Quantifying the Complexity of IT Service Management Processes

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Enterprises and service providers are increasingly looking to process-based automation as a means of containing and even reducing the labor costs of systems management. However, it is often hard to quantify and predict the additional complexity introduced by IT service management processes before they actually have been deployed. Our approach consists in looking at this problem from a different, new perspective by regarding complexity as a surrogate for potential labor cost and human-error-induced problems: In order to effectively evaluate the benefits of IT service management processes – and to target the types of processes that contribute most to management complexity and cost – we need a set of metrics for quantifying the complexity and human cost of carrying out IT service management processes. This paper proposes such measures, and demonstrates how they can be applied to a typical service delivery process in order to assess its complexity hotspots as a basis for process re-engineering.