Is ITIL® the Answer?

August 05, 2016 3 min Read

ITIL®, formerly known as Information Technology Infrastructure Library, began in the 1980s and is a framework for standardizing IT practices and procedures for processes like change management, service-level management, incident management and more. It has gone through many iterations since the UK government initiated it. Today, it is set through AXELOS, a joint venture between the British government and Capital plc. The latest version of ITIL, which consists of five core publications (ITIL Service Strategy, ITIL Service Design, ITIL Service Transition, ITIL Service Operation and ITIL Continual Service Improvement), was published in 2011.

Is ITIL out of date and/or irrelevant?

Technology moves and changes quickly. With the emergence of new technologies, new systems, new IT roles, new certifications and new practices, including the emergence of DevOps, ITIL can lose a bit of steam since it is not updated regularly. But the core principles of ITIL remain relevant, however, it is up to individual organizations to ensure that they are actually a fit for its process, procedures and people. Don’t assume ITIL is mandatory or always the answer. Before implementing ITIL, vet the process and adapt it to fit your company’s IT organization.

Here are five questions to consider when evaluating ITIL:

What’s the problem? – Are you trying to improve customer relationships? Address a poor requirements-gathering process? Implement a better change management or incident response and management procedure? If your IT department doesn’t have the answer to this bigger question, then ITIL is not going to be the solution. The answer to this should align with the desired goal of the organization and how IT helps get there.

Why ITIL? – Identify why (or if) you really need to change your current procedures. Have you been strictly focused on technology integration and now need to focus on value to customers?

How do we plan to continually improve service? – Continual service improvement (CSI) requires knowing where an organization wants to be from a management level, a customer service and an operational standpoint. Will ITIL help you achieve CSI?

How big is the ITIL project? – It’s a big undertaking no matter the size of your IT department and infrastructure. Parse it out incrementally, doing what will make the greatest impact first, but make sure it is well-planned. Implementing all at once can be detrimental.

Do we really need ITIL? – Once you answer the above, really take this question into consideration. Are there better ways to solve your IT pain points? Will ITIL® actually solve a problem or could it lead to more questions. One size does not fit all, so take time to consider all of your options. Whether you choose to implement ITIL, DevOps or continue with your current processes, it is important to focus your internal IT department on achieving your organization’s desired outcomes.

Don’t get bogged down by day-to-day IT tasks. Let a service provider, like Expedient, handle those for you. ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.

As Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Rosenson is responsible for overseeing organizational functions that drive growth at Expedient. Jon additionally acts as an external spokesperson conveying the Expedient story. Follow him on Twitter.

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