ITIL 4: time to stop and think about a new IT services blueprint

Group of IT service managers sat round table in office with service managment project documents

How can companies – and particularly IT organizations – take something positive from the current worldwide situation with Covid-19?

Just like I had the chance to end my own procrastination in completing the ITIL® 4 Managing Professional Transition Module, organizations have the chance now to stop, think and revisit what they’re doing.

How many times in an organization’s life does it have the opportunity to do this: to examine its value streams, examine how it does business and identify real improvements?

ITIL in organizations, historically, has been driven mostly by IT; trying to deliver better services but often facing resistance based on lack of time or budget to introduce meaningful change.

Now, thinking about the post-pandemic future, it’s unlikely that businesses will ever be able to operate as before. So, how can they come out of this operating differently and better?

ITIL 4 – from input to value

If smart companies are looking for a way to re-think their business operations, ITIL 4 is the place to start. The new guidance’s service value chain (SVC) allows organizations to see how value is created end-to-end: from demand to customer value.

This has been useful in our business at a time when market strategy is changing and IT needs to keep up with it.

For example, we’ve been under pressure to deliver services and keep pace with market demand, when new requests are competing for support with older requests. Consequently, a common joke in the business goes something like: “IT always delivers, but they never tell us which year…”

Now we’re operating at a slower pace, it’s the best time to re-evaluate everything. So, we’ve gone back to the drawing board to see how we can apply the entire SVC to address demands better and with greater agility.

With an SVC for our entire business strategy in the context of Covid-19, we’re delivering systems that are faster and that will enable what the business needs now. That includes putting ITIL 4’s project management practice in place so we understand the service value of every incoming project. Now, IT will be able to confirm both a month and a year for delivery!

A better operating advantage

What does a better operating advantage look like for smart companies exiting the current business lockdown? In my opinion, it means:

  • Smoother flows
  • Less waste
  • More effective use of resources
  • Ability to understand and manage demand for new products and services
  • High-velocity IT: taking new and legacy processes to a higher pace of working
  • Combining frameworks: agile for faster deliver, COBIT for controls, Lean for waste.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come out of a difficult situation with new ways of operating.

A mindset shift for IT

Adopting ITIL 4 is where, I believe, IT organizations and professionals will see themselves as change agents: moving to an expanded service base and translating this to business value.

For individual practitioners, this is the time to invest in bettering your career. Reading ITIL 4, taking a course, getting a certification and joining the community to meet like-minded people.

You will find the help and support you need to start brainstorming in your organization and forming a blueprint for change in IT services. Show your management team how these principles can be applied, what the effect will be and how it will take the business to a much better place than today.

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