Running a IT Department is not only taking care of your hardware en software
but also about how you handle your business and deliver your services to your
organization. What we see in the field at the moment is that more and more customers
beginning to get aware of the processes they run in their IT department. To
get these processes under control many customers are starting to implement ITIL.
In this article I will point several points concerning ITIL, so this is not a technical article, but an article from the other side.
What is ITIL:
At the end of the eighty's the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was developed. ITIL was the name of the handbooks of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in England. Now this name refers to the approach, philosophy and goal behind this set of handbooks. ITIL is a set of "best practices" for maintaining information systems. ITIL is the core of the most other frameworks, if something is good you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
At this moment ITIL thinking is spread rapidly around the world and everywhere you see organizations being deployed. The world-organization for taking care of this standard is the ITSMF International.
Why implement ITIL:
I think that most people are familiar with the stress at the IT-department. Much IT-departments are event driven and will react on an event (i.e. server down). This is what we call reactive behavior. You get the feeling that you are running behind all the time. This is a hard situation to handle and will cost a lot. The choice for implementing ITIL is mostly based on the fact that a organization will get a good insight on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and what's going on at the IT-department.
By implementing ITIL you're going to describe what the processes are in your
IT-department and you going to think about how you can make them more efficient.
In other words, you're going to describe what you always did and make someone
really responsible for the process.
By doing this you get better insight in the things you're doing and which event is triggering the other.
The meaning of an ITIL implementation:
Why implement ITIL?
There are several good reasons to implement ITIL:
- To get your TCO under control
- To go from a reactive organization to a pro-active organization
- To make your department ready to outsource some of it's activities
- Make your department ready for the market
- And so on
Difficulties on the road:
Because implementing ITIL means also that you have to chance the mind setting
of your employees, it is a very difficult process. It means getting the techies
to be more aware of service and business (something technicians hate). There
are a lot of emotions involved so the implementation leader must be not only
a project leader but also a people manager. It's a process what takes a lot
of time and mostly the period of time is underestimated. Much too often companies
with external help want to implement ITIL to fast, which causes a lot of problems.
The best way to implement ITIL is doing it in several stages making sure that
every stage is done properly and you gave the project the proper place in your
There is no such way as a standard procedure to implement ITIL, because it is a set of best practices, you can take from the set what you like for your organization and fit it in.