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April 23, 2007

ITIL v3: From Process to Strategy

Boris By Boris Pevzner

Most CIOs embrace ITIL as a natural best-practice framework for service management. However, few would say that it helps them show business stakeholders why investing in service management results in solid return on investment.

One of the driving factors behind this challenge is that ITIL has historically been process-oriented and directed towards a strictly IT audience. To prove ROI for any initiative, you need to have the customer in mind, and in order to serve that customer you need to take a strategic approach to the services you offer, and align the processes behind it in order to best deliver what the customer needs.

What is needed is a top-down view of IT Service Management – and when ITIL v3 on May 30th, 2007, I anticipate it will meet that need.

Sharon Taylor, ITIL’s chief architect, told Computerworld that, “one of the gaps that evolved was that the focus on service management became very operationally based’” says Taylor. “The big change that we’re introducing is to take a broader viewpoint of what service management encompasses, [including] strategic considerations, the design implications, the cultural and organizational change implications. So the major shift is to introduce service management from a life-cycle perspective, as opposed to just a process-based view.”

The new IT Infrastructure Library is aligned to the five phases of the service life cycle:

1. Service Strategy
2. Service Design
3. Service Transition
4. Service Operations
5. Continual Service Improvement

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The Core Framework

The focus on Service Strategy means that the productization and alignment of IT Services to the needs of the business will be front and center in any ITIL Adoption initiative. What this means is that the definition of those services, along with demand planning in terms of services, and developing a service-based costing methodology, all through the Service Portfolio, has become the starting point to optimizing the way IT organizations do business.

In short, whereas existing ITIL standards are directed at a strictly IT audience, ITIL v3 makes sense to the business stakeholders, as well. For IT organizations just starting out in ITIL, now you know where to start. For organizations deep into their ITIL initiative, the time couldn’t be any better to take your ITIL initiative from process oriented to strategic in just 60 days!

Posted on April 23, 2007 | Permalink

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Comments

Whilst the industry welcomes this broader, more strategic viewpoint of service management and the increased involvement of the business in ITIL, it presents organizations with significant challenges in educating all involved of the benefits this ITIL refresh will bring. Educational courses will be available for individuals, but this form of education will be expensive and time-consuming. A wide-spread traditional V3 education program will be virtually impossible to implement quickly across all impacted - due to budgets, availability and other common organizational constraints. One way to accelerate cross-organizational understanding of ITIL V3 is to experience it. Simulations, or gaming solutions as they are also known, are a high-impact, energetic way to accelerate understanding and acceptance of the new features of V3 in any organization. The beauty of this approach is that it accelerates cross-organizational understanding of the complexities of V3 - so within a day, everyone is talking the same language.

Posted by: Linda King | May 10, 2007 10:14:56 AM

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