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ITIL revitalizes IT operations and service levels at L&T Infotech

Yuga Chaudhari, Principal Correspondent
For Indian IT services and solutions provider L&T Infotech, IT infrastructure has been elemental to driving business growth since its inception. But the company has also come a long way since its initial days, leading to the need for IT infrastructure streamlining.

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Over the years, L&T Infotech has seen an increase in operations, addition of more customers to its portfolio, and a resultant need to liven up the entire IT infrastructure operations.
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Sudip Banerjee, the CEO of L&T Infotech says that since June 2008, ITIL has been the company's backbone for managing IT infrastructure. Based on ITIL standards, the company got certified for ISO 20000 (earlier called BS 15000) in the month of May 2009. "It's quite unique, and covers all our continuous services, which include application support, infrastructure management services and our internal IT," says Banerjee.

L&T Infotech found that as more continuous services are being sold to its customers, it increased pressure on the existing IT setup. "The trigger came from our own internal IT team, as our operations grew as did our contracts with customers in banking and other industries. There was a need to maintain the robust internal IT infrastructure that guarantees information security requirements, in order to deal with clients from the financial industry," says Banerjee.

The planning and implementation of ISO 20000 took around six months for the IT team. Prior to this, the company had also got certified for BS 7799/ISO 27001. Everything was done in-house, without the involvement of consultants. As ITIL is the foundation for certifications, L&T Infotech ensures that all its professionals who work on application support infrastructure management are certified for ITIL.

As part of the ISO 20000 implementation process, L&T Infotech had to define and improve all the processes, and subsequently integrate them. Training people at different centers was one of the important elements of this process. "It was a rigorous process, in terms of defining the cycle and educating people. Continuous improvement was part of the IT required for continuous improvement," says Banerjee.

Having the right set of certifications was crucial for L&T Infotech. It became a challenge when people started raising questions about the need for certificates and standards.
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Having the right set of certifications was crucial for L&T Infotech. It became a challenge when people started raising questions about the need for certificates and standards. "It was not a challenge as such, but it is good that we have to answer so many questions, as customers expect certain basic standards. This way we bring in rigor in process, productivity enhancement and recognition world over," says Banerjee.

Apart from the existing standards, L&T Infotech uses Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for its software development and maintenance activities. ISO 9000 acts as the over-arching umbrella for all L&T Infotech activities, and ISO 14000 is used for environmental management.

As part of the future initiatives, L&T Infotech is looking at ITIL Version 3. "All of them may not be under ISO 20000, but as soon as they come under ISO 20000, we will go in for a revised certificate. We are also looking at CMMI for services, which is CMMI for software development. They have recently come up with a certification for services," says Banerjee.