December 2017

ITIL ready? Go!


ITIL V3. It sounds a bit like the motor under the bonnet of some cool car. With some imagination, it is in fact a motor although not as part of a car but rather as a ‘catalyst’ within IT organizations worldwide. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) contains both guidelines and standards, or best practices, for the implementation of management processes within an IT organization. ITIL allows for improved alignment between IT services on the one hand and specific industries and various types of organization on the other.

ISO 9000’s ‘little IT brother’

The result of process implementation using ITIL is quite similar to the ISO 9000 regulation in other industries. Here too, all parts of an organization are described for quality assurance. The degree of success of an IT service, whether in-house or outsourced, depends on how well it has been conceived (Strategy), designed, accurately implemented (Transition) and whether or not it functions properly and is adequately supported (Operation). Finally, each service is susceptible to improvement at all times (Continual Service Improvement).

ITIL distinguishes five processes or stages:

  • Service Strategy: the stage of designing, developing and implementing service management as a strategic tool (Financial Management – Demand Management);
  • Service Design: the design stage for the development of IT services, including architecture, processes, policy and documentation. Compliance with both current and future business needs serves as a starting point (Information Security Management – Service Level Management);
  • Service Transition: the stage of converting specifications that have been established during Service Design into new or modified IT services (Change Management – Service Asset and Configuration Management)
  • Service Operation: the stage of supporting and arranging IT services as effectively and efficiently as possible to create maximum added value for customers and the IT service provider (Incident Management – Problem Management);
  • Continual Service Improvement: the stage of maintaining (added) value for customers by putting in place improvements in the design and by introducing renewed services (Seven-step Improvement Process).

Several processes also apply to other stages in the life cycle. Financial Management for instance is primarily described in the Service Strategy stage but is equally used during Design, Transition and Operation.

All in all, there is a lot of ‘tinkering’ going on behind the scenes, all aimed at setting your organization in motion and keeping it going. Oh boy, do we love our jobs!