Founded in the 1980s, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) best practice framework aims to optimise a business’ delivery of IT services; assisting organisations in risk management, building customer relationships, ensuring a stable work environment and adopting cost-effective solutions.
It has since evolved to be a global leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) certification, with its concepts adopted by over 90% of leading businesses in the IT industry – and currently remains the most valued framework across all industries worldwide.
But what exactly does ITIL entail – and how does one effectively implement it in their business?
Below, we dive into all you need to know on ITIL, its processes, and ways to ensure successful enterprise adoption.
The ITIL Framework
The ITIL framework focuses on five primary aspects of a business: their service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement (CSI).
ITIL Service Strategy concentrates on the current needs and demands of a market, the offerings available, and creating products or services to meet such needs. This area is further broken down into five separate processes: service portfolio management, financial management, strategy management for IT services, demand management, and business relationship management – each working together to fulfill financial, business strategy, and consumer-driven objectives.
ITIL Service Design focuses on the design of services to meet customer and business needs. This area is comprised of eight processes the address risk management, supplier relationships, data protection, and ensuring operations are carried out at the optimum capacity: service level management, service catalog management, capacity management, availability management, IT service continuity management, information security management, supplier management, and design coordination.
ITIL Service Transition involves the implementation of services and managing them through transitions or discontinuation. Seven processes make up this area: change management, change evaluation, release and deployment management, service validation and testing, and service asset and configuration management; each ensuring change or new processes are appropriately measured, evaluated, and applied with minimal impact to the work environment.
ITIL Service Operation addresses a business’ smooth delivery of IT services, ensuring they drive value and are up to speed with advancing technology and new trends. This strategy is made up of five processes that handle incidents, monitor activity, and manage system access: incident management, problem management, event management, access management, and request fulfillment.
Finally, we have ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI). This area focuses on finding new opportunities for growth and progress within a business; analysing past successes and failures to identify trends, flaws, and areas for improvement. The strategy is guided by seven principles: focusing on value, using your current state as a realistic baseline, progressing with feedback, visible collaboration, holistic vision and performance, simplicity and practicality, and optimization/automation.
Additionally, three processes make up CSI to help in the analysis of business growth – process evaluation, definition of CSI initiatives, and monitoring CSI initiatives.
The Benefits of ITIL
The ITIL framework benefits both the business and its individuals.
Those who opt for ITIL certification can keep their skills ahead of the curb, building expertise in best IT practices to improve their efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation. ITIL professionals equip themselves with a valuable tools, techniques, and concepts for driving greater business value and innovation, boosting their employability, salary prospects, and connecting them with other experts across the globe.
The methodologies of ITIL also improve one’s risk assessment, management, and mitigation; and spurs the delivery of higher-quality customer experience. An IT team of certified ITIL experts thus helps set the foundation for quality, best practices – doing wonders for your overall business results.
Organisations who adhere to ITIL concepts are likely to find an increase in their service quality, allowing them to better able meet customer needs. This not only leads to greater returns on investments (ROI), but the opportunity to build and maintain more positive customer (and business) relationships. Other favourable financial outcomes include the ability to save costs through greater efficiency and lower employee turnover.
Additionally, ITIL adopters are typically more effective in pursuing continuous growth and development; with practices that support business change according to customer needs – while ensuring stability and minimal risk on the work environment.
To ensure successful adoption of ITIL concepts, business owners must approach its implementation with proper understanding and practicality.
It firstly helps to apply ITIL based on a concrete problem or area for improvement. This helps your business focus on relevant customer (or operational) problems – setting them down a productive path towards solutions. The framework needn’t be applied to all aspects of a business, but rather the processes that need it most (these can vary depending on the company). According to experts, key areas commonly include incident and problem management.
Managers must also note that ITIL is but a set of best practices, and not a hard-and-fast guideline; with the flexibility to tweak such concepts to fit unique organisational requirements.
Once a proper understanding and vision for ITIL is achieved, employees must be trained as necessary. Educating your workforce in its foundations allows them to better grasp the benefits of such practices, and allows for smoother, enterprise-wide implementation.
Prior to this, however, be sure to make your ITIL interests known. Market your objectives for integrating the ITIL framework across departments, raising awareness of issues and how ITIL can help address them.
In their implementation of ITIL during the mid-2000s, Disney ensured their initiatives were marketed from the executive level down, followed by social network-based discussions to further spur conversation and interest on the subject. This was soon followed by educational programs in ITIL, delivered from the CIO level down, ensuring training was tailored in relevance to their company and condensed to save downtime.
ITIL 4 and DevOps
In February 2019, ITIL launched the latest version of its framework – ITIL 4.
Its concepts are primarily designed to offer the flexibility of integration with other frameworks and approaches, along with the ability to accommodate the latest technological developments.
These features propelled a newfound collaboration with the agile concepts of DevOps – a set of practices that enable faster, more reliable processes in software and application development; helping better meet customer needs.
As we know, ITIL places great emphasis on customer engagement and delivering optimum value. Paired with the DevOps framework, companies can ensure longer-term satisfaction among consumers; delivering outcomes through efficient processes and in greater quality, while still maintaining a thorough understanding of consumer and market demands.
It’s a partnership that works towards bigger and better results each time, driving businesses forward through continual service and technical innovation. The automated, agile culture of DevOps and big-picture visions of ITIL 4 can help create a business that stays relevant, competitive, and disciplined in its practices.
Enhance your business with ITIL today
Ready to embrace ITIL practices? Lumify Work, Australia’s leading provider of corporate IT training, offers a wide range of ITIL certifications across varying needs and skill levels – including ITIL Foundation, ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) and ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL). Students can explore the foundations of ITIL concepts, with the option to advance to higher-level certifications – ensuring a full, well-rounded knowledge of applying best IT practices for greater business efficiency.
Adopt the world’s leading ITSM framework today, and enquire with us on a course.