The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework of best practices for IT service management (ITSM) and provides guidance on how to organize and deliver IT services effectively and efficiently—it’s essential knowledge for anyone in a career in IT. ITIL provides comprehensive guidance for the why, what and how of service management. It focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business, ensuring that tech delivers value and supports business goals. It covers a wide range of activities, including service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement.

People implement ITIL to improve IT service quality, increase efficiency, reduce costs and create better communication between their technology teams and the rest of their organization. In a digital world, getting all of this right is the difference between success and failure for any business.

Contrary to what many people have thought over the years, ITIL is not a rigid set of rules but rather a framework that can be adapted to the specific needs of an organization. In many organizations I have advised on DevOps adoption, IT operations teams had adopted ITIL to the letter and found it cumbersome and proprietary. This was never its intention, but ITIL 4, the latest version of the framework released in 2019, builds on the core guidance of previous versions and provides a more flexible and adaptable approach to service management. It shows how to combine DevOps and ITIL to accelerate the delivery of digital products and services while never compromising quality.

ITIL 4 also offers recommendations on addressing business and technology volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. It emphasizes shifting from “creating value” to “co-creating value” with customers and stakeholders. By actively involving them in service design, development and improvement processes and understanding customer needs and expectations, you can ensure your services deliver relevant and demonstrable value.

ITIL 4’s service value system (SVS) is a holistic framework that depicts how all components and activities within an organization contribute to value creation. The SVS emphasizes interconnectedness and collaboration between various departments and functions, breaking down silos and fostering a value-driven culture. There are seven guiding principles, including “Focus on Value,” which encourages organizations to continuously identify and prioritize what truly matters to their customers and stakeholders. This principle guides decision-making and resource allocation towards activities that maximize value delivery.

By replacing the traditional service lifecycle with the service value chain, ITIL 4 provides this more flexible and adaptable model. This chain consists of six key activities: Plan, Improve, Engage, Design and Transition, Obtain/Build and Deliver and Support. Organizations can configure these activities in different sequences and combinations to best suit their specific needs and value streams, enabling agile and responsive service delivery.

When organizations align their structure and processes with the SVS, they may need to break down silos and foster cross-functional collaboration. They will also need to invest in people and their skills to effectively implement value co-creation practices.

By shifting your mindset from service delivery to value creation, designing and delivering services that meet the evolving needs of customers and stakeholders, you can foster a collaborative and value-driven culture within the organization. The implementation of these principles enhances organizations’ ability to create and deliver value effectively, and that results in improved business outcomes and increased competitiveness.

If you want to learn more about ITIL4, PeopleCert is holding a day of virtual learning on March 26. You will learn how to maximize value from using digital technology with the ITIL guidance and how ITIL:

  •         Aligns the use of technology with business strategy
  •         Supports innovation and adoption of emerging technology
  •         Helps to maintain control in a complex environment
  •         Integrates product and service management
  •         Ensures customer and user satisfaction and experience 

Find out more about and register for the ITIL in the Organization: Because It Works SKILup Day here.

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