ITIL is a set of IT service related processes which define a common language and methodology of providing IT service to organizations. ITIL has been around since the 1980’s when the U.K. government made the great decision to standardise IT Service Processes. ITIL was originally called the Information Technology and abbreviated to ITIL. ITIL has undergone two refreshes since it’s introduction and we are now at ITIL version 3.
The two basic misconceptions of ITIL is that it is a set of ridgit processes and that an organization implements ITIL and then may forget about the processes;
- Ridgid Processes: ITIL is a framework therefore nearly every implementation of ITIL will include differing processes (however a commonality will exist due to the processes being ITIL aligned).
- Implement and Forget: ITIL implementations are expensive and are evolutionary. One needs regular assessment of the implemented ITIL processes and updating of those processes when required. ITIL books reference the Deming Cycle in describing how process improvement should be ongoing.
Benefits of ITIL
From my experience, the following are the most significant benefits organizations experience by using ITIL processes:
- Vendor and Customer Alignment: If you outsource, offshore or deliver IT services then, with so many IT related contracts now using ITIL terminology and processes, your supplier or customer is more than likely to be using similar processes and language.
- Reduced Cost: ITIL is costly to implement but the Return on Investment (ROI) is significant through the cost benefits realised by the reduction of IT downtime, improved reaction times to Errors and Service Requests and so on.
- Improved Service: Even basic implementations of ITIL deliver significantly improved service to customers.
All sorts of organizations implement ITIL whether IT related or not. Implementing ITIL is a costly and time consuming process but the benefits are considerable .