What Problem Does ITIL Actually Solve For Companies?

For more than 95% of companies, there is no competitive advantage to be gained by innovating their IT Service Management (ITSM) processes. Yes, you need solid processes to ensure users can be productive, using technology services, keeping the organization’s IT spending in check and ensuring incidents are resolved to guarantee business continuity. Beyond delivering these fundamentals, however, your ITSM goals should be focused on operational excellence and cost-efficiency, so the organization can invest its resources elsewhere.  

The best practices outlined in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) can be a tremendous resource for companies pursuing this operational excellence goal. Developed during the past 30+ years with the input of government organizations and private industry, ITIL suggests a set of generally accepted practices that can be applied in almost any organization. By adopting these practices, you may not have the most sophisticated or finely tuned set of service management capabilities (and for most companies that is okay). What you will have is a set of core methods that are tried-and-true, tested and will do the job. ITIL can help your organization: 

  • Ensure core processes are in place for basic service-management functions, such as service desks, problem management and change management that are needed to design, implement and support services across the service lifecycle. It isn’t necessary to determine what processes are required, others have done the work for you.
  • Hire knowledgeable resources with training and experience. ITIL professional certification has standardized the service-management skillset and created an expanded pool of qualified candidates for service-management roles at your company. By leveraging ITIL practices, you can access these resources without the need for costly up-front training.
  • Leverage out-of-the-box systems capabilities to support your service management processes. Almost every ITSM software package includes pre-configured data models, workflows and management reports to support ITIL processes. By avoiding process customization, your company can reduce both the initial system-implementation costs and the continuous maintenance and upgrade expenses.
  • Manage operational performance, using pre-defined metrics with confidence in their relevance and what the metrics are telling you. Each of the ITIL process areas includes guidance on metrics and operational-performance indicators to advise management on how well the process is working. Combined with out-of-the-box ITSM system capabilities to instrument these measures, performance can be tracked from day-1 of your ITSM operations.
  • Facilitate interactions with internal and external stakeholders via standardized processes and SLA frameworks. ITIL devotes a tremendous amount of attention to SLAs, OLAs and the structured interfaces needed to enable interactions with customers and suppliers. As the business-technology ecosystem of companies becomes more fluid and complex, efficiently facilitating stakeholder interactions is critical. The practices and standards outlined in ITIL provide a common language for establishing stakeholder relationships

Leveraging ITIL can help your company accelerate the implementation time for ITSM capabilities and avoid unnecessary process costs – enabling you to focus attention where it belongs: delivering high-quality, reliable services to your users and business stakeholders. There may not be a need to innovate your company’s service management practices, but they must still be effective and dependable.