Built on ITIL: a service management foundation for the future
Blog posted by: Lisa Hodges – principal consultant, Cornerstone Service Management, 22 October 2018.
Organizational transformation is built on ITIL® best practices. And, from what I’ve seen from the frontline, the need for this still exists.
In fact, there is so much work still to be accomplished among organizations that I could be busy for years and years!
As a consultant and trainer I’ve seen an evolution among people who thought – mistakenly – that ITIL was a thing of the past because of DevOps and Agile. On the contrary, smart organizations have recognized that ITIL provides the building block for DevOps and Agile transformation.
So, different types of organizations have developed. Some have been building on an ITIL foundation for a decade and are now positioned to launch into the next ITSM phase – building automation.
Others are suffering pain because every time they touch “big ticket” IT services they’re breaking and chaos ensues, followed by firefighting and reactive ITSM. This has a direct effect on market share. The problem is you can’t automate chaos or automate a scenario where the work is organic, and everyone does their “own thing”.
The next wave of automation will free people up from routine, proven tasks so they can focus on people-focused activities, especially innovation; people innovate, technology doesn’t.
Having a service management foundation will be a launching pad for the future and, for substantial transformations. ITIL best practices will pull organizations out of the “trenches” to stabilize and move into proactive innovation.
Thriving on ITIL
An organization I worked with a number of years ago introduced ITIL as a proven structure to help overcome challenges and then exploit opportunities. That organization has since thrived and become one of the most stable and valuable financial services companies in the USA.
Today, I’m working with some organizations that, similarly, have overcome the pain and are now focusing on transformation to realize opportunities.
At another organization I’ve seen a revival in ITSM; with the advent of automation they have had to invest in DevOps practices but their firm foundation means they can do that and continue to evolve their practices into the future.
And there are a few other organizations that have only recently “woken up”. However, it’s not too late for them to position themselves for technology innovation supported by best practices. However, they can’t start at maturity level 3, without building on ITIL best practices.
Adopting and adapting ITIL today
Built into the DNA of ITIL is the principle of adopt and adapt. The most recent guidance and certification, ITIL Practitioner, really emphasized adopt and adapt, the challenges of cultural change through organizational change management and continual service improvement (CSI).
Today, the DevOps movement has emphasized the people element with a set of practices while ITIL Practitioner has shown that building blocks and integration between these different methods is essential. None of the practices can exist in isolation.
Where IT organizations have established service strategy and CSI, they have equipped themselves to be strategic partners in the businesses where they operate. And if you elevate your organization to the status of a partner, this means owning a trusted relationship with customers to steer them, and the organization, to the solutions best for the business.
A personal ITIL journey
In my work, I have always been looking for solutions to address current challenges while also preparing for the future.
In one previous job before I knew anything about ITIL, I’d been involved in a failed quality managementinitiative and the organization was losing market share because of an IT service. One day, my former boss said to me: “I want you to investigate ITIL”. My reply was: “I thought you liked me…”
However, I looked at ITIL, went back to my boss said: “I think this is it.” It both helped pull us out of “firefighting” after implementing only a small set of practices and I could see how it would propel us to the future.
Every evolution of ITIL I’ve seen keeps propelling us forward and I can’t wait to see the next version.
ITIL has helped me build a career and enabled organizations to achieve their goals; it’s a mechanism for overcoming challenges and the opportunities to apply this best practice will not run out.
For more information, see our Built on ITIL pages.
Read more Blog Posts in the Built on ITIL series
Read previous AXELOS Blog Posts by Lisa Hodges
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