You’re probably familiar with the service management joke, and it’s a fairly weak joke at best, but it does contain within it a horrible grain of truth. Anyway, here goes: Why is it called ITIL? Because at so many meetings when service management is discussed the conclusion is always, it’ll have to wait!
Hardly worthy of a quiet groan, but like I say there has been a tendency in the past to put off adopting best practice until you have more time, and continue with what is, perhaps, little better fire-fighting problems as they occur.
So what is ITIL? Well the IT Infrastructure Library provides a framework of best practice guidance for IT service managers. The actual ITIL publications cover areas such as service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement.
The IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) has just produced a 58 page book, which describes itself as “An Introductory Overview of ITIL® V3”. This is available as a PDF from http://www.itsmf.com/upload/bookstore/itSMF_ITILV3_Intro_Overview.pdf. They are clearly expecting people to print it because, apart from the cover page, it is all in black and white – or perhaps that’s a hidden metaphor.
The publication offers the following definition of service management: “[it] is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services”. And to clarify, it says that a service is: “a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks”.
The book also suggests benefits from the use of ITIL, which include: increased user and customer satisfaction with IT services; improved service availability, directly leading to increased business profits and revenue; financial savings from reduced rework, lost time, improved resource management and usage; improved time to market for new products and services; and improved decision making and optimized risk.
Definitely worth reading through for anyone involved in IT and any kind of service management.
On a completely different topic... The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2008 will shortly be conducting its annual survey. It’s been available since 2005, and as well as the annual user survey, it contains a directory of vendors and consultants, a media guide, a strategy section with papers on mainframe trends and directions, a glossary of terminology, and a technical specification section. The survey is at www.arcati.com/usersurvey08.html. The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2008 itself will be available in January 2008.