatively undeveloped. Quantitative approaches, once associated with software engineering, are inadequate to the complex task of understanding IT service quality, which is influenced as much by people’s perceptions and expectations as by technical performance measurables. But qualitative approaches fail to capture deep insights into service quality and the customer’s understanding of IT services.

There is a need to develop a comprehensive research programme to identify and explore new models for IT service management quality. This is a nascent field, hardly learning to stand let alone walk. And our starting point must be one of drawing in ideas from other areas of quality studies. The papers presented here represent some small steps towards the goal of establishing new models for IT service management quality.

Brito e Abreu et al explore the problems of measuring IT service processes, described with Object Management Group's BPMN language. The approach is supported on a BPMN metamodel and was applied to incident and problem management processes. Such a cross over from software engineering metrics to IT service metrics offers much-needed increased rigor. Quality of IT services can be defined and managed with the help of an IT service catalogue. IT service improvement often involves an initial step of developing the service catalogue. Mendes and Mira da Silva explore some of the issues involved in service catalogue implementation. The definition of the service catalogue leads to the definition of the service level agreements (SLAs) underpinning each service. SLAs are key to monitoring IT service quality through specific measurables. Correia and Brito e Abreu explore approaches to formally defining SLA. The development of service requires the involvement in the underlying infrastructure and ICT applications to deliver the services. Inadequate or inappropriate investment can destroy quality. Martin explores the complexities of the classic make-or-buy decision. Qualitative decisions need to be balanced with quantitative decisions. Ferreira da Silva and Brito e Abreu consider how ideas from the software patterns movement might crossover to the area of IT infrastructure.

This track incorporates an exploration of outsourcing issues; always a key determinant of IT service quality. The wrong outsourcers, dealing with the wrong systems, will easily undermine service quality. Salger looks at the use of patterns to underpin the quality of requirements communication in offshored projects. Serebrenik et al offer a different approach centered around the certification of requirements definition projects, while Syed Aris et al consider the management of risk in outsourced projects.

The management of risk is the major activity in any IT service project. And management of risk requires the increase of control and certainty. Cross-over from software engineering promises improved rigor and a better focus on measurables. But there is a danger of losing sight of the fact that services are about people and the interaction with people to meet their needs. The dangers of formalization and the need to mix technical with managerial are only two aspects of a research area which is in need of major attention.

Track Committee

Program Committee

  • Bill Hefley (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Dirk Malzahn (ACCEL GmbH, Germany)
  • Hoon S.Cha (Salisbury University, USA)
  • Ian Allison (Robert Gordon University, UK)
  • Jaap Gordijn (Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands)
  • Jon Iden (Norges Handelshøyskole, Norway)
  • Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK)
  • Luigi Telesca (CREATE-NET, Italy)
  • Ning Su (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
  • Sandra Whittleston (Bolton University, UK)
  • Thomas Setzer (Technische Universität München, Germany)

Provisional Program

Time Title Authors
09:00-09:45 Definition and Validation of Metrics for ITSM Process Models Fernando Brito e Abreu, Raquel Porciúncula, Jorge Freitas and José Carlos Costa (QUASAR / CITI / FCT/UNL)
09:45-10:30 Implementing the Service Catalogue Carlos Mendes and Miguel Mira da Silva (Instituto Superior Técnico)
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:45 Defining and Observing the Compliance of Service Level Agreements: A Model Driven Approach Anacleto Correia and Fernando Brito e Abreu (QUASAR / CITI / FCT/UNL)
11:45-12:30 The make-or-buy decision in ICT services: Empirical evidence from micro data Ludivine Martin (CEPS/INSTEAD)
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-14:45 An IT Infrastructure patterns approach to improve service management quality Luís Ferreira da Silva and Fernando Brito e Abreu (QUASAR / CITI / FCT/UNL)
14:45-15:30 Towards Specifications Patterns for Global Software Development Projects - Experiences from the Industry Frank Salger (Capgemini sd&m AG)
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-16:45 Requirements Certification for Offshoring using LSPCM Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology), Amrita Mishra (Capgemini), Thomas Delissen (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Martijn Klabbers (LaQuSo, Eindhoven University of Technology)
16:45-17:30 Managing Risk in Decision to Outsource IT Projects Syaripah Ruzaini Syed Aris, Noor Habibah Arshad and Azlinah Mohamed (Universiti Teknologi MARA)

Home | Thematic Tracks