ITIL : Best Practices for Managing Your IT Infrastructure

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Cheryl E. Simpson IT Service Management Consultant Revised January 2009

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ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries. IT Infrastructure Library® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries. ©2009 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.

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T A B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S
1.0 Introduction 1.1 The Challenges of IT and the Business
“Pressures to decrease cost, increase reliability and comply with local regulations conspire to make it harder than ever for IT to deliver business services efficiently. We are fast approaching the stage of IT’s evolution at which innovation must translate into overall process improvements, as it did in the mainframe world 20 years ago. This quest for process improvement is the root cause of a universal interest in best practices and in frameworks such as IT Infrastructure Library ® (ITIL).” Forrester, September 1, 2005 To ensure smooth operation, businesses depend on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This dependency ranges from availability of systems, and ability to handle computing and information capacity requirements, to the simpler break/fix of end users’ computers. It is essential that IT understands the business that it serves in order to deliver cost-effective and cost-justified IT service provisioning.

1.0 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 The Challenges of IT and the Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.0 What is ITIL® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.1 Overview/Who Owns ITIL® . . . . . . . . 2 2.2 Choosing the Right Framework for Your Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2.3 IT Service Management . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2.4 The Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2.5 Ongoing Development . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

3.0 Benefits of ITIL® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.1 Managing the IT Infrastructure . . . . . 3 3.2 Integrating IT and the Business . . . . . 3 3.3 Return on Investment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

4.0 Implementing Best Practices . . . . . . 4
4.1 Where Do You Start? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4.2 Essential Ingredients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4.3 The Implementation Journey . . . . . . . 5 4.4 Keeping the Momentum Going . . . . 5

5.0 Certification and Training . . . . . . . . 5
5.1 ITIL v3 Qualification Scheme . . . . . . 5 5.2 Credit for ITIL v1 and v2 Certifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Benefits realized by many IT organizations through the implementation of ITIL and processes based on best practice guidelines are:
• Greater alignment of IT services, processes and goals with business requirements, expectations and goals • Improved business profitability and productivity • Support staff that are more aware of business processes and business impact • A reduction in overall management and support costs leading to reduced Total Cost of Ownership • Improved service availability and performance, leading to increased business revenue • Improved service levels and quality of service
Source: An Introductory Overview of ITIL® v3, itSMF 2007

6.0 More Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7.0 Bibliography/Reference/ Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 8.0 Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 About Learning Tree International. . . . . . . 8 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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2.0 What is ITIL 2.1 Overview/Who Owns ITIL
ITIL refers to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library®. It is a collection of best practices written by industry consultants, practitioners and experts for the managing of the IT Infrastructure. It is the de facto standard for IT service provision and will assist in an organization’s efforts to achieve formal ISO standardization through ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service Management certification. ITIL was developed by the CCTA, now called the Office of Government Commerce (part of the British Government), in the late 1980s. ITIL can be implemented as a whole or in small pieces, depending on an organization’s needs. Even implementation of only one or two processes may provide a positive impact on service provisioning.

ISO: The International Organization for Standardization, ISO, has published more than 17,500 standards, including: ISO 9004 Quality Management, ISO/IEC 27002 Information Technology Security Techniques and ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service Management.

2.3 IT Service Management
IT Service Management: “Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services. These may include all of the processes, methods, functions, roles and activities that a Service Provider uses to enable them to deliver services to their customers.”
Source: An Introductory Overview of ITIL® v3, itSMF, 2007

2.4 The Library
The five core titles in the Version 3 library (published May 30, 2007) are: Service Strategy: Strategy and value planning, linking IT service strategy to business needs, planning and implementing service strategy. Service Design: Objectives, design and cost models, benefit/risk analysis, implementing guidance. Service Transition: Organizational and cultural change, knowledge management, methods, practices and tools. Service Operation: Application, Change, and Operation Management, control processes and function, scalable practices. Continual Service Improvement: Drivers for improvement, justification, business, financial and organization improvement. Each book in the Version 3 library follows the same structure, which should make navigation easy. In addition, each book includes measurement and control to ensure you are achieving what you set out to do. The Official Introduction to ITIL Service Management, © 2007 The Stationery Office, provides an overview to the five core titles. It explains basic concepts for IT Service Management and how ITIL fits into it. It has many new concepts now found in previous versions of ITIL, such as the Lifecycle Model. In addition, it includes a section on governance, lifecycle stages, decision making, operation and optimization.

