Why ITILŪ Is Important
This paper discuss several concepts and techniques that ITIL promotes, including ensuring accountability, defining and enforcing boundaries, and conducting consistent and predictable activities in order to produce consistent and predictable results. Furthermore, additional benefits that ITIL provides as discussed in this paper include the agility that comes from being able to quickly adapt to business needs and overall improved customer satisfaction. All of this is available without the organization having to invent it from scratch, which itself is another key benefit of adopting ITIL.
Many leaders of organizations ask the simple question, "Why is ITILŪ important?" This truly is a simple question; however, simple answers to this question are not readily available. This white paper describes ITIL at a highlevel, and answers the question, "why is ITIL important" in a simple and straightforward manner.
What Is ITIL?
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was introduced in the mid-to-late-1980s. ITIL is a product of the British government that was originally created due to a need to increase the quality of government IT services while managing overall costs of delivering those services.
At its most fundamental level, ITIL is a set of best practices that IT organizations can use to guide how they design, implement, operate, and maintain IT services. A best practice is an ideal state. Organizations that adopt an ITIL approach are able to choose at will from the collection of best practices to meet their specific needs.
The first version of ITIL grew over time as the needs of IT businesses changed. Eventually ITIL v1 was updated, and around the year 2000, ITIL v2 was released, which significantly realigned the content with IT organizations of the time. In 2007, ITIL was once again updated when ITIL v3 was released. ITIL v3 introduced many significant changes, including the concept that IT services follow a predictable lifecycle. Most recently, in 2011, ITIL was once again updated and the current version was released.
To answer the question, "What is ITIL?", very simply, ITIL is a set of best practices that guide organizations in the production, implementation, management, and improvement of high-quality IT solutions at a manageable cost, in line with business needs and preferences.
Why Is ITIL Important?
ITIL is important because it's beneficial to the organizations that follow the approaches and use the techniques that it recommends.
There are two primary benefits that organizations receive when following ITIL. These are overall increases in the quality and overall increase in return on the investment made in the organization's information technology.
There are several methods, techniques, and approaches that ITIL provides that allow organizations to achieve the benefits of increased quality and increased return on investment of IT services.
Accountability means being answerable for something. The lack of accountability tends to dramatically reduce the quality of IT services that an organization produces and also has a detrimental effect on the cost of providing services.
ITIL guides organizations in the establishment and management of clear accountabilities in an organization. Through clearly defined roles and responsibilities, organizations following ITIL establish who is answerable for items that are significant in an organization.
Clearly defining accountability means that things that need to be done get done more quickly, and are not repeatedly handed off throughout the organization. When an organization lacks accountability, activities that are important will be delayed and the consequences of that delay are a reduction in the overall quality of service delivered, as well as an increased cost to deliver that service.
ITIL helps organizations define accountability in several ways. First, ITIL often uses various "owner" roles to clearly attribute who is accountable for significant items such as IT services and processes in an organization. Second, ITIL encourages effective communication, which tends to minimize the number of times a customer request is transferred throughout the organization. Third, ITIL encourages effective knowledge transfer and establishes clear accountability for who transfers knowledge and when they transfer it, which ensures that when customers contact the IT organization for support, the person they contact will have the information that they need.
Boundaries are clear lines of demarcation. IT organizations often establish ineffective boundaries that, in turn, degrade the quality of service that the business receives from its IT organization. When an organization establishes and enforces clear, effective, and strong boundaries, the business is able to focus on things that are important to the business. Because of this, there is an overall increase in quality and return on investment that the business receives from its IT organization.
ITIL provides organizations with several important techniques for establishing, managing, and maintaining boundaries.
First, the lifecycle approach that ITIL offers institutes several boundaries. In other words, by logically grouping activities into strategic, design, transition, operational, and improvement groupings, the organization is more effectively able to manage those activities.
ITILŪ for Executives
ITILŪ Service Capability: Operational Support and Analysis
ITILŪ Service Capability: Release, Control, and Validation
ITILŪ Service Capability: Service Offerings and Agreements
ITILŪ Service Capability: Planning, Protection, and Optimization
ITILŪ Service Lifecycle: Service Strategy
ITILŪ Service Lifecycle: Service Design
ITILŪ Service Lifecycle: Service Transition
ITILŪ Service Lifecycle: Service Operation
ITILŪ Service Lifecycle: Continual Service Improvement