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ITIL - What is ITIL

ITIL stands for The Information Technology Infrastructure Library. The framework outlines important IT practices via comprehensive checklists, tasks and procedures that everyday IT companies can shape to suit their requirements. To put it simply -ITIL is a set of concepts and practices for managing Information Technology (IT) services (ITSM), IT development and IT operations. The complete ITIL is published as a series of books, each of which covers a particular IT management area e.g. Service Strategy, Service Design etc. Books are available from main stream book stores such as Amazon and also online ITIL books can be found at the official ITIL website. ITIL was first conceived back to the early 1980's with the release of ITIL v1. Originally aimed at large corporations, it has since been improved and refined for a larger audience of everyday organisations. ITIL v3 contains the most up to date and comprehensive IT practices and guidelines for IT management. Split into five sections, ITIL V3 includes the following volumes which were published in May 2007: 1. ITIL Service Strategy The preliminary starting point of the ITIL Service Lifecycle, Service Strategy provides guidance on clarification and prioritization of service provider investments in services. To put it simply, Service Strategy focuses long term on helping IT organizations to progress and improve. The market driven approach is at the core of the Service Strategy module. The main areas covered include service value definition, business-case development, service assets, market analysis, and service provider types. 2. ITIL Service Design ITIL Service Design provides best practice guidance on the design of IT services, processes, and other aspects of the service management effort. Going one step further than the rudimentary meaning of design, ITIL Service Design encompass all elements relevant to IT service delivery. With Service Design it's all about how a planned service solution interacts with the business and technical environments as a whole. The module also goes into detail on the service management systems required to support the service, processes which interact with the service, technology, and architecture required to support the service. 3. ITIL Service Transition ITIL Service Transition relates to the functional delivery of services required by a business into live or operational use. This module typically focuses on the "project" side of IT. This area also covers topics such as managing changes to the "BAU" environment. 4. ITIL Service Operation The Service Operations module covers best practices for achieving the delivery of agreed levels of services to both end users and organisational customers. Customers are typically the individuals who pay for the service and negotiate the Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Service operation, as described in

the ITIL Service Operation volume is the part of the lifecycle where the services and value is actually directly delivered. The functions include technical management, application management, operations management and Service Desk as well as, responsibilities for staff engaging in Service Operation. 5. ITIL Continual Service Improvement Continual Service Improvement is seen as aligning and realigning IT services to changing business needs. ITIL describes companies that do not adapt as stale or in the declining phase. ITIL Continual Service Improvement aims to align and realign IT services by identifying and applying enhancements to the IT services that support the overall business process or processes. See also: ISO/IEC 20000: IT Service Management SO/IEC 27001: Information Security Management Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Management of Risk (M_o_R) eSourcing Capability Model for Service Providers (eSCM-SP) Telecom Operations Map (eTOM) Six Sigma ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 Part 1 - Specification ISO/IEC 20000-2:2005 Part 2 - Code of Practice ISO/IEC 20000-3:2007 Part 3 - Scoping and applicability ISO/IEC 20000-4:2007 Part 3 - Service Management Process Reference Model

Business strategy and plans Security policies or guidelines Risk Analysis Change Management information

With an increasing amount of data stored electronically, businesses amass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most information these days is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks to other computers. Organisations such as military, governments, financial institutions and hospitals hold a wealth of information which must be protected. Should confidential information about customers or finances fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, law suits or even bankruptcy of the business The focus on information security varies from organisation to organisation; some companies have extremely strong information security plans. Other customers are challenged with coming up with a program. ITIL covers only a part of the information security scene. In any case, you would follow the ISO 20701 standards. Governmental departments such as The Ministry of Defence will certainly have their own standards, which are extremely very well documented and very rigorous. We cover some elements of security during the Service Design phase. Information Security may consist of vulnerability scanning, particular standards for services, hardening of desktops and servers among others. Information Security Management aims to deliver: Information Security Management Policy Security Management Information System (SMIS) Security controls Security reports and audits

