What Is ITIL Methodology and How It Improves Business Performance

What Is ITIL Methodology and How It Improves Business Performance

  • How do you define success?
  • In the world of business, it is measured by the effectiveness of organizations delivering their services (products) to the market.

However, along with customer satisfaction, competitor offerings, and alignment with regulatory requirements, entrepreneurs have to move faster to sustain with the ever-changing needs of consumers.

But how to keep balance with the changes in technology and customers’ needs? Organizations turn to ITIL methodology – a world leader for IT Service Management.

Less than two decades ago, nobody outside the UK had heard about ITIL. Today, it seems to be the biggest buzz in the tech world. But despite its popularity, many IT pros don’t fully understand what it is all about.

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. And of numerous IT concepts, ITIL may be the most misunderstood. 

 In this article, we’ll address the following questions:

  • ITIL Methodology – What’s That?
  • Where ITIL Came From
  • What’s in the ITIL4
  • Basic ITIL Principles and Practices
  • How Do I Put ITIL Into Practice?
  • Benefits of Adopting ITIL

Let’s have a deeper look at what ITIL is, why small and large organizations might want to consider using ITIL, and finally how to get started.

ITIL Methodology – What’s That?

ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library – is a globally recognized framework for IT service management that provides a set of best practices for delivering IT services. 

ITIL methodology is tightly connected to the concept of IT governance. It defines the access hierarchy, decision-makers, and responsibilities that help to gain the organization’s strategic goals.

ITIL process is aimed to serve its customers in an integrated manner – achieve results, reduce costs and deliver the highest possible customer satisfaction.

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IT infrastructure library’s systematic approach to service management helps businesses oversee risk, build up customer relations, set-up cost-effective practices, and form a balanced IT environment that allows improving, scaling, and adjusting.

Who uses ITIL? Companies, from tiny businesses to world-known market leaders, use ITIL frameworks to help enhance the value of their services. ITIL has been adopted by thousands of companies worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft, and HSBC.

Where ITIL Came From

To know where ITIL best practices came from, we need to take a small step back in time to the 1980s – at the times when it was developed by the British government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). 

The ITIL process has gone through four revisions in its history and now amounts to five books (it first consisted of more than 30 books), each comprising different processes and stages of the IT service lifecycle.

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Axelos is the institution that gives businesses the license to use the ITIL framework however, to start utilizing ITIL methods internally, organizations do not need a license. 

ITIL library was initially focused to gather, facilitate, and align all possible IT management knowledge. The latest version of ITIL, which started rolling out in the 1st quarter of 2019 is set to offer a more flexible, agile, and customizable version of ITIL that is updated for modern businesses. ITIL 4 encourages fewer siloes, more communication, and cooperation across the whole business while integrating agile and DevOps into the companies goals and objectives.

What’s in the ITIL4 (in pictures and diagrams)

Released in the Q1 2019, ITIL 4 is more agile, flexible and collaborative. Yet, it still keeps focussing on automating business processes, enhancing service management, as well as smooth integration of IT silo into the entire business.

Adopted from the most recent ITIL Practitioner Exam, ITIL 4 contains 9 main principles.

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The main components of the most recent ITIL framework are the Service Value System (SVS) and the 4-dimensions model.

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The ITIL service value chain provides a flexible operating model for the creation, delivery, and continual improvement of services. 

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The four dimensions model describes a balanced focus on the ITIL SVS through a complete and efficient approach.

These components represent a significant evolution of ITIL from previous iterations, with the main focus on culture organization and integration of the IT department into the entire business structure, that encourages “cross-department” cooperation. 

Basic ITIL Principles and Practices

ITIL lifecycle is aimed to help businesses properly describe processes of utilizing, managing, and supporting the internal IT infrastructure. To better serve these objectives, ITIL service management processes split into 2 main fields of activity: Services Delivery and Support Services.

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Some of the key concepts/principles of ITIL are to:

  • Deliver the best possible value to customers
  • Clearly define roles for each separate task
  • Optimize capabilities and resources
  • Plan processes in regards to defined objectives
  • Offer only useful and stable services

Each principle and practice in ITIL methodology is in relation to the 6 activities of the ITIL service value chain: plan, improve, engage, design, and transition, obtain and build as well as deliver and support.

How do I put ITIL into practice?

A lot of companies turn to the IT Infrastructure Library to better manage and deliver IT services to their customers. But you can’t just take ITIL and implement it as it is. More or less, it needs to be customized to the needs of your organization.

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Before implementing ITIL, consider answering these simple 5 questions: 

1. What problems your organization is trying to solve?

If you don’t have a clear answer, then ITIL won’t resolve your pain points.

2. What are the specific areas your organization needs a change in?

Very often, IT departments have a lack of understanding of a bigger goal then a development of the technical solutions.

3. What is our way to Continual Service Improvement (CSI)?

CSI involves understanding where an organization wants to be at a governance level.

4. What is the scope and scale of your ITIL project?

The time and effort spent on a careful implementation strategy well worth it.

5. Does my organization really need ITIL?

Once the previous four questions have been answered, take a step back and ask if this is a solution you were really looking for.

Quick note: You may be terrified to unveil that there could be many other techniques to address your IT pain points and improve your IT operations effectively.

Benefits of Adopting ITIL

The most evident organizational benefits of utilizing ITIL framework are:

  • Flexible service delivery 
  • Faster digital transformation
  • Better strategic alignment 
  • Smoother integration
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced costs
  • Greater visibility of IT costs and assets
  • Better management of business risk

Thanks to the ITIL concepts and practices that make it possible to share and make information available, organizations gain a significant improvement in communication. As a result of these gains, you benefit from risk reduction, improved quality, and increased customer satisfaction.

Meanwhile, a well-established IT organization that manages risk and keeps the infrastructure working smoothly not only reduces costs significantly, it also allows employees to perform their work more effectively.

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