2.2 Choosing the Right Framework for Your Organization
When organizations realize the need for standards and best practices, they often ask which ones are right for them. Fortunately, many standards complement one another. CMMI: The Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration is used within an organization’s software development area. It measures the maturity of the software development process. This powerful Process Maturity Scale has been adopted and adapted within other frameworks, including ITIL (see ITIL’s Planning to Implement Service Management book). COBIT®: Control Objectives for Information and related Technologies can be seen as an IT auditor’s toolkit. It consists of control objectives for many areas within an IT organization. It includes Audit guidelines, Descriptions of each control objective, Maturity Models (based on CMMI’s Model) for each area, Critical Success Factors, Key Performance and Key Goal indicators. Version 4 of COBIT better aligns the control objectives with ITIL, especially among the Service Support and Service Delivery processes and Information Security. A joint publication entitled Aligning COBIT 4.1, ITIL® V3 and ISO/IEC 27002 for Business Benefit can be downloaded from http://www.isaca.org
COBIT ® is a registered trademark of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute.

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IT Service Management has matured since Version 2 was published in 2000, and Version 3 addresses this in the following ways:
Version 2 talked about: Version 3 emphasizes:

The challenge IT often faces is that a need exists and someone steps up, or is assigned, to fill the need. As the organization grows, over years and even decades, it can become less and less effective because the additions of duties and staff have been done without the bigger picture in mind. Without formal processes, a simple request for service could take days or weeks to complete, leaving the end user, someone from the business, waiting impatiently. In either case, their ability to function at optimal efficiency is compromised. Enter ITIL, documented best practices, with high-level processes and descriptive advice for managing the infrastructure. It describes the best practices for the common areas within the infrastructure and advocates a key message. The message: align IT with the business requirements.

• Business and IT Alignment • Value Chain Management • Linear Service Catalogues • Collection of Integrated Processes

• Business and IT Integration • Value Network Integration • Dynamic Service Portfolios • Holistic Service Management Lifecycle

Source: TSO, www.best-management-practice.com

2.5 Ongoing Development
The original set of approximately 30 books from the late 1980s is now known as Version 1. Version 2 began in 2000, and the last book in the set, The Business Perspective, Volume 2 (published Summer 2006), is the last book in that revision. The development of the five core books in Version 3 took approximately three years to complete, beginning in July 2004. The Version 3 library has been followed by Key Element Guides.

3.2 Integrating IT and the Business
The integration of IT with the business enables the business to better meet its goals. Downtime can be reduced, and recurring errors in the infrastructure and panic buying can be eliminated. What IT may perceive as a logical prioritization of issues the business is experiencing, may not be. The partnership between IT and the business ensures that business priorities can be better addressed.

3.3 Return on Investment
As organizations implement ITIL best practices, they immediately begin to look for a return on investment. Some organizations claim to have saved millions of dollars, crediting ITIL. “To get more value from service providers, CIOs need to push their partners to develop a more systematic advisory approach around calculating ITIL ROI and preparing ITIL business justifications that point to the longer-term benefits of implementation.” Forrester, September 1, 2005

3.0 Benefits of ITIL 3.1 Managing the IT Infrastructure
Areas within IT have evolved because of a need. Take the Service Desk, for example. A computer is placed on someone’s desk. When users require assistance, they go to the person who is having the most success with their PC, or the one who installed it, and the next thing you know, that person doesn’t have time to do their assigned tasks because they’re fielding questions from others. Soon, they justify hiring another body to assist them, then another. Behold the evolution of a Service Desk.

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4.0 Implementing Best Practices 4.1 Where Do You Start?
As with any type of change, there must be a compelling reason, a great need for the change. ITIL best practices can be implemented as a whole or in part. Many organizations do not set out to implement processes in all disciplines within ITIL. Often the area causing the most grief is tackled first. That area may include controlling changes to IT systems or improving the Service Desk. What is the ideal state? No matter where you start, having a clear vision and alignment with business objectives is essential. Define what the ideal state will look like for your organization. Remember that the ideal state for one organization is not the same for every organization. The end state will be unique to your business. What is the current state? If an organization is not currently calling what it does ITIL, that doesn’t mean it does not already have some aspects of ITIL’s best practice guidance in place. These are best practices after all. The organization must be doing something right. An assessment of the current state with a mapping of best practices often reveals some aspect of best practice in addition to other gaps. Getting to the ideal state: Treat an ITIL implementation like a project. Define the road map, deliverables and the milestones. Check the progress frequently and ensure the accomplishments correspond to the vision. Depending on the resources dedicated to the process improvement task, it could take six months or more to simply document all the policies, processes and procedures for a single ITIL process.

