Three questions before you dive into ITIL

Emphasize the 'service' in IT service management.

For years, ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, has been regarded as a set of practices capable of instilling IT service management thinking among IT teams. But ultimately, as Chris Rixon puts it in a recent post, it needs to make sense to the business as well.

Rixon says IT leaders need to ask three questions before putting their departments on an ITIL regimen:

Does the ITIL recommendation support your business goals? As with many initiatives, an ITIL-inspired effort may be benefiting the IT department more than the business. "Greater service stability for the business is the key," Rixon relates. "For example, you could easily construct a self-service request process that’s hugely efficient for the business. Perhaps it enhances the stability of the underlying technology but leaves the internal customer in the dark until the process completes."

Is the formally specified process really needed in full? You don't need to drop an entire ITIL process into an operation. The energy required to implement a process in full may detract from business goals, Rixon cautions. Look to the parts of ITIL-inspired processes that work for the business.

Do you have the resources to support the process? It may be more difficult to justify resources and expenditures on marginal ITIL processes, says Rixon. "Do you really need to indulge the finer points of configuration management when you have no critical issues, no dedicated staff and no budget to support the process with an appropriate software tool?"

(Thumbnail photo: Hubspot.)

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