See also: Information Security Management System (ISMS) Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

Related service design management security iso data storage policies breach of security security plans standards documents

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Business strategy and plans Security policies or guidelines Risk Analysis Change Management information

With an increasing amount of data stored electronically, businesses amass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most information these days is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks to other computers. Organisations such as military, governments, financial institutions and hospitals hold a wealth of information which must be protected. Should confidential information about customers or finances fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, law suits or even bankruptcy of the business The focus on information security varies from organisation to organisation; some companies have extremely strong information security plans. Other customers are challenged with coming up with a program. ITIL covers only a part of the information security scene. In any case, you would follow the ISO 20701 standards. Governmental departments such as The Ministry of Defence will certainly have their own standards, which are extremely very well documented and very rigorous. We cover some elements of security during the Service Design phase. Information Security may consist of vulnerability scanning, particular standards for services, hardening of desktops and servers among others. Information Security Management aims to deliver: Information Security Management Policy Security Management Information System (SMIS) Security controls Security reports and audits

See also: Information Security Management System (ISMS) Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA

ITIL - What is a Service


ITIL defines a service as "a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks" Customers choose to purchase a particular service based on the outcomes they want to achieve. The value of the service is a direct result of the services ability to meet the customers desired outcomes. Using Service Management, service providers can understand the services they provide to ensure that they do facilitate the outcomes of the customers, and also manage the risks and costs associated with those services. Just by having the best technology or applications available doesn't automatically ensure reliability or value to the customer. We need to use value-driven-service management to bring quality of service to the business. No matter how you choose to define your service, delivering value must be at the hearth of it.

ITIL - Resources and Capabilities


When we talk about resources and capabilities and think about the organisation and the processes, we really think about the actual people and knowledge. We also look at what people do to deliver these services and what they need to deliver the service. Ask ourselves the question, what are their skill sets? How can we monitor and manage these? Do we need additional training?

A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability, or anything used to support future development and sustainability. Resources are useful entities and so we attach value to them. In ITIL, we work with resources a lot. We need to know which resources an organisation contains and the value to the business as a whole. When we design services, we think in terms of resources and ascertain risks when certain resources are not available. Resources can be introduced to an organisation such as by taking on new staff and attending training. When we think about resources in ITIL, we also consider the availability. How readily available are these resources? The value of the resource is also important. This can easily be determined from the need for the resources or more commonly known as the demand. As you might expect, a resource which is more in demand holds a higher value potential. Creating an efficient service usually requires obtaining valuable

resources. Resources are not immutable; they change, improve or degrade. A resource such as key personnel can be changed hence increasing the value of the resource. A resource such as a server, may degrade as time passes e.g. the operating system may come out of support.

Some resources do not come 'packaged' ready for use. Using resource development, we can influence resources in order to change them into more usable commodities. Capability, what we think of as the ability to perform actions or the expertise. We use gap analysis to identify the capabilities that do not exist yet to perform a particular function or process. Capabilities are usually accompanied by an intention, but not always. Related resources capability basics services benefits value service design best practice

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Service Strategy - Demand Management


The demand management process is something that we all spend a lot of time discussing. It's not an easy thing to balance; we need to think about what are our objectives. We need to try and avoid excess capacity generating costs, which do not bring about value. This is something that we really need to get right. In business, demand management is used to describe the proactive management of work initiatives (demand) with business constraints (supply). Demands come in two types in ITIL: Short-term - e.g. critical failures to IT resources Long-term - e.g. expensive server upgrade

Although we talk about resources and effective usage of resources constantly, this is an area where we spend far too much time with very little on return in value. During the demand management process, we look at some of these things. There are a lot of best practices scattered around but some of things we need to address are actually really basic. Things like poor service packages - an underlying package that has a service level package on top of it. It's this kind of stack and rack process but within our core packages we manage this demand. Excess grey areas need to be addressed and it's about managing the capability all the way up the chain to our specific customer and their needs. We break it out into individual component types so we can see a service correlation. Then we say, hey, we need access capacity for something that the business is going to do. Having a process a little rigor around this versus scaling in the wrong directions is a direct correlation to operational health. Related service strategy demand management capacity cost proactive service package customer

