From back office to strategic partner: how ITIL® is evolving in India

From back office to strategic partner: how ITIL® is evolving in India

Suresh GPTen years ago, IT in India was a very different world to now: the country was the “back office” of the world, providing outsourced services in the form of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO).

During this period ITIL was the backbone of IT Service Management (ITSM) – giving us a common language and helping us to work globally. From an Infrastructure Management standpoint, it also gave IT professionals strong fundamental skills to manage service support and service delivery.

In the last 10 years, IT in India has seen a dramatic change in terms of adaptability to technology trends, best practices frameworks and standards. Overall industry maturity has been very much improved across different sectors and is continuing to evolve. As a result, so too has our use of frameworks like ITIL.

Focus on value

As part of this evolution, India has advanced ITSM to focus from an inside out approach to customer centric (outside-in) business relationships and enable teams to become strategic partners that deliver business value.

One reason for this change is that a lot of IT roles in India are being made redundant with the advent of automation. For those still in the sector, there is a dire need to justify their worth and prove their relevance and importance they are bringing to businesses.

This shift towards outcomes and value has brought about an increase in transforming organizations to a more agile service management approach that shows incremental value in aspects of process design as well as process improvement.

Training for the change

As the needs of the IT industry in India continue to develop, practitioners need to adapt and adopt to the changing landscape of business and technology. Today IT is the business and this propels organizations to give employee training even greater consideration.

In a more outcome and value-focused world, context and culture are essential. So whether you use ITIL or DevOps, what matters is that IT practitioners are thinking about the big picture of serving the customer. To encourage that shift, there’s an increasing demand for more experiential learning beyond rote learning and reading.

People now want and need more than a two-day course and a certificate. Today’s practitioners want to understand how to implement what they’ve learnt and garner necessary transfer skills to win at the market place.

Here, ITIL Practitioner from AXELOS has come in handy as it helps professionals apply different critical elements for ensuring customer satisfaction. The Guiding Principles in particular are the ‘nuggets’ that give professionals a handy toolkit to create value. It also helps professionals see how different frameworks, be it DevOps, Lean or Agile, can be used and put into context of the customer.

Therefore, today – alongside two days of classroom-based learning – we have designed our training programmes to include a final, third day on business simulation using techniques that show how to address Attitude, Behaviour and Culture issues (ABC). They also learn how to make impactful changes and create value within their business.

Typically, people believe that what they need is prescriptive learning that helps them to address the changing business demand. However, there’s a growing realization of the importance of applying what you’ve learnt based on the culture and challenges of the respective organization.

Getting an outside perspective

An internal trainer, while knowing the context, the processes and the culture of a business, will only have limited points of reference. Conversely, external trainers regularly go into a wide variety of businesses and develop a broader, more global perspective and tend to know more about what’s emerging in the market.

It’s also easier for external consultants to recognize where businesses are working in silos and how greater collaboration would help everyone work towards the bigger picture.

Whether organizations opt for internal or external training to help them shift IT from the back office to a key part of the business strategy, it’s important to remember that there is no silver bullet. Practitioners need time to go through the process and feel empowered and liberated to put principles into action in their workplace.

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