Introduction

The purpose of this
report is to describe what ITIL is to the reader, what the benefits and
drawbacks of adopting ITIL are, and how the company can apply ITIL to enhance
the level of their IT services currently being offered. The intended audience
of this report is the writer’s IT manager, and other business managers of the
company that may be interested in enhancing the IT services.

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What is ITIL?

ITIL is a widely
accepted approach to IT service management (ITSM), it provides a framework such
that IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core
processes. ITIL is divided into five broad categories: service strategy,
service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service
improvement. These five categories are what make up the ITIL service lifecycle
(shown visually below).

Service strategy provides
a strategy for the service lifecycle. It should be in check with the customer’s
business objectives, and to manage services. It is useful for ensuring that the
service is fit for purpose and fit for use. These two criteria are what add
value in the delivery of services to customers. Processes covered include
service portfolio management, demand management, financial management, and
strategy operations.

Service design
provides the design of services and all supporting elements that will be
introduced into the working environment. When designing a service it is
important to consider four things: people, processes, products, and partners.
Processes covered include service catalog management, service level management,
operational level agreements, availability management, capacity management,
service continuity management, IT security management, and supplier management.

Service transition
process is to build and deploy IT services, but at the same time ensuring that
changes to services and service management processes are taken care of. Design
should already be built, tested, and moved into production at this point.
Managing changes are the concern with this process. Processes include change
management, change evaluation, project management, application development,
release and deployment management, service validation and testing, service
asset and configuration management, and knowledge management.

Service operation
is concerned with delivering services on an ongoing basis, that IT services are
being delivered both effectively and efficiently. Service operation deals with
fulfilling user requests. It is also concerned with fixing service failures,
and performing routine operational tasks. Processes include event management,
incident management, request fulfilment, access management, problem management,
IT operations control, facilities management, application management, and
technical management.

Continual service
improvement is concerned with learning from past successes and failure, by
utilizing methods from quality management. The goal is to continually improve
the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes and services. Processes
include service review, process evaluation, continual service improvement
initiatives and monitoring of those initiatives.

 

What are the Benefits of Applying ITIL?

The main benefit of
applying ITIL is that it can improve service delivery. The improvement in service
delivery is due to optimisations, from simplification and standardisation,
which can be seen across the supply chain from adopting ITIL. By adopting
standards defined by ITIL, service providers can more easily deliver services
consistently to the agreed service levels more efficiently and effectively.

Another benefit is
an improvement in customer satisfaction and relationships. This is due to the
delivery of more efficient services that meet the customer’s needs. More
efficient service delivery was listed as a main benefit before, but ITIL also
helps everyone focus more so on the needs of the customers and user experience.

Lastly, adapting
ITIL can lead to stronger connection made between IT and the business. By
adapting ITL, the IT team can become more integrated with other departments
within the business. The IT team thus becomes more involved and not seen as an
outsider role. The standardization of IT processes and lifecycles can help the
business better predict the cost of service deployments.

 

What are the Drawbacks of Applying ITIL?

The main drawback
of applying ITIL is that it does not provide an immediate solution to improving
the IT servicing issues of the company; ITIL is only a framework that can be
followed. The success a company can have with applying ITIL depends on if the
people applying it are willing and knowledgeable. Good understanding of ITSM &
ITIL is required for the application of ITIL in the workplace to be effective.

Another drawback is
that it could potentially stifle creativity, since ITIL lays down a framework
for doing business processes there is little room to innovate. Companies might
get themselves locked in the direction of the ITIL model, so this can restrict
creativity. Lastly it could introduce some additional work to the company,
diverting attention from actual objectives. Implementing ITIL to achieve
certification can become a job on its own, so some resources that could have
been used to actually improve services and reliability are lost.

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