The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is a set of best practices taken from the public and private sectors internationally to help deliver the best quality information technology services and management. It provides businesses with a detailed set of management procedures that facilitate them in achieving financial success and valuable IT operations. It comes in the form of various books with each book covering a seperate IT management topic.
The subject matter of ITIL is based on Service Delivery, Service Support, Security Management, The Business Perspective, Applications Management, ICT Infrastructure Management, Planning to implement Service Management. ITIL has three levels of certifications: Foundation Certificate, Practitioners Certificate and Managers Certificate. The name Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is a United Kingodom’s registered trade mark. Crown Copywright protects the content of the books. The UK Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA) started working on the ITIL project during the late 1980s.
However, IBM claims that it was the content from IBM Yellow Books in the early 1980s that was used in the original ITIL books. Although ITIL was developed in the 80s however it was neither widely accepted nor adopted till the mid 90’s. The adoption of ITIL eventually led to many standards such as ISO/IEC 20000. In early 1990s, many large organizations and government agencies in Europe adopted ITIL and nowadays Asian countries are adopting this framework. There are many advantages of implementing ITIL in any local or international business.
Organizations with small or large size IT department benefit greatly from the process driven approach of the ITIL. Firstly, it helps to give a 20 plus years of experience of developing IT technical support techniques. It gives simple, tried and tested processes that can work efficiently and effectively for both small and large organizations. It is ready to use and its templates checklists and downloads can all be personalized. It saves time and resources and gives quick results. It provides help with separating an organization’s administrative tasks and technical tasks and assigns resources accordingly.
With the help of ITIL the organization’s non-technical staff can stay uninvolved with technical support issues. Lastly, it helps to measure and quantify the technical support performance. Global Businesses and Government agencies can implement ITIL and reap all these benefits. Organizations that have used this discipline have reported that their service downtime had reduced more than 70%. Their return on investment after the use of ITIL was more than a 1000%. Some organizations also said that they saved almost 200 million $ annually.
They also saw their new product cycles reduced to 50%. The most important thing to remember when implementing ITIL is that upper management should strongly support it. This could be a senior manager who is part of the Board of directors who sees the changes with the help of ITIL and reports it to the others. In the same manner when a certain conflict arises, this person will still support and fund ITIL. The tools needed to implement this discipline are only a paper and pencil. Organizations with needs that change continuously should expect ITIL to be implemented forever.
It makes sense to deploy ITIL in stages. A global business might take a long time to completely deploy ITIL all over the countries and cultures. However, a smaller company can completely implement it in six months. Government agencies are best suited to adopt ITIL. The reason for this is that governments have strict order and discipline and a great respect for following rules. Therefore these cultural elements within government agencies will help them achieve and grow ITIL.
References: • Newcombe, Tod. (2005). “Establishing Frameworks”. Centre for digital government. http://www.centerdigitalgov.com/international/story.php?docid=93013