ITIL and Cloud: future-proofing your career

Multiple digital devices with same sky and cloud displayed across their screens

What does migrating IT services to the cloud mean for ITIL®?

I’ve heard various comments along the lines of “it’s no longer our infrastructure, it’s the responsibility of the cloud provider so why are we bothering with ITIL?”

I find this really surprising as cloud integration enhances the need for governance and ITIL is a mechanism to improve governance of the services organizations offer and outsourcing doesn’t eliminate the need for governance – far from it!

In this new scenario, what I believe we will see is a flip in what’s important for ITSM professionals: you might have to worry less about availability and capacity of service, but will see a more strategic need for other elements in ITIL such as Business Relationship Management (BRM), service level and supplier management.

Why will these things become more pertinent?

Managing contracts with third-party providers therefore heightens the need for the supplier management process in particular. Also, an organization needs to have a clear vision of its strategic objectives, therefore BRM gives you the process to gain that clarity of understanding and the ability to articulate it to the IT department.

And, for the cloud service provider, ITIL continues to be more relevant than ever. With the variety of cloud service providers available, that can breed less brand loyalty among customers. So, for a service provider to remain relevant and innovate their services, ITIL gives them a structure for that Continual Service Improvement.

ITIL and other frameworks

One of the things I like most about ITIL is that it doesn’t dictate anything but gives ITSM professionals a set of guidelines to adapt to their organization’s own culture. Also, it doesn’t say it’s the only way to do things. This allows you to introduce other approaches where needed, such as Agile, DevOps and SIAM.

What’s interesting is that none of them are a magic bullet which will solve all an organization’s pain points. ITIL reminds us that the best solution to a problem might come from multiple sources; you have to find the right combination for what you want to achieve. And, the advent of cloud-based services means you need to look at a selection of approaches with fresh eyes.

For example, if you are migrating IT services to the cloud, SIAM offers a better way to bolster the ITIL supplier management model.

With migration to cloud comes a major change in an organization and, potentially, a resistance to change. People will “push back” if they don’t understand why the change is important, so you need to improve communications to minimize this natural resistance to change. ITIL Practitioner’s emphasis on Organizational Change Management recognizes this and provides tools to tackle it.

Embracing ITIL? What’s in it for me?

For the ITSM professional, it’s clear that ITIL focuses very much on what’s right for the organization. So, they might ask the question, “what’s in it for me?” as an individual.

At an operational level, ITIL makes the practitioner better at using their time, accomplishing more work through better automation, workflow and fewer frustrations. Increasing your level of ITIL certification also makes you more marketable both inside and outside your company; in effect, future-proofing your career.

And even when the arrival of cloud computing has made a lot of people in traditional IT roles nervous about their livelihood, having ITIL certification helps keep you relevant for the new ways of working.

The idea of not being married to a single way of doing things encourages constant improvement and a commitment to keeping your skills as relevant as they were a year ago.

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