Measuring Accomplishments: Understanding the effectiveness of the implementation should not be overlooked. How will you know when you have reached the ideal state? Have all the proposed accomplishments been achieved? In many cases, the ideal state will be achieved through a series of small milestones. This approach allows organizations to absorb the changes slowly—however, it also involves a longer journey of continuous change.

4.2 Essential Ingredients
ITIL implementations must address four ingredients to be successful: People, Process, Products/Technology and Partners/Suppliers. All four are important to success. Defining the processes, and purchasing, updating or customizing the technology often to support the processes in conjunction with internal or external partners, may in fact be an easier task than moving people in the direction of change. In many cases, the people aspect is one of the most difficult aspects of an ITIL implementation. Defining roles and responsibilities is an essential ingredient.

Critical success factors and key performance indicators will play a key part in your ITIL implementation. Measurement and control make up parts of the Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement books.

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4.3 The Implementation Journey
The Service Strategy book includes a section on planning and implementing a service strategy along with linking the strategy to business needs. Management commitment from as high up in the organization as possible, as well as project awareness and training, will be the key to success. It is not unusual for middle management to see ITIL as a benefit and a way to improve current situations within IT. In an effort to improve the situation, they begin promoting the benefits of ITIL and begin using it. They eventually realize that only the areas in which they have direct influence are participating. To be successful, all areas of IT, as well as the areas of the business that are touched by the processes, must be on board and following the ITIL processes defined.

5.0 Certification and Training
Certification and accreditation for training is governed by the APM Group. They are the official ITIL accreditor and exam provider (http://www.apmgroup.co.uk). APM Group also accredits training organizations (ATOs) and Exam Institutes (EIs). The APMG Web site contains a complete list of all ATOs and EIs and the material covered in each certification.

5.1 ITIL v3 Qualification Scheme
There are multiple levels in the ITIL v3 Qualification Scheme. The Foundation level provides a general awareness of ITIL v3’s Service Lifecycle and all the key elements within. Successful candidates will have demonstrated knowledge in ITIL terminology, basic concepts, structure and core principles. It is not intended to enable holders of the certification to apply ITIL without further guidance. This certificate will earn the holder two credits towards the 22 required for ITIL Expert in IT Service Management certification. The Intermediate level consists of two streams: The Service Lifecycle stream (five certifications) is intended to delve into the specific areas in the context of the entire Lifecycle. Each certificate will earn the holder three additional credits. The modules include: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The Capability stream (four certifications) provides an in-depth understanding of v3 process activities, roles and execution, in relationship to the Service Lifecycle. The Modules include: 1) Planning, Protection and Optimization, 2) Service Offerings and Agreements, 3) Release, Control and Validation, 4) Operational Support and Analysis. Each certificate will earn the holder four credits. Candidates who wish to obtain the ITIL Expert in IT Service Management certification will require the Managing Across the Lifecycle course. It includes additional knowledge and skills to implement and manage the Service Lifecycle and will earn the holder five credits. ITIL Service Management Expert Certification can be obtained by earning 22 credits in Foundation, Intermediate and Managing Across the Lifecycle. The Master Level Certification—which will likely be renamed— is the highest Certification and is still under development.

4.4 Keeping the Momentum Going
As with any change, the need to keep momentum going is great. Because of the significant amount of change that may be required in your organization, it will be necessary to closely monitor the progress of the processes being implemented. It is not enough to define the processes, install the tools and train the personnel. Before long, shortcuts will be taken, and processes or process steps will be skirted and lost. They may even end up on the corporate list titled “We tried that and it didn’t work.” An ongoing continuous improvement resource may help ensure that documentation is updated, distributed and being followed. The resource may also advise on process improvements, analysis metrics and key performance indicators. ITIL and IT Service Management is a big investment, and once up and running, provides great benefits to the IT organization and, even more so, to the business.

