By Christine Headford - CTO at RMS Services

Introducing ITIL

As a business manager, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and as if you’re drowning in acronyms, particularly when it comes to IT. However, the right IT systems can make or break an operation and so ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), in particular, is an acronym that you definitely need to learn.

In today’s world, management relies heavily on IT to deliver their products and services, but there is often a miscommunication between the two sides. ITIL is designed to resolve this conflict and provide a framework that bridges the gap. As part of IT Service Management (SM), ITIL provides a set of standard processes which ensure that companies don’t need to re-invent the wheel with unique, bespoke solutions. A good SM application will incorporate ITIL as standard and be flexible enough to meet the company’s needs with a minimum of configuration and adaptation.

What is ITIL?

ITIL provides guidance to organisations on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation and growth. Ultimately, it acts as a mechanism for translating business needs into technical implementations.

The first version of ITIL — developed in the 1980s — was seen as a breakthrough, providing a template that all organisations could use to implement best practice. Version 2 developed this theme and has been widely adopted. The most recent iteration, version 3 was launched in 2007 but has not had the same uptake as its predecessor, with many organisations staying with their version 2 focus but cherry-picking preferred elements from version 3.

Tips for Implementing ITIL

A phased approach to implementing ITIL is recommended. There are two common starting points; Service Desk or Configuration Management Database (CMDB). However, as a starting point CMDB has been less successful as it provides little benefit in itself. Rather, these appear with its utilisation in other disciplines, such as Change or Release Management.

Those organisations that start with Service Desk can see a quick win, with improved internal communications, better prioritisation and greater end user satisfaction with lower call resolution times.

As with all projects it is vital to consider the overall objective and quantify the benefits that are expected. Strangely, many of the organisations we have surveyed report that this never happens, despite the fact that these benefits were used in the original cost justification of the purchase!

Choose Your Partner with Care

Choosing the right partner is crucial. Each and every business is unique, but many of the operational challenges they face are almost identical. It is here that ITIL shines and avoids the need for bespoke systems.

Going down the bespoke route invariably leads to costly ongoing maintenance and vendor lock-in, hindering the possibility of negotiation or going elsewhere if circumstances change.

Why Should You Care?

The correct adoption of ITIL will increase your efficiency, boost both user and customer satisfaction and save time and money.ITIL lifts the veil on the black art that is Service Management.

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