Service Management and ITIL – Do I really understand?

IT Service Management (ITSM) is the holistic view of all the activities controlled by policies and structured through processes and supporting procedures performed by an IT organisation in order to transform an IT service or a set of IT services in to a value proposition to the end user. To simply put it, IT Service Management is the combined set of guidelines to bring together the organisations resources and associated capabilities to design, build, test and operate a service or set of services that can fulfil the customers need by providing the exact value that they are willing to pay for.

Value is not a mere customer perception but is a combination of utility and warranty provided through the service. Utility is the “Fitness to Purpose” of the Service while warranty is the “Fitness to Use” the service. The warranty part of the service is deemed met only when the service is having the right availability, desired capacity, timely continuity and sufficient security.

Let us talk about a restaurant as an IT service provider. Why do someone step in to a restaurant? I am sure the answer is “to eat”. Let’s imagine, the various services provided by the restaurant are broadly categorised under foods and beverages. The value that the customer expects from the “Foods” service is again “utility” and “warranty”. Utility is met when the Food is safe and tasty to eat. Warranty is when it is served at the needed time (Availability), in the required quantity (capacity), when they have back up options available to fill in if the item is sold out (continuity) and the food is maintained in a sterile and healthy environment (Security). Now if any of the above factors are missing, you as a customer would not deem that the service is a right fit to your need and the desired value is not met. To meet the customer expectations, the service needs to be managed from inception to delivery. Let us call it service management.

Every service must be managed. A service must be managed to deliver the expected utility and warranty, every time a customer orders for the service. A service must be managed to stay afloat amongst the competitors aspiring to grab a pie of your customers. More options to the customers makes it more critical to manage your service to deliver a more efficient outcome that is more superior to your competitorsEven otherwise, a service must be managed from inception to delivery to ensure that the desired value is delivered and the associated constraints are managed and mitigated.

An IT service is any service associated with Information Technology that has got no bounds at the moment. Millions of IT services are galloping us in to a web of digital world without which we deem ourselves crippled. Every service needs to be managed. What better way to manage a sphere of services than to monitor and control their life cycle through IT Service Management? 

If ITSM is the common sense required to manage IT Services, ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library is the framework through which IT service Management is delivered. ITIL can be called a skeleton that provides the required shape to IT Service Management. Yes it is a skeleton with a head, body, legs and every other part coordinating with each other to make it function as a logical framework that supports the execution of IT Service Management. Let us discuss about the skeletal structure in detail in our future write ups.

Is an ITIL know-how necessary for every IT professionalThis is a question that has been doing the circles for quite some time now.  I would strongly say YES IT IS. Every IT professional is a part of the Service life cycle. An IT professional can either be part of a project under the purview of a project management or part of a support function controlled by Service Management, is invariably responsible for either a portion or a whole of a service life cycle activity and is contributing to the service deliverable by either Planning, Building, Testing, Delivering or managing the service. 

An ITIL framework provides the necessary information and knowledge for the IT professional to comprehend the significance of their deliverable as part of the IT Service life cycle hence making an ITIL know-how a must have capability. The Know-How of ITIL can be gained through a series of certifications starting from foundation stage to a Master stage. A foundation certification is a must-have to every IT professional. Beyond foundation, every other certification is aimed at obtaining specific skill sets required to deliver specific responsibilities as part of managing the service life cycle. 

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