The value of ITIL® outside of IT

The value of ITIL® outside of IT

Adam McCulloughFrom medical, banking and automotive, to retail and hospitality, ITIL best practice is being used in more and more industry sectors to improve business performance.

Why is this happening? Because ITIL is a proven industry best practice that takes a holistic view of processes. As I explain to my clients, ITIL is not a ‘magic pill’ that fixes everything but the fact that it is non-prescriptive is what makes it so relevant beyond IT. It can be adopted by any number of organizations and tailored according to individual wants, needs and lifecycle development.

ITIL provides a structure that enables an organization to set out where it is going and - crucially for those holding the purse strings - where they can expect to see a return on investment. And it’s relevant, no matter what sector you’re in.

So how does this wider adoption of ITIL translate into practice?

Business benefits

If we take a look at key ITIL processes, it’s clear that they can and should be applied to any business operation:

  • Service catalogue - essential for managing current, future and expired services. Creating demand through limited offers can be particularly effective in certain sectors. Take McDonald’s introduction of the McRib for a short time for example, or Disney’s scheduling of film releases and exclusive new DVD editions.
  • Continuity management - regular analysis of vulnerabilities, threats and risks. Every successful business needs to have a continuity of operations plan for disaster recovery.
  • Knowledge management - knowing what works, what doesn’t and having a known issue or error database so that any problems can be addressed.
  • Availability, Capacity and Demand Management - a business needs to ensure resources are available to meet demand at all times and careful management can pre-empt spikes and troughs. Grocery stores control this with coupons or buy one get one free offers, and major sporting events can trigger huge demand among food delivery chains particularly.

Adaptable and accessible

Drilling down further, if we look at the CSI improvement process, the framework can be followed for just about anything you want to accomplish:

  • What is the vision?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get there?
  • Did we get there?
  • How do we keep the momentum going?

This is a deceptively simple process – benchmark, make improvements, measure and repeat. And it can be applied to any industry, in any environment and applied all over the world.

It’s even something I’ve used on a personal level to grow my career. In fact, the same could be said of any major life goal. Whether you’re buying a house or reducing debt, the process is the same: define the goal, identify what needs to change or be improved in order to get there and, once achieved, reset the process for your next ambition. It’s never a finished or completed process, there is always room to grow, evolve and move forward.

Filling the tech space

I’ve seen it work and firmly believe it will be adopted across the board.

As technology continues to bridge into new areas of our lives, IT and service management will blend to the point where they are one and the same thing.

Consider Amazon and Whole Foods. The big news here is not the acquisition itself, but the dramatic shift in how we will get our food. You won’t be going to the store but when you drink the last bottle of water, a new box will arrive on your doorstep. This is coming and will take service to a whole new level.

Read more AXELOS blog posts from Adam McCullough

Telling the story of ITIL® for bids and tenders

Applying ITIL® outside IT

Elephants, mentors and comfort zones: three things that have shaped my ITIL journey

7 tips for performing service transition effectively

Do businesses really need Business Relationship Managers?

Why should businesses do CSI?

A collaborative approach to cyber security

I’m ITIL® Foundation certified - now what?

The real ROI of ITIL training

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