Consulting services and ITIL: When it’s time to bring in a guide

Planning a holiday is similar to the journey IT organisations take to get the most value from their use if ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library. Preparations is essential.

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Most people wouldn’t go on a long trip without making plans. They’d get their plane tickets, reserve a rental car and hotels, and select various sites to explore.

They’d probably look at maps before they leave, and they may even hire a guide, depending on where they planned to visit. If they didn’t make these plans, their much-anticipated vacation could turn into a stressful experience.

The hotels they wanted might not be available, plane flights might not be possible at convenient times, they might miss the opportunity to visit some great sites, and the cost of the trip would probably increase. In essence, the journey would be painful and the results wouldn’t be what they anticipated. They might as well have stayed at home!

In some ways, planning a trip is like the journey IT organisations take to get the most value out of the IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®). IT leaders and their teams are pressured to deliver greater value to their end users. The pressure is compounded by the need to roll out more services, improve service levels, and reduce costs.

Driven by these demands, IT organisations often struggle to achieve higher IT service management maturity levels. Their ultimate destination is to have an organisation in which IT and business services work together. Many IT organisations have opted to achieve this transformation by implementing best-practice processes based on ITIL.

Think of successful ITIL adoption as a journey. A Business Service Management (BSM) approach can help IT organisations arrive at their destination. This approach is based on managing IT according to business priorities. BSM combines best-practice IT processes, automated technology management, and a shared view of how IT resources directly support the business.

Solutions can implement ITIL processes and enforce their use, but there is still work to be done. As with any adventurous journey, a skilled and knowledgeable guide can help make the experience a rewarding and enriching one.

Together, ITIL and BSM provide the IT traveler with a comprehensive map. In essence, BSM provides a fast lane for your journey to ITIL, and consulting services can be your guide in that fast lane.

Seven-step itinerary

An effective way to approach ITIL is by following a sequence of seven incremental steps.
Each step paves the way for the next:

  • Know where you’re going.
  • Assess your current position.
  • Know what you need.
  • Create an IT transformation road map.
  • Be sure your gear includes BSM solutions.
  • Don’t stop now. There’s more up ahead.
  • Get the best guide available

Step 1: Know where you’re going. Before you start, you’ll need to define the goals and mission of your IT organisation: Where do you want to go? What is at stake if you do not reach your goals? You may have several intended outcomes: Standardisation, consolidation, cost containment, regulatory compliance, and agility in accommodating changes. A good guide, such as consulting services, will ensure that you get what you want from your ITIL journey by providing resources to augment your in-house resources — experts who have been through many BSM implementations based on ITIL best practices.

Step 2: Assess your current position. You can’t figure out where to go unless you know where you are now. Assess the technology, processes, and people you have in place today that will support your goals. Zero in on deficiencies and shortcomings. Perform a gap analysis to delineate needed improvements in technology, processes, and the roles of employees. Establish metrics and incentives to keep everyone moving ahead.

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