What is the purpose of ITIL®?
ITIL® “is a term that is rapidly gaining popularity around the IT sector, often misrepresented as ‘IT governance’ – However, it is a conceptual mistake. ITIL® collectively denotes the best practices, which provide a helping hand to the companies to implement an IT service management culture, however, a surging popularity is indicative of the profound impact it exerts on a company’s business performance and IT. It is imperative to come in terms with the fact that when combined with other frameworks it becomes an effective instrument for IT governance.
What is the management of IT services?
The companies of today are optimizing their competency or in other words improving their efficiency through extensive use of information technology. IT management and business require support and guidance for ensuring efficient management IT infrastructure with the aim of improving quality and functionality in an economical manner. Conceptually IT service management is concerned with delivering and defining the necessary support and guidance. Analogous to the practices of modern management, it gives priority to the client’s perspective, which implies, a service meant for the consumer or client. It may consist communications facilities, hardware, and software. However, the client perceives it in the form of a coherent and independent entity.
So, what is ITIL®?
By representing the “IT Infrastructure Library,” ITIL® is a collection of best practices, which is an elementary requirement of the IT service management. Provides guidance on the effective management of the IT infrastructure and optimization of IT services in line with business endeavors. As a framework ITIL® combines the best practices, which denotes the cumulative experience of commercial enterprises from all over the world on the tried and tested protocols of IT services for meeting business expectations.
The development of ITIL® traces back to the 1980s by the Central Agency for Computing and Technology of the United Kingdom (CCTA). A government agency, which created ITIL® version 1 in the form of an incorporating approach for assisting various technology providers and help organizations with different technical and commercial needs. CCTA has become an integral part of the Government Commerce Office (OGC). It is entrusted and officially recognized editor of the associated ITIL® libraries, which periodically upgrades and publishes the latest versions assisting its support and development.
Since then, ITIL® has been widely adopted throughout the world, in both the public and private sectors, and given due recognition as desirable practices, that is eligible for implementation in organizations of all sizes and shapes.
What makes up the ITIL® Library?
There are seven volumes or sets in the ITIL® documentation: Service Support, Security Management, Application Management, Service Delivery, Business Perspective, ICT Infrastructure Management, and Planning to Implement Service Management.
Of these, Security Management, Service Delivery, and Service Support are considered the fundamental components of the ITIL® framework and addresses important issues like Incident Management, IT Security Management, Configuration Management, Availability Management, and Service Continuity Management IT, Change Management.
Learning about ITIL®
The Stationery Office, the official publisher for the government of the United Kingdom, publishes the seven volumes of ITIL®. In addition, to get an idea and overview of navigating these, it could be productive consulting the diverse introductory texts, the basics of managing IT service having its basis on ITIL®: An apt beginning point could be an introduction and a self-learning guide. “Implementation support processes and service management: is a helpful guide” and a comprehensive manual on the subject, while the “pocket guides of tSMF” are providing a decent outline of individual components of the ITIL®.
ITIL® and IT Governance:
In combination with exclusive frameworks, ITIL® contributes effectively in the creation of efficient IT governance. Processes of ITIL® have the qualities to work in cooperation with the CobiT processes and together the frameworks complement one another, if the CobiT framework informs the organization about the necessary course of action in relation to support and delivery, the best practices of ITIL® is helpful to the organization in defining ‘how’ to meet these requirements. Likewise, ITIL® blends well while working efficiently with ISO 17799, the global standard of best practices for information security, and provides assistance on the mannerism of the different processes as recommended by the ISO 17799. Through utilization of these three frameworks, which mutually complement as per their requirements, establishing IT governance on the part of an organization becomes feasible of providing a real and lasting competitive advantage for its business.
While organizations are, free to have their own flavor of technical support to meet their needs, it makes sense to adopt the best of global practice standards, hence organizations do not have to reinvent the wheel. ITIL® proves its usefulness in this regard. However, when the word ITIL® is referred, many IT departments and overburdened and entrepreneurs begin to imagine all kinds of frightening views as it were inflexible and complex process, it needs to be theoretical, that only you can add to your problems instead of reducing it.
The fear is understandable because ITIL® was created by a governmental organization (Government Commerce Office, British Government, United Kingdom), unlike something like Six Sigma that was created by a Fortune 500 organization headed by an illustrious CEO. Governments all over the world have bad name for being obscure, lethargic, and bureaucratic, which only delay and complicate matters. Just by looking at the cover, you cannot judge a book; likewise, it will not be apt to judge ITIL® based on its creator.
In addition, many entrepreneurs, managers, and IT departments of SMEs have the false notion that ITIL® is beyond their experience or affordability, and may only be applicable to large organizations. However, ITIL® is not what is scary as most companies imagine. Actually, ITIL® is a lot of common sense of IT management and not hypothetical theories. Moreover, it is not complex, and costly rocket science, which only specialists can handle.
Organizations of all sizes can implement ITIL® to bring some law and order to your IT infrastructure. Through ITIL® implementation, it becomes possible to eliminate and avoid all the aforementioned problems and provide a high degree of predictability and stability to the existing IT infrastructure. ITIL® provide attractive ROI to all service providers, business owners, CTO, CIO, and CEO.
A fundamental error in the implementation of best practices is to believe that ITIL® is a silver bullet. But this is not the case. Successful implementation of the best practices becomes possible through the unconditional adoption of their principles from the top. The challenge most IT departments face is that the regular schedule is too hectic for allowing scope of improvements.
The improvements require time, energy, effort and a certain amount of dedication on the part of all the staff. In order to ensure that the teams have the time to make the improvements, the managers, in the past, have taken the step of hiring contracted personnel to take on the improvement work. Although this was a mistake, and the teams had pointed it out as such, at least it attempted to create time for the improvements to be made. However, the hired person must be used to fill the existing staff to carry out the day’s work, leaving the existing staff to make improvements that they know should happen.