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IT Service Management with ITIL – An Overview

icontITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) can be defined, in general terms, as a set of norms and procedures focused on the area of ​​service management in Information Technology. This is a series of recommendations that are the result of the work of a body of the British government known today as OCG (Office of Government Commerce). ITIL is currently in version 3 (also referenced as ITIL edition 2011

Initially, ITIL was conceived as a set of practices to be adopted by the various bodies that make up the UK government. Subsequently, it was adopted by several private companies interested in better managing their IT services.

The type of approach followed by ITIL is mainly due to the realization that more and more the goals and business needs of an organization are tied to the services provided by the IT area. As such, ITIL practices seek to provide the necessary support for such services to be in tune with the needs of the business.

Among the benefits that can be obtained part of the use of the techniques that make up ITIL, we can highlight:

  • Improvements in customer satisfaction/areas dependent on one or more services;
  • Greater operational efficiency;
  • Reduced costs and efforts in the area of ​​IT compliance with a wide range of activities;
  • A useful support for the organization to adjust its processes to the pressure exerted by regulatory standards (such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act). In this respect, it is still possible to use ITIL together with COBIT;
  • The alignment of the IT sector with the business area. At this point, those involved in the Information Technology area will see their services in terms of business and what they represent for the company, no longer seeing their activities only under the narrow spectrum of technology.

It should be mentioned that the main concepts of ITIL are grouped in volumes. Each of them, in turn, contemplates a set of aspects:

  • Service Strategy: identification of requirements and other business needs;
  • Service Design: designing the solution to be adopted, based on the characteristics expected for the services and culminating in the elaboration of specifications describing them;
  • Service Transition: focused on change management, providing for the purpose of conducting actions aimed at the implementation of the services;
  • Service Operation: it is ensured here that the services are meeting the expected demands, basing itself on Service Level Agreements (SLAs);
  • Continuous Service Improvement: A constant search for the evolution of services, applying concepts derived from such techniques as the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle..

There are several components that, through their analysis, indicate the degree of maturity an organization is in when using ITIL practices:

  • The way the organization defines a process;
  • The team, the roles and the skills involved;
  • In what way it is possible to measure or communicate the outcome of the process;
  • To what degree a process is integrated with other processes and how well it is automated.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that ITIL, in fact, is nothing more than a tool to aid in an organizational change. This is not a methodology with a series of answers on how to put several processes into practice. Therefore, each organization must plan its own processes based on the principles of ITIL.


Credit: Renato José Groffe – em in Management of IT services with ITIL: an overview

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