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5 tips for adopting ITIL


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With the ITIL 2011 Editions recently published, I’ve been thinking about what ITIL brings to service management.  As Divisional Director of  Customer Services at Redcentric, it’s definitely one of the big guns in my armoury.

ITIL is a set of guidelines that cover best practice in service management. Its importance lies in the fact that it provides a core set of standards that are internationally recognised – ITIL Best Practices underpin the foundations of ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS15000), the international standard for IT Service Management. It can be applied  to any type of organisation, from manufacturing to service industries, from private to public sector.

My advice to other service management teams thinking of embarking on ITIL adoption would be:

1. Do it!
As ITIL itself says, “ignoring public frameworks and guidelines can needlessly place an organisation at a disadvantage.”  If you’re looking to improve customer service by increasing efficiency and effectiveness, ITIL will give you the comprehensive framework you need.  And as it allows easy cooperation through shared practices, it is likely to be increasingly taken up and demanded by organisations.

2. Take advantage of ITIL’s flexibility
ITIL provides a flexible framework and , unlike ISO, there is not a prescriptive route down which you must go. Although the ITIL guidelines are wide-ranging and all-encompassing, you can choose to implement each of the ITIL disciplines in whichever sequence and at whatever speed best suits your business needs. You can start with just a small section of the framework and gradually phase in your controls.

3. Get stakeholder buy-in
For many organisations, the biggest challenge to adopting ITIL is getting stakeholder buy-in.  Here at Redcentric, this hasn’t in fact been a problem. The Board has always recognised the customer service benefits and improvements that ITIL supports. We haven’t encountered the roadblocks  that some service management departments encounter, where the investment in time and effort can (mistakenly) be seen by finance directors and chief executives as unnecessary.

Because the Board sees ITIL as a necessity rather than a nice-to-have, we’ve been allowed time to put ITIL practices in place, and not be forced into a situation where the pressure of our day-to-day jobs has prevented us from being able to implement the ITIL standards.

4. Use ITIL to drive business change
ITIL is of significant  value to organisations in both the public  and private sectors which are subject to cost-driven transformation as it provides guidance on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change. It provides a continuously evolving, practical, no-nonsense approach to the identification, planning, delivery and support of IT services to organisations subject to change. As such it can help you meet key project outcomes such as reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, improved utilisation of internal resources and improved delivery of third-party services.

5. Use ITIL for credibility
Adherence to ITIL guidelines, not only gives you automatic credibility, but it is often a requirement for submitting a tender. So if your organisation doesn’t work to ITIL standards, you may qualify yourself out of the tender process right at the outset.



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