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

Business man's hand drawing red arrow curving upwards above two straighter white arrows

Mauricio Corona30 years ago, researchers and companies used to ask: how do we harmonize IT and the business?

Today, we’re no longer talking about harmonizing, aligning and integrating IT and the business: the business is technology!

Organizations that understand this are already at an advantage against their competitors. However, there are still many organizations struggling with how to manage technology to help the business to gain competitive advantage.

The main challenge for companies is understanding all of the information they’re gathering and the IT department’s first objective is to process information to enable business outcomes; here is where the real value is delivered. Nowadays, the issue is not about having enough memory or storage capacity; it’s about understanding all the information being created every day. This is key to creating the right, competitive strategies.

ITIL and emerging frameworks

The need for greater understanding means that frameworks and methods are starting to work in a technology-driven business context.

This is important as many repetitive, operational tasks will be undertaken by AI, machine learning and chatbots instead of humans. Being so new, this is very challenging for organizations to deal with in this new era of technology.

However, among the “shock of the new”, there are some approaches that remain and are being reinvigorated. For example, ITIL is still looking at the patterns of activities needed to fulfil the demands of an organization.

Having the ability to understand, define and run IT services is critical, though many companies don’t even know how many IT services they have and, consequently, are unable to manage their technology.

This is where ITIL has helped and still helps: understanding business objectives, business outcomes and linking business processes to IT services as a value chain. It provides an international language understood from software developers to the board level of companies as a way of orchestrating business, technology and digital services.

None of the emerging standards and frameworks address this, which is why I think ITIL still helps practitioners across the globe as it has for the past 30 years.

ITIL Update – an evolution

ITIL has been evolving over the years and the latest update this year is a natural step with the objective to create newer material and examples to support ITSM practitioners. This means thinking about big data, cloud services, IoT, machine learning, etc. If we don’t put meaningful input into these new technologies, we will have waste as an output. ITIL will help us make sense of all of these.

For example, what do you want to do with a chatbot? What are customers/users needs? When you understand these perspectives, then you use the new technology to its best potential.

Of course, there is room for new ideas, frameworks and methods to support IT professionals. I think there’s agreement that one framework can’t cover everything and it’s necessary to understand the variety of what’s available. But, equally, just because a method is new doesn’t mean it automatically replaces what came before!

Understand the company – understand IT

The goal for IT service management (ITSM) is to understand the organization it supports. This is everything, whether you are working in a bank or a university. ITSM needs to know exactly what value the business is offering and knowing that means you can map IT services.

This is the fundamental challenge and is where ITIL is uniquely placed to help: to clarify your view of the big picture, the business model and enable the business to create value through ITSM.

For more information, see our ITIL Update section.

More AXELOS Blog Posts about the ITIL Update

ITIL® Update: New effective ways of applying old ideas

ITIL® Update: Putting principles before process

ITIL® Update: IT Service Management Evolved

ITIL® Update: Evolution and Integration

read Mauricio's previous AXELOS Blog Post, ITIL® Practitioner: Tackling the challenges of Service Strategy.

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