Robert Stroud, named to I.T. Service Management Forum USA’s board in June, is a 25-year information technology executive. He is director of brand strategy for CA’s business service optimization unit and has contributed to titles on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). In an e-mail interview with executive editor Anna Maria Virzi, he provided tips for companies looking to adopt ITIL.
Q: What are your top tips for an organization implementing the Information Technology Infrastructure Library?
Q: What benefits can a company realize from ITIL?
Q: What are the limitations of ITIL?
A: ITIL describes what needs to be done to improve service to the businessnot how to do it. Many ITIL and service management consultants and service providers who help companies build their ITIL plans often focus entirely on process improvement and organizational issues. Achieving tangible efficiency gains and ROI [return on investment], however, requires the automation of appropriate components of the ITIL processesusually repetitive procedures and workflowsthrough technology.
To increase the chances for success, look for consultants who are skilled across the essential elements of ITILpeople, process and technologyand who have a pragmatic, outcome-based approach to an ITIL project.
Many companies choose to concentrate on a single ITIL process, such as incident management. But ITIL processes are by nature inter-related and inter-dependent. So if you want to drive down the number of incidents, you need to quickly find the root-cause of persistent problems. To reduce the number of problems, you’ll need to consider change management.
Organizations that get too far down the path with one process before considering related processes may spend significant time and money in constantly revisiting and refining the initial process as they implement others. The best way to improve service is to simultaneously work on enhancing two or three process areas.