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5.2 Credit for ITIL v1 and v2 Certifications
The new qualification structure recognizes ITIL v1 and v2 certifications. Most will earn credits towards the 22 credits required for the ITIL Service Management Expert Certification via bridging routes. There is a Foundation bridging course to upgrade an individual’s knowledge from ITIL v1 or v2 to ITIL v3. For anyone who has obtained the Managers Certificate in IT Service Management, v1 or v2, there is an additional ITIL v3 Managers Bridge course that will lead directly to the ITIL Expert Certification. For v2 Practitioners, qualification for the ITIL v3 Managers Bridge course can be achieved via 12 credits earned from holding three v2 clustered Practitioner qualifications and the v2 Foundation. The most recent information regarding the ITIL v3 Qualification Scheme and ITIL Certification, as well as ITIL v1/v2 credit, can be obtained from http://www.best-management-practice.com

Many national chapters are contributing to the betterment of ITIL through the sharing of information in meetings and conferences, and the publishing of related publications, newsletters, etc. National itSMF chapters host conferences annually in the UK, USA and Canada. Traditionally, all take place in the fall each year. Along with an exhibition that includes tool vendors and implementation consultants, the conferences host a variety of vendor and practitioner presentations. Ultimately, there’s no better way to learn about ITIL implementations than from actual case studies. National chapters often produce a publication/newsletter on a regular basis and host regular meetings with local branches and local interest groups where networking with peers can take place. In addition to itSMF conferences, several vendors around the world also host IT Service Management Conferences, offer Webcasts and have created white papers. itSMF International is located on the Web at: http://www.itsmfi.org

6.0 More Information
The Best-Management-Practice Web site ensures a reliable and up-to-date source of information on ITIL and its current and future development. It is provided by the Office of Government Commerce in partnership with AMP Group (OGC’s official accreditor) and TSO (OGC’s official publisher). In addition, this site has many great resources such as the introductory overview of ITIL v3, available to download in PDF format as well as a Glossary of ITIL terms in several languages. See: http://www.best-management-practice.com The IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to IT Service Management. Initially formed in 1991 in the United Kingdom, the itSMF now has national chapters in more than 40 countries. Most national chapters resell the ITIL publications and may even provide their membership with a discount on the purchase of ITIL related publications. The aim of the itSMF is to develop and promote IT Service Management best practices. With this mandate, the itSMF is a major contributor to, as well as a major influence on, ITIL.

7.0 Bibliography/Reference/Further Reading
Service Strategy The Stationery Office, ©2007 Service Design The Stationery Office, ©2007 Service Transition The Stationery Office, ©2007 Service Operation The Stationery Office, ©2007 Continual Service Improvement The Stationery Office, ©2007 ISO/IEC 20000: A Pocket Guide Van Haren Publishing, ©2006 An Introductory Overview of ITIL® The Stationery Office, ©2007

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8.0 Resources
Best Management Practice: the definitive source of ITIL information. http://www.best-management-practice.com ITIL®: Best Practices for Managing Your IT Infrastructure Office of Government Commerce OGC: The owner of ITIL. http://www.ogc.gov.uk The Stationery Office: Where the ITIL books can be purchased. Many titles in the first ITIL set can still be purchased in PDF format. Called the Back Catalog, they are sold as one of the three following groups: the Manager’s Set, the Complementary Guidance Set, or the Environmental Management, Strategy and Computer Operations Set. http://www.tsoshop.co.uk OGC’s official ITIL accreditor and exam provider. http://www.apmgroup.co.uk The IT Service Management Forum International (itSMF). ITIL Publications and other useful ITIL-related books and resources can be purchased from your local itSMF. You will also find resources, conference information and meeting information. http://www.itsmfi.org COBIT® resources can be found at the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). http://www.isaca.org CMMI: Training and frequently asked questions about Capability Maturity Models. http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi/cmmi.html ITIL People is an independent Web site containing discussion groups, job postings and Tool (Product) providers relating to ITIL. http://www.itilpeople.com ISO: The International Organization for Standardization has published over 15,000 standards, including ISO 9000 Quality Management, ISO 17799 Information Security Management and ISO 20000 IT Service Management. http://www.iso.org

ITIL® and Information Technology Infrastructure Library® are registered trademarks of the Office of Government Commerce.

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About Learning Tree International
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About the Author Cheryl Simpson
IT Service Management Consultant CSimpson@sympatico.ca Cheryl Simpson is an ITIL/IT Service Management subject matter expert who was directly involved with the process design and implementation of all areas of ITIL Service Support and Service Delivery Processes. She is a frequent conference presenter and contributor to ITIL and related publications, including ITIL The Business Perspective, Volume II and HDI Implementing Service and Support Management Processes. She has been providing expertise on IT Service Management deficiencies identification, process maturity, continual service improvement and governance since 2000. Ms. Simpson holds certifications in versions 1, 2 and 3, including the ITIL Manager’s Certificate in IT Service Management and multiple ITIL IT Service Management Practitioner Certificates.

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