Organizations going through digital transformation can’t afford to use a tick-box exercise when it comes to using best practices like ITIL®.
Too many organizations find themselves going through the motions of adopting best practice when they need to. They might have good intentions by putting new processes in place; however, the training and certification they’re investing in might be nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to customer complaints or pressure to transform.
Consequently, those organizations neither fully realize the potential contained in the training nor do their people retain the knowledge and apply it to their benefit.
To get a real return on investment, an organization’s management and staff need to communicate clearly about the current state of IT and the business, where they want to get to and the training that’s needed.
Some crucial questions to ask are:
- What and where are our pain points?
- Is there sufficient accountability?
- How do we address customer complaints?
- Why are we fixing the same things over again?
- What is the state of the relationship between the business and IT?
Service management – what it means to the business
If you are implementing service management processes, you need to recognize that they are more than an internal IT exercise; they are about benefiting the business.
From an IT perspective these processes should ensure there are fewer failed change initiatives, greater productivity, improved satisfaction levels and an overall improvement in the quality of IT services delivered to customers.
However, more critically, the business should experience a more responsive IT department, greater awareness of business needs, strategic alignment between business and IT, and better support levels in operations, with IT working more proactively.
Strategy, design, transition and continual improvement
Putting the more proactive elements of ITIL in place makes life easier: it supports employee retention, creates a better working environment (every day is more predictable rather than patching things up); you can stand back and look holistically at strategic-level problems rather than just managing what’s happening day-to-day.
And ITIL is a vital part of what ITSM professionals need to learn about how to work with other frameworks and methods deployed for change and improvement programmes.ITIL at a time of major change
If you’re embarking on an organizational transformation, ITIL gives you the necessary control element, assurance, quality and an underlying stability.
With lots of changes happening you need to have “big picture” coordination and this comes from some of the key areas in ITIL:
These are vital for businesses to get what they need and in the right timeframe.
And then there’s the interface with project management. If your organization has a Project Management Office, then ownership of processes should sit there; linking project and service management and avoiding any disconnect at a time of major change.
ITIL and ongoing learning and certification
The future is evolving quicker than some of us realize with rapid digital transformation, automation and AI initiatives. IT Service Management has always been at the heart of IT and ITIL has always been at the heart of Service Management.
However, ITIL shouldn’t be seen as a one-off learning activity. Putting staff through ITIL Foundation will get people talking the same language and sharing an understanding but people need to continue their studies to higher levels where there is even greater practical skills and knowledge.
Ongoing certification in ITIL helps create a greater foundation for taking leadership roles and more significant ROI from a higher level of knowledge and capability.
The key element is to adopt and adapt the ITIL guidance; applying it to the needs of your organization. Wherever you manage change, support customers, design and make improvements, you still need ITIL: it is the “skeleton” on which you hang the “muscle” of the IT department.
For more information, see our Built on ITIL pages.
Read more Blog Posts in the Built on ITIL series
Built on ITIL: training for transformation
Built on ITIL: a steady stream of employment
Built on ITIL: Putting a rocket under your career
Built on ITIL: quality and consistency in service delivery
Built on ITIL: a service management foundation for the future
Built on ITIL: ITIL – the tool that just keeps giving
Built on ITIL: digital transformation is an organizational challenge
Built on ITIL: taking ITSM to the next level
Read previous AXELOS Blog Posts by Steve Lawless
Getting started with Continual Service Improvement
Making ITSM agile