ITIL update: IT Service Management Evolved

Wooden Scrabble style tiles spelling the word 'evolution'

The ITIL® update recently announced by AXELOS will be guided by the Lead Architect Team, comprising highly-respected experts from around the world. In this first blog post from the team, Troy DuMoulin talks IT past and present along with what an updated ITIL will mean for service management:

Troy DuMoulinFor decades, IT has been operating in silos; separate tribes doing what they do and doing it well – but not doing it together.

This culture of silo-based specialization, which originates with the dawn of the industrial age, decided the best way to ensure quality was to break down a complex value system into individual tasks and to focus structure and management systems on task optimization. This resulted in deep specialization and a culture of isolation versus collaboration.

Business needs are changing and companies are realizing that whilst their evolution is heavily dependent on automation and digital enablement their legacy IT environments are fragile. They are also under pressure from competitive forces and hampered by poor communication. Achieving the change in velocity to match the pace of digital transformation requires the IT organization to begin working in an end-to-end value system versus isolated pockets of technical specialists.

I believe ITIL’s update will provide a holistic perspective on this requirement by providing a systemic view of the full value system. There are many models and IT frameworks that provide value to our industry, addressing specific areas of capability and specialization. However, none of these models provides the big picture on how these frameworks connect, interrelate and can be integrated to provide the organization with maximum advantage.

As an IT professional with 20+ years’ experience and involvement in the development and evolution of several of the emerging models, I have played a role in all of ITIL’s iterations and I am very excited about the increased value proposition that this most recent update will deliver.

ITIL has, of course, changed over time. Originally, as one of the first non-vendor based sources of best practice, it provided a view of “what good looks like” for key delivery and support capabilities. Being vendor-agnostic made it a trusted and reliable resource that later incorporated a service lifecycle management perspective focused on service outcomes, value and effectiveness. The most recent update in 2011 improved the definition of capabilities focused on the importance of business input, engagement and prioritization. Now, with the next iteration, the value premise for ITIL has definitely shifted again. It’s no longer just about how to do individual things; it’s about providing the larger map/systemic perspective for improving IT capabilities and pointing the industry to the information to do those things. There is no other framework that does this.

Updating ITIL: What this means in practice

First and foremost, ITIL will still be recognizable as ITIL; just a more holistic, enhanced and comprehensive version. What absolutely has to be improved is the concept of how capabilities exist within a demand and supply value system. Also, that Service management is broader than ITIL, while ITIL is part of the wider service management ecosystem. It is essential that perceptions are changed and we can achieve something I call integrated service management.

Integrated service management – recognizing complementary practices

The concept of integrated service management avoids tribal in-fighting over frameworks and models; we are all in a supply chain performing service management. The customer wants service automation and delivery at the right level quality, speed and cost.

Integrated service management describes how these models, which often compete, should communicate, collaborate and work together to create synergies. We need to change the belief that these models are mutually exclusive.

Emerging trends and integration

In my role at Pink Elephant, I’m heavily involved in emerging trends. I immerse myself in them, integrating and interacting with a number of different factions. I listen, observe, and translate what I learn into a common language that will ultimately tell the tale of integration.

I both defend ITIL and speak about the benefits of newer models. I’m very much an impartial referee and bring a systemic view to the Lead Architect Team (LAT); a holistic perspective that addresses the wider conversations.

ITIL will evolve into an enhanced and expanded proposition. It will be unique in that story as the other models are more localized, targeted and not holistic. They’re valuable but don’t tell the whole story. ITIL will.

For more information, see our ITIL Update section.

More AXELOS Blog Posts about the ITIL Update

ITIL® Update: Mapping IT services with ITIL to drive business value

ITIL® Update: New effective ways of applying old ideas

ITIL® update: Putting principles before process

ITIL® Update: Evolution and Integration

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