To use ITIL 4 or not use ITIL 4, that is the question

ITIL® 4 is the most widely used ITSM (information technology service management) framework in the world. But who’s using it and what are they getting from it? Read our blog to find out.

Who is ITIL 4 for?

ITIL 4 is designed for organisations that want help managing the way they plan, build, improve and deliver IT services.

The framework benefits the whole organisation, from service desk analysts to team leaders and senior management team, and is suitable whether you are a small business or a multinational.

More than five million people have ITIL qualifications, and its practices are used by the likes of British Airways, Disney, the UK government and Microsoft.

Why use ITIL 4 for IT service management?

ITIL 4 isn’t theory-based; it draws on the experience of IT staff from a multitude of organisations who deal with the same IT issues on a daily basis.

This allows everyone in ITSM to reap the benefits without going back to the drawing board.

If you or your organisation are experiencing issues with attaining or retaining focused value from the IT services you provide or use, the ITIL 4 framework offers a pathway to greater customer satisfaction and value co-creation.

What you need to know

ITIL 4 isn’t rocket science; it’s documented common sense. In that regard, you can’t expect miracles.

When the framework is adopted and adapted for each organisation’s needs, the business and its employees will be capable of working more efficiently.

The framework has been around for more than 20 years, and is now in its fourth version. Each iteration has evolved to keep up with the way information and technology have transformed, not only in the services it provides but also the way those services are delivered.

ITIL 4 can be used alongside other frameworks such as Agile, Lean and PRINCE® without causing conflict or confusion.

How does it work?

ITIL 4 helps individuals and organisations attain and optimise value from IT and digital services, providing nine guiding principles, a service value system, a service value chain and four dimensions of service management.

The emphasis is on co-creating value at the very first engagement with the customer, ensuring each part of your organisation understands what value means from your customer perspective.

The service value chain outlines the six key activities (plan, improve, engage, design and transition, obtain/build, and deliver and support) required to respond to the demand for services and facilitate value creation by creating and managing the products and services your organisation provides.

It’s essential to understand where you are at the moment. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel! Instead, simply use the continual improvement process to find your starting point and align your organisation’s practices and services with changing business needs.

A common mistake is to focus on technology in isolation, without considering the wider organisation, including staff, partners and suppliers, value streams and processes.

Taking a holistic approach ensures no vital steps, activities, services, processes, procedures, dependencies, etc. are overlooked.

What if we don’t use the ITIL 4 framework?

Whether you use ITIL 4 as your service management framework is entirely a matter of choice.

But ask yourself if it is wise to continue with the way you currently manage the services you provide and support. Will those practices and processes continue to help, or will they hinder the value your customers wish to gain by interacting with your organisation?

Find out more about ITIL 4

You can learn more about ITIL and how your organisation can implement it on our website.

IT Governance offers training courses, consultancy options and books to help you get the most out of the framework.