According to Axelos, ITIL is an acronym for “Information Technology Infrastructure Library”. It is a series of process books that outline the best practices for managing your IT services. ITIL was developed by the British government in the 1980s and was revised during the early 2000s developing into the series of volumes that it is today. ITIL has been implemented by various users from around the globe that number in the thousands. It is the most widely accepted IT best practices approach and is used by many major organizations. Some of these organizations include Microsoft, HP, Fujitsu, IBM and NASA, and there are many more. One of the added benefits of having such a widely-adopted program is that an entire industry can develop a common vocabulary and facilitate the overall communication among IT professionals.
It is important to note that ITIL doesn’t demand or require you to follow any particular steps outlined within the volumes. It gives a set of best practices that can be executed at your discretion. ITIL should be viewed as a method of standardization for processes that you have already put in place or that you should have put in place in the past. ITIL also has very close ties with the fundamentals of ISO/IEC 20000. ISO/IEC 20000 is the first international set of standards for IT service management - ITSM.
ITIL is used in defining the process of business relationship management and the role of the business relationship manager. In any business, one of the most important aspects that you should understand is the needs of your customers. Under the ITIL framework, two important roles are defined. For many businesses these two roles are combined depending on the scale and scope of the projects being undertaken. These roles include:
- Service level manager – Sets up the relationship with your customers and works towards understanding what they want and what they need. The service level manager then seeks agreement to ensure that they and their client have a mutual understanding of what is happening and the future actions that will take place. Finally they are also responsible for monitoring the quality of deliverables.
- Business relationship manager – Maintains relationships with your customers by initiating and maintaining an ongoing dialogue in addition to looking for new ways to provide the customer with value to better support their changing needs.
Commonly Used ITIL terminology
- Service – A service is a valuable action delivered to a customer through a service-provider that seeks to satisfy a want or a need. Marketing Profs describes services as having four key characteristics:
- Intangibility – Since a service does not have a physical form it cannot be detected by the senses.
- Inseparability – A service cannot be separated from the service-provider.
- Variability – Different levels of service are delivered by different providers. Service quality may vary depending on the individuals providing it or based on factors affecting a particular service provider at a particular time.
- Perishability – A service cannot be stored for future use.
- IT Service – IT systems that deliver a set of functions to the customer. These functions enable customers to access and utilise software ranging from a single application to multiple platforms. An IT service is formed from the combination of people, processes and technology.
- Service Management – The provision of services to the customer in a continuous fashion.
- IT Service Provider – A service provider that delivers to either internal or external customers an IT service.
ITIL Service Lifecycle
The ITIL service lifecycle contains 5 modules that each operate as a standalone qualification. The 5 modules include:
- ITIL Service Strategy – This module helps you understand how the product or service will meet your customer’s requirements. Services are compared to one another and the focus is on planning, implementing and optimizing concepts.
- ITIL Service Design – This module helps you better comprehend how to design IT services that meet the larger goals of your business and differentiate development and operations.
- ITIL Service Transition – This module helps you understand the best way to monitor successes and make necessary adjustments. It teaches you that as your system becomes more stable and reliable, since less work needs to go in, profits begin to increase since costs have been lowered.
- ITIL Service Operation – Once service operations is set into motion and workflows are understood, you should understand how to proactively address service issues.
- ITIL Continual Service Improvement – This module educates you on staying ahead of externalities and changes within the industry by developing and improving the delivery of services in a continuous method.
- Supporting business outcomes
- Enabling business change
- Managing risk in line with business needs
- Optimizing the customer experience
- Showing users value for money
- Continually improving
There are numerous benefits for utilizing ITIL, some of which involve mitigating the risk and minimized disruptions of the services that you are providing to customers. ITIL allows you to better support the services that you provide to maximize your ROI. Additionally you can ensure quality of service matches customer needs, that customers can use the service that you are providing and that customers are not affected by service failures. By developing a strategy around your customers, you can build and nurture, better, longer-lasting relationships that will earn you more in the future.
ITIL and Cimpl
Here at Cimpl, delivering a quality service is one of the things we pride ourselves in doing. It is our goal to delight each and every customer and this is facilitated through various methods including the use of ITIL. We have also developed a framework that can help your business account for ALL your assets and work smarter. Enterprise Digital Footprint (Enterprise Asset Management 2.0) is a quadrant framework that builds on the core tenets of Asset Management and was developed by Christopher Thierry, the founder of Cimpl. This new way of visualizing asset management can help you and your company keep better track of all your assets and subsequently save you money. Our software, Cimpl, has been developed to help you efficiently manage your IT and Telecom assets in your workplace. Cimpl Mobile will make this even easier - it will give users true R-TEM - real-time telecom expense management! If this sounds like something that would make your life easier then you should contact us! As Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management we have been helping give companies greater visibility over all their IT and telecom assets for more than a decade now.
Written by: Scott Oliel