Do the traditional pillars of ITIL continue to provide the best practice standards and strategic applications for the modern enterprise, or has the speed and distribution capabilities of virtual technology outpaced the usefulness of the old guard? Let’s take a look at each step in the industry standard stages of ITIL and see if IT organizations can still benefit from the traditional definitions and implementations.
1. Service Strategy
This part of the ITIL process defines the market and customer needs. Companies also assess their ability to meet the needs of their customers based upon the available company resources. Contracts document the expected revenue as well as all chargebacks.
Is service strategy still applicable?
Regardless of technology, companies must assess the needs of their customers and their ability to fill those needs. However, technology provides better methods for aggregating that data and quantifying market niche.
2. Service Design
In this step, the company will go over designing the service that moves forward into the service transition stage. Here, a company will learn how to properly measure its own success and begin creating alternatives for design bottlenecks. One of the most important achievements of this stage is setting KPIs for security, service continuity, capacity, and availability.
Is service design still applicable?
Service design has changed a great deal along with the manner in which people consume products. In short, the company must streamline its packaging, as well as its products, in order to remain competitive in the modern market.
3. Service Transition
The service transition phase helps to set the expectations of the customer on how the service of the company can be used. The transition period also helps to ensure that a company service can be properly operated and managed. Resources are meted out in release plans so that capacity requirements can be met.
Is service transition still applicable?
Many experts believe that the transition phase is now the least important of the five stages of ITIL because of the immediacy of production changes and automation of risk, errors, and omission. However, a human element should still be present to ensure the productive operation of the machines and chosen systems model being used to manage the release. Garbage in, garbage out.
4. Service Operations
Operations begin the process of fulfillment in terms of the continuity, security, configuration, and availability standards set in the early part of the ITIL stages. Most experts agree that the key deliverable here is monthly major incident (MI).
Is service operations still applicable?
Most companies have the ability to outsource the quick diagnosis of IT failures, service, and cost reduction imperatives and the maintenance of the daily production status quo. Service operations is an area that every business can streamline, saving time and money.
5. Continuous Service Improvement
In this phase, the business checks the design and the plan of TQM and CQI operations methods and updates the service design package. The real levels of operations are reported and presented to the appropriate parties.
Is continuous service improvement still applicable?
Analysis will always be an important part of service and production, and this step is even more important because of the shortened life cycle of product iteration. Modern technology greatly speeds up the process of continuous service improvement, and companies should take full advantage of the aggregation and statistical analysis tools provided for free on many platforms.
What does this all mean?
ITIL is a framework, not a religion. There are unique ways that each IT organization implements it. The most important thing to understand is: why do you believe this framework is critical to your business? ITIL doesn’t have to be as restrictive as many old school thinkers might believe. As proven above, each step has a basis that you can still apply in your modern enterprise environment, but there are other aspects that can be forgotten (otherwise they will just get in your way). Truth be told — take it all with a grain of salt, ensure that it fits your goals, and remember it’s not the end-all-be-all of IT service management.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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