The Truth about IT Services - Starters, Movers & Leavers

IT Services sometimes have a different view of the world to that of the other parts of the business and sometimes that relationship may even clash.  Which system is true, is Active Directory correct or is it the Oracle HR application?

Answer:  Both.

No, it’s not a cop out answer but very simply true.  We as IT Professionals define our world and representation of the Organisation in terms of Business Applications and Services we support, the computers we patch and the user accounts we provision for people. 

Often though this is overlooked by the business and the first thing IT knows about a new user starting is a frustrated Manager with a new starter unable to log on and earn their keep.  In reality, HR/Payroll will often know about the user across their whole lifecycle from hiring to firing.

Written by

Damian Shiell

Damian Shiell

Delivery Consultant

on

01 Apr 2018

 

One of the other big challenges is that when users move departments, again unfortunately IT is sometimes the last to know and we end up with users with rights to resources when they shouldn’t have and requesting more that they don’t have. Then finally, the user leaves the organisation and without a pro-active manager, the user account and devices can sometimes disappear into the ether.

What is really important here is that we need a mechanism to get information about our users and computers not only from Active Directory but other sources such as configuration manager if it’s implemented.  Moreover, have a system in place that can align information from the HR application view of the user, with that of AD, Configuration Manager and so on…

Solution: It’d be nice to have a magic button, but in remiss of that we have the System Center Suite.

One of the main features that System Center Service Manager (SCSM) has is the out-of-the-box ability to natively separate out the requests into Service Requests and Incidents; the ability to employ ITIL aligned Problem, Change and Release Management and through the use of connectors build up a dynamic Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

Another great feature in SCSM is the HTML self-service portal, included free and again out-of-the-box with minimal configuration to get go-live ready self-service into your organisation.  This allows your users to request and manage the tickets they raise with your service desk in a modern and 24/7 manner.

Orchestrator (SCORCH) is often referred to as the “Glue” of the System Center Suite, as it acts a conduit between unconnected systems and allows visualisation and running of scripts to accomplish the specific tasks required.  As it is part of the System Center Suite, the integration into SCSM is built into both products which allows automation of any task within IT that can be logically mapped out and procedurally broken down.  It’s that simple.

Configuration Manager (SCCM) is most mature and common element that Microsoft houses will have already in place, and we can use the Information gathered by this awesome tool to further enrich the CMDB with additional information and start linking users with their primary computers and so on…

The key to successful Service Fulfilment is planning and design, knowing what information we have feed into a request, what we want to get at the end of it and what steps are required to acomplish it.

So for example in terms of New Starters, it’s not just the AD account we have to provision but we might have to consider some or all of the following:

  • AD Account creation
  • File & Folder Access
  • Email Account Creation
  • Distribution Group Access
  • Line of Business Application Access
  • Hardware Requests (Laptop / Desktop / Phones etc.)

Do we create this a monolithic request or break it down into its separate requests on offer?

Answer: Combination of both.

By leveraging dynamic questioning from the Cireson Community Edition Self-Service Portal (yup its free now), we can create fluid an dynamic forms that will create a master request then generate separate requests for each of the sub tasks like Application access, Hardware Requests and so on.

How?  In a word orchestrator, it will run in the background and automate and remove the manual element of any required tasks.

What about approval?  No problem, Service Manager has inbuilt functionality to include line-manager review tasks to facilitate that.  Any more complicated logic required, you guessed it, SCORCH comes to the rescue.

With Movers, again it can be presented in such a fashion to the requesting user and with minimal input from IT.  What’s important here is that the preparation work before this request, and New Starters can really work is the use of Role Based Active Directory templates.  Completing this task will mean that the end user has something to choose from.  It’s then a simple case of using SCORCH to modify the user account as per the pre-defined templates within the Organisation.

With Leavers, it is often a reversal of New Starters and therefore with careful planning around the New Starters process it can be seen that the Movers and Leavers processes will often have the lion’s share of the work already done.

The Webinar on Starters, Movers and leavers addressed some of the issues and challenges faced  by IT departments and how components of the System Center stack can help in the management and delivery of the many services they provide.

This was a level-100 session aimed at IT Analysts, Service Desk staff and IT Management personnel tasked with provision of User Management services to their end user population utilising the System Center Suite components as detailed above. Watch The Live Recording

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