Written by Philip L Yuson
- Traditional IT management is focused on resources and technology.
- Since technology changes rapidly, IT is continuously reorganizing to fit the organization to the technology.
- IT service management focuses on process.
- Processes are less likely to change despite improvements in technology. Processes also tend to be more results focused.
- ITIL re-focuses the IT organization to going back to serve the organization.
- It provides a common language that the customer and IT understands. This translates to less confusion and more effective communication.
Back to the Basics
- ITIL aims for total quality management (TQM) within the IT organization.
- This is the process of constant improvement so that the company can leverage IT services to meet its business objectives.
- Business units define their requirements to IT.
- These requirements are then translated into agreed levels of service that IT will provide to each business unit.
- This alone helps prioritize different requirements within the organization.
- With this agreement, IT can prioritize business requirements and will be able to respond properly.
Benefits of ITIL
- Business units are treated as customers and the IT organization is the provider.
- Expected service levels are defined so IT can prove its value to the organization.
- Cost effective
- Increased productivity due to lesser incidents .
- Business units become aware of the cost of the services they use and will be more careful in requesting new changes or services.
- Organizations can learn from these best practices without making costly mistakes. This saves the organization time, effort and money.
- ITIL aims to provide a structure on monitoring assets to ensure that these assets are used properly. It also ensures that expenses are properly justified. Waste due to impulse purchases is minimized.
- For organizations with outsourced services, ITIL also provides a framework to ensure that the organization gets a fair return of the money paid to the outsourced provider.
- The concept of defining service levels ensures that expectations meet the needs of the organization. These expectations are also defined clearly so there is no chance of confusion in expectations.
- This concept of defining service levels is also applicable to internal IT units. It allows management to measure the value of IT to the organization.
- Each processes is inter-related to other processes.
- This inter-relation ensures that critical issues are addressed.
- The processes are described and each organization can determine how these processes are to be implemented.
- This philosophy ensures that there is a constant cycle of quality improvement, making the organization more competitive.
Key Success Factors
For ITIL to succeed upper management support is essential.
- This requires changes in the way the organization perceives the IT organization and services.
- It also requires change in the way the IT organization sees its role within the organization.
- ITIL also requires investment in tools for the different processes. These initial investment will be worth it because of the benefits that implementing ITIL can bring.
- ITIL implementation is a constant improvement process.
- It should evolve because every organization evolves.
- It requires changes in the organization which is why management commitment is a must. Without management commitment, ITIL will not succeed.
As each organization changes to respond to changing market needs, IT should also move with the change. For an organization to be more competitive, it must be able to leverage IT services. Most organizations that do this become more successful and competitive in the marketplace.