In this era of twenty first century, information technology has become a necessity in all sectors like and not limited to medical sector, education and in businesses where it can be used in employment. It is also used in making business decisions and management and as a medium for communication among many more other uses. Due to its effectiveness, its use has increased. However, several organization have faced challenges in implementing technology in their services. The challenges faced in some cases leads to massive loss of capital raising alarm if technology rally helps or leads to further cost to be incurred. For anyone or an organization wanting to use information technology effectively and for a specific reason, the information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has to be applied. ITIL is a worldly accepted information technology management tool that helps organizations, businesses and even individuals to incorporate information technology services with the requirements of their business or work that they want it to perform.
ITIL plays a vital role mostly in the current digital era where each business in any industry is striving to achieve competitive advantage over the other. It helps them in creating integration between its processes, tasks, procedures and also with its goals and at the same time they are able to easily determine which plans are the best to be implemented and how they are measured. In short the greatest role of ITIL is to enhance and advance how information technology adds value and support to any business service(s), its processes, resources, employees and even its customers as well, reduce costs and better risk management.
Even with these great advantages of ITIL in organizations and businesses, it comes also with its own challenges for its implementation to be effective. Some of these is that, there might be a lot of resistance for its adoption especially to the managers who are in senior positions, there is always a misunderstanding to many who thinks that it is rigid and not a flexible. Any ITIL projects comes with a time framework where deadlines should be met on time. Another challenge is that for ITIL to be effective, it has be implemented to all the organization’s or businesses’ departments. Furthermore, it can be implemented for wrong reasons which will not bring value to the business among many others.
Tools and techniques for implementing ITIL
For ITIL adoption and implementation to be effective, there various tools and techniques that should be followed for it to be effective which may include and not limited to:
Offer training programs: This is the starting point for ITIL implementation where all Information Technology staffs are trained thoroughly on how it works, its processes and which part they are supposed to play, for its effective operation. Through this they are able to teach and guide the other employees who are supposed to be incorporated in the ITIL system.
Have program such as seminars and simulations: Such platforms enhance team work among employees by creating an environment where they are required to come up with policies and execute them together at a particular time and place. The simulation helps employees to understand the process of decision making therefore improving their skills in the same. Moreover, workshops aid in creating an understanding among the employees on their responsibilities as well as benefits of ITIL process. Consequently they come to understand the reason behind specific work flow.
Future reference case creation: This is where its implementation takes place in a virtual environment to familiarize users with it before the real implementation. This enables them to create different scenarios that may arise as well as recognize changes that may need to be done.
Approach subject matter experts: These experts verify and add any necessary input to the process and at the same time offer guidance according to their experience. They can test it and can help in making sure that it covers all business scenarios that are likely to arise in its operation and help in its proper implementation.
ITIL has five frameworks phases that are:
Service strategy: service strategy provides a strategy for the service being offered by the business or the organization which should be in line with the customers of the service and making sure the service fit its purpose and use. All services being offered are entered, what triggers their demand is identified, costs and opportunities associated with them are identified and controlled and finally, strategy operation which ensures the requested service satisfies the customer, any failure is fixed and a similar task is carried out efficiently.
Service design: all supporting elements are taken into consideration including who will help the service being brought into the real life space. These include the people, processes, products and partners who offer additional assistance.
Service transition: in this stage, the design is built, tested and moved in to production to help clients attain their preferred value. It takes into consideration the issue of managing changes. Assets are controlled and items synchronized with the changes and makes sure support team and production area ready.
Service operation: this is where the operation takes place. The key activities that take place here are request fulfillment, managing incidences and problems that arises, managing access where only authorized users are permitted, control and monitor IT services, facilities and their infrastructure and ensuring technical experts are available to offer support in the whole system.
Continual Service Improvement (CSI): this is essential since it helps the business identify mistakes and failures that arise and learn from them and come up with ways to improve the process to be more efficient and effective. The review of the service is done on regular times to improve where need be.
Steps to a successful ITIL adoption
Understand what ITIL is about: The first most important thing is to understand in depth what ITIL is and identifying challenges and opportunities within and outside the business which is supposed to solve or improve. Afterwards, a team should be formed to fund, communicate, investigate in depth or implement the system identified. The team should have people with the required skill, positive attitude and mindset.
Be realistic about the existing processes maturity and change gradually: Before its adoption and implementation, the organization should be sincere on whether the current processes being used are supposed to be improved or have not yet reached maturity before changing them. Before undergoing process improvement program, one should first assess which processes are more fundamental in coming up with authentic business plans. Afterwards, focus should be placed on the most important process after which a maturity test should be conducted. The test will reveal what needs to be done to improve from the current state in order to achieve the desired goal after a period of time. As a result, the gap between the real state and ideal state of an organization is minimized. Moreover, it will help guide employees in which area to focus on, which skills to sharpen and help make accurate technology decision channeled towards meeting the desired goals of an organization.
Evaluate the technology: Evaluate the technology by determining which problems you want it to solve or areas you want it to improve both now and in the future. Similarly, evaluate which processes and professionals will need to come on board along with the technology. Afterwards, research to know the available delivery models and aim for the options that the organization can afford and which meet the organization demands.
Plan beyond the technology project: the technology should be built to last for long since its implementation may take long even for years.
Communicate its value frequently: ensure stake holders who take part or benefit from it sees and hears its value which creates confidence and satisfaction
In the current digital era the world is in, IT cannot be avoided and companies and organizations should familiarize themselves with practices that are authentic and up to standards. For a company to effectively make use of IT, it should put in place strategies to manage risks and therefore has its infrastructure secured which makes it easier for all staff to do their work. ITIL is that tool which provides an environment that minimizes risk in an institution by providing a platform where IT services are managed. Moreover it provides reduced cost in its IT services as well as sharpens skills of staff which eventually leads to productivity. In addition to IT services, it improves customer services by facilitating service delivery which improves customer satisfaction.