In 2014, Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, an extravaganza of epic proportions, where football players and football fans the world over converge to watch and celebrate the beautiful game. In 2010 here in South Africa, we saw more than 310 000 tourists converge on the country and the eyes of over 3,2-billion people put our country under the microscope, says Kerry Evans, MD at Quintica.

Brazil has a mammoth task on its hands, a task that we here in South Africa almost didn’t meet the stringent requirements as laid out by FIFA.

But it’s not just the World Cup Football where logistics can be a nightmare, as with all large scale events, take the London Olympics and any Formula One race as an example, there is a certain amount of planning that is involved, as well as a host of support systems and infrastructure that need to be in place.

Securing the logistics
To start you need to know how many people are expected to converge on your country, how they are arriving, where they are staying (cities), how they are commuting and then there are issues such as safety, security, stadium capacity, transport, and more, all of which need to be considered.

How do you as a supplier within a supply chain of such magnitude, or as an event management organisation, manage such a task? The first step is to ensure you have what we term PPO or Performance, Protection and Optimisation process in place.

At Quintica we assist customers in defining this through the implementation of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) best practices, which will then assist in addressing Capacity Management, Availability Management, Information Security, IT Service Continuity and Risk Management.

Understanding the semantics
With Capacity Management in place you can make decisions around establishing sufficient capacity of stadiums, transport, hotels, B&B’s, as well as additional people on the roads to assist with traffic, providing assistance at the airport and so on.

On the flipside if you deploy an Availability Management solution in this instance, visitors will be afforded the knowledge and direction on where to purchase tickets, and how to get to the stadiums. Risk Management and Security Management best practices will ensure that ticket fraud is reduced, that there are enough security personnel at each stadium and that only people with valid tickets can enter the stadium.

But preplanning and logistical organisation is one thing, you also need to ensure events continue in the event of a crisis. What contingency plans do you have in place should a fire break out or security be breached? Effective Continuity Management will ensure that events continue throughout.

Intelligent planning
Deploying an enterprise that is Capacity Management, Availability Management, Information Security, IT Service Continuity and Risk Management savvy is not something reserved for the organisers or a World Cup, an Olympics or even a Justin Bieber concert. It is something that every business should deploy in its day-to-day business.

When drawing from the best practices instilled in an ITIL framework your business will be able to map what is needed from it by its customers daily, what it then needs to ensure these client demands are met, and how the inter-relationships and dependencies between the processes within the supply chain impact on each other and influence expected outputs.

The key aspect here is to ensure that the people within your business understand the risks of losing customers, and are in turn, well versed with ITIL Planning, Protection and Optimisation (PPO).

This knowledge can be attained by attending courses that explore all of the above and advice business and IT practitioners to roll out business plans that undertake to explore adequate risk analysis, management, planning and implementing business continuity strategies and disaster recovery plans.

In short, with ITIL in place, your business can continue to service and delight customers no matter the size of the task, the nature of your business, or the risk factors at play.