ITIL 4 Practices
By this point, everyone who has spent time working in IT service management (ITSM) should have heard of ITIL. Formerly known as the ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’, ITIL has set a global standard for ITSM for going on three decades, attracting a booming community of certified practitioners along the way.
ITIL paints a holistic picture of how to plan, create, release and continually improve IT-enabled services, both for internal users and customers. At the same time, it encourages a consistent emphasis on aligning ITSM with larger business goals and requirements. This ensures that no time is wasted on non-essential tasks, helping practitioner teams to release higher-quality services at a faster rate.
IT has gone from being just another optional tool for organizations to take advantage of to become the very lifeblood of modern business. Everything from customer service to basic retail now relies on IT in some way, and this has been reflected in the updates introduced with ITIL 4.
The latest version of the framework offers a variety of attractive benefits for not only career IT professionals but also competitive organizations. So, why should executives who are focused on brass-tacks bottom-line considerations invest in the framework? What are the advantages of ITIL for businesses?
Here are the most important points to keep in mind when selling ITIL 4 to your organization:
Enjoy Greater ROIs for ITSM
Unfortunately, the primary goal of ITIL is not to simply decrease an organization’s ITSM spending. Rather, it is about maximizing the value of ITSM practices by making them more constructive, streamlined, and supportive when it comes to pursuing crucial business goals.
While this should allow you to trim the fat where you find it, the main financial benefit of using ITIL 4 will be a greater return on your investment. With services of a higher standard, an atmosphere of continuous improvement, and faster response times for dealing with any issues that appear, you should see a boost in not only your customer satisfaction scores but also your profits.
Future-Proof Your ITSM Practices
Investing in a top-tier ITIL course with a solid LMS platform may seem steep in the short term, but it is important to keep the long term benefits in mind. Reduced development times, higher-quality products, and streamlined fault resolution can all lead to higher profits, as well as lower expenditure once non-essential and wasteful practices are removed from your service development cycle.
With ITIL 4, however, your investment will also have the benefit of future-proofing your ITSM practices. ITIL 4 holds the unique advantage of being community-driven, with a worldwide collection of practitioners set to continually troubleshoot and suggest improvements for the framework. This will keep ITIL 4 in touch with the ever-evolving world of ITSM, equipping users to take advantage of future changes to technology and IT service management practices.
In short, investing in corporate ITIL 4 training now will allow you to continually benefit from the niche knowledge and experience of the practitioner community. This, in turn, will ensure that you will not need to keep continually reinvesting in future training down the line unless you want your employees to continue further on the ITIL 4 certification path.
Easy Integration With Current ITSM Practices
After more than ten years, ITIL v3 earned its fair share of criticism. One of the most common issues was that it was becoming increasingly out of touch with the greater ITSM community, particularly when it came to compatibility with other frameworks.
The problem is not simply that ITIL isn’t the only game in town but that alternative frameworks cover different aspects of ITSM. DevOps, for example, has much more of a focus on human elements in the IT service management process. In theory, combining DevOps with ITIL would create a more holistic approach to management overall, but it is only with the latest ITIL update that this synthesis has been actively encouraged.
Indeed, when ITIL 4 was announced, AXELOS quickly stated that it would be compatible with other ITSM processes and frameworks, including DevOps, Lean and Agile. If your organization is already using an ITSM standard, you should have no trouble integrating it with the latest version of ITIL.
Speedy Service Delivery and Problem-Solving
Speed is key in any business or industry, whether in delivering services, repairing errors, or taking advantage of new opportunities. This is essential for maintaining a market share, as well as customer satisfaction rates.
Having efficient ITSM practices in place is crucial for this. One of the biggest ITIL benefits is that it emphasizes streamlined development and incident management without sacrificing service quality. By predicting and reacting to potential issues before they can become major problems, your team can ensure that services are released with fewer risks. This, in turn, will help you avoid costly periods of downtime, along with the resulting customer complaints.
Remember, it is important to take the initiative when it comes to problem management. Embarrassing errors can quickly turn into PR disasters in the current digital age, and there are always competitors ready to offer alternatives to inferior services.
Alignment Between IT and Business
A lack of communication between teams can often result in siloed thinking, even within IT departments. Everyone from the development teams to the service desk can end up focusing solely on their own targets and KPIs rather than larger business needs. As a result, departments will often experience delays, a startling lack of objectivity, and incessant finger-pointing whenever something goes wrong.
Poor alignment between business and IT can lead to serious setbacks in planning, developing, releasing, and improving products. At the same time, poor awareness of an IT department’s capabilities can result in unrealistic expectations and targets, as well as a lack of support from higher-ups.
ITIL 4 ensures that the requirements of IT and business remain aligned, helping actors on both sides to work in tandem. It encourages organizations to treat IT departments as IT service providers, complete with specified roles, priorities, and targets. This clarity and accountability can make it much easier for IT teams to progress towards key goals, such as earlier release dates, faster complaint resolution services, or simply adding new features.
Continual Service Improvement
Consider the most popular digital services in the world, such as Facebook and Google. Did they get where they are by remaining static, or are they always looking for ways to streamline and modernize their offerings?
After a service is released, there will always be ways to improve it. This could involve regular strategic reviews, collecting customer feedback, experimenting with new features, and so on. ITIL offers a number of ITSM tools and tips to help with this, ensuring that services can be competently reviewed and amended (without you having to wait for something to go wrong!)
Remember, this commitment to continual service improvement will have a wonderful effect on customer retention. At the same time, it will also leave you flexible enough to embrace positive change whenever an opportunity appears. This will allow you to stay on top of competitors and continually take the initiative to offer the best quality services in your market.
Studying is Convenient
It can often be a hassle to organize corporate training. Having to take full-time staff away from their desks for study, potentially for several days at a time, can cause serious reductions in productivity, especially where higher-level managers and executives are concerned.
However, the growth of the online training industry has made it easier than ever to study ITIL. Companies can avoid having to hire instructors, book classrooms, or pay for commuting. Instead, employees can access training online, typically via any electronic device with an internet connection.
Indeed, mobile accessibility has become a huge feature in recent years, largely because so many people now have access to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Students can access learning materials anywhere or at any time, even if they only have a few minutes to spare between meetings. This can make studying far less disruptive, allowing employers to enjoy the benefits of corporate training with fewer drawbacks. Providers like Good e-Learning even offer months of access, making it easy for busy students to stagger their training.
More importantly, students of ITIL 4 do not need to take every module at once. Once they have earned an ITIL 4 Foundation certification, students can choose modules in the ITIL Managing Professional (MP) or ITIL Strategic Leader (SL) paths, depending on what is most relevant for them.
In short, not only can employees easily fit ITIL training into full-time schedules, but they can also pick and choose ITIL topics without having to waste time on irrelevant modules.