ITIL – a globally-used body of service management best practice guidance – has long been associated with enabling IT departments in their pursuit of improved IT service delivery and support capabilities. However, more recently, and especially given the move of the best practice guidance’s focus beyond IT service management (ITSM) to enterprise-wide service management, it’s now easier to apply the service management guidance to other business functions – such as human resources (HR), facilities, finance, and customer service – to help improve their operations and outcomes too.
In particular, helping with common corporate digital workflow enablement needs of organisations and their business functions as they continue to change their ways of working to bounce back from the global pandemic.
Recognising the increased role and importance of technology
Before talking to three of the top reasons for adopting ITIL best practices within your organisation, there’s a need to recognise that the need for better IT service delivery and support through the adoption of service management, associated best practices (such as ITIL 4), and enabling ITSM (or service management) tools.
Think about it. Your organisation was already heavily dependent on technology before the pandemic. Now, as a good proportion of the employees morph from the pandemic-related need for home working to “work-from-anywhere” (WFA) status, they’re more reliant on technology given that they’re not all sat together in an office building. It’s partly why 80% of organisations accelerated their digital transformation strategies during the pandemic – to enable new ways of working, that leverage digital workflows, while also optimising operations and outcomes.
This leads to a number of reasons why service management and the enabling capabilities are important to your organisation, including that:
- The quality of IT service delivery and support is increasingly important to the employees and business processes (and potentially customers) that are reliant on corporate technology.
- The economic impact of the pandemic has further focused organisations on the speed and cost of their operations.
- Business functions are looking to IT to assist them in the enablement of their employees, wherever they might be working, and the improvement of operations and outcomes.
Each of these is explained further below, with them ultimately the three key reasons why your organisation needs ITIL 4 right now.
1. Enabling work-from-anywhere employees
Your IT department needs to provide IT service delivery and support capabilities that better meet the needs of your organisation’s employees, particularly if they now work in WFA scenarios. These needs, and expectations, were already on the rise pre-pandemic thanks to consumerisation and the service and support experiences employees have in their personal lives. These experiences, quite simply, continue to raise the service-and-support bar for IT departments (plus other corporate service providers too).
Add to this the impact of WFA, with the greater reliance on technology and the increased loss of productivity when services fail and issues aren’t handled efficiently, and it’s an open door for the adoption of service management best practices – through ITIL 4 – in your organisation. ITIL 4 will help your IT department to offer the best possible version of itself to employees.
2. Optimising IT service delivery and support
There are very few organisations right now that aren’t seeking to improve business operations across all three of “better, faster, cheaper”. And while the short-term corporate focus might be on the latter two of these, in efficiency-improvement terms, the quality of IT service delivery and support is also critically important. Think of this as a focus on outcomes over operations and outputs. For example, is it right to shorten the time to resolve an IT issue, i.e. to be faster and cheaper, if business operations are adversely affected as a result?
Instead, there’s a need to be better, which can include speed-related improvements that in turn deliver costs savings. This requires a value-based view of IT service delivery and support – something which is advocated by ITIL 4. But this isn’t the only reason why your organisation needs ITIL 4 right now, this globally adopted body of service management best practice not only facilitates a value-based view of your operations and outcomes. It also provides details of the best practices that lead to optimisation – delivering not only better outcomes but also consistency and better experiences.
3. Enabling digital transformation across the organisation
While the previous two reasons look at the importance of technology and the need for ITIL 4 through an IT lens, it’s also important to appreciate the benefits of ITIL to the wider organisation (beyond better IT service delivery and support).
ITIL and its service management best practices, along with the enabling service management tools (which commonly use ITIL as a “design blueprint”), provide a proven platform for the delivery of enterprise-wide digital workflow optimisation. Whether this is as part of a corporate digital transformation strategy or what the IT industry calls an “enterprise service management” approach – the use of ITSM thinking, best practices, and capabilities to improve other business function operations, services, experiences, and outcomes.
A global 2021 survey by AXELOS and ITSM.tools found that 67% of organisations already have an enterprise service management strategy in flight, with the key drivers the need for process standardisation and optimisation, digital transformation enablement, and employee productivity improvement. Very much in line with the IT department’s use of ITIL and service management but for the organisation as a whole.
Adopting ITIL 4
If the above resonates with you and your organisation, and its needs to improve, then ITIL 4 is a proven route to better operations and outcomes – both within IT and across the wider enterprise. It’s worth noting, however, that ITIL 4 is best practice guidance and not a standard. Hence, organisations can’t get certified in ITIL 4. Instead, individuals do – such that they can then help to successfully bring the ITIL 4 best practice guidance into their organisation for “better, faster, cheaper” operations and outcomes.If you would like to find out more about how ITIL will help your organisation, then consider taking the ITIL 4 Foundation training and exam through ITSM Hub.