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Service Strategy - Strategy Generation


Strategy generation is one of the key processes of Service Strategy. It's an advanced process and in reality we don't see these things in practice. In principle, we need to start small and get back to basics. Craft the mission and charter statements, put together the communication strategy and planning. Planning should be solid and be accompanied by documentation with clear sponsorship behind it (sponsorship being a supporter of the approach, also maybe the financial driving force). The documentation should define services for particular customers, decide which services will create value and also ask the question of how will that happen?

Using strategy, we design a plan of action to achieve a particular goal. However, as Sir Winston Churchill stated 'However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results'. The communication channel is essential, so keep it open! We can correlate what we hear from a business aspect and

understand what that means. Correlate the offerings and bring those into operational pieces. Make them generate or at least have success within the organization or add value. The round robin is a good technique for asking questions. For example, how are we going to get those inputs so we can go ahead and figure out exactly what assets we have or we don't have? By knowing what we have or don't, we know exactly where they fit. Prepare for execution, what are the differentiators and what are the priories in our investment. Remember, there will always be a better strategy than the one you have, it's just you haven't thought of it yet! Related service strategy charter communication strategy plan sponsorship service round robin

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Service Strategy - Financial Management


Insight and decisive decision-making, are the key capabilities brought to the venture through the application of Financial management. The financial side of the project provides the business and IT with quantification of the value of IT services and assets. As with most aspects of ITIL, IT and finance need to work together to identify, document and agree on the value of services being received. With finance on board, IT organisations can achieve faster speed of change, better decision making (from a financial perspective), operational control and value creation. Understanding those underlying assets, the value of those, managing the budget and filling the gaps finance is on top of everybody's minds. When we think about business impact criteria as a way to reduce operating costs and initial rate of return. Increasing revenue, you know there's no doubt that this is a key component of being able to meet those objectives. The basic concepts of service valuation, the demand model, planning, service investment analysis, accounting and compliance. The ability to manage a budget and understand that we have to do some basic cost accounting and manage spending. We can look back up to the things that we defined when we met with our customers about the values and the spend - so that we know that in fact we are spending too much. The financial management process owner is responsible for this aspect of Service Strategy.

Service Strategy - Proactive Not Reactive


The proactive story takes place throughout the whole of ITIL. As we assess and perform optimisation around operational health, Service Strategy really comes into play. The core of Service strategy revolves around alignment - in ITIL it's the alignment of IT visions and goals. Understanding the customer and their

needs, but also understanding the opportunities. During Service Strategy, we talk about service efficiency and reliability to a greater level.

When we talk about being proactive, we imply increased awareness of choice and stimulating team innovation and creativity. Rather than waiting or something to trigger, then event, we actively go out and seek the goal. We use foreknowledge and creativity to anticipate the opportunities. Regardless of how bad a situation appears, we influence the system constructively instead of reacting to it. By being proactive we seek to create an unmatched opportunity and a competitive business advantage, frequently but not always with fewer resources. In all cases, being proactive is a self initiated behaviour, acting in advance of a situation, rather than just reacting to it. Researchers have identified that a proactive approach is an increasingly important factor in an organisations success, particularly in dynamic of uncertain economic environments. Within aggressiveness strategies, a reactor has no proactive strategy. They only react to events as they occur and as such are classed as the least effective of the four strategies (prospector, defender, analyzer, and reactor). Miles, Snow et al (1978) identified three reasons why organizations become Reactors: Top Management may not have clearly articulated the organization's strategy. Management does not fully shape the organization's structure and processes to fit a chosen strategy. Tendency for Management to maintain the organization's current strategy-structure relationship despite overwhelming changes in environmental conditions.

Service Strategy - Continual Service Improvement


Once again, the old story rings true..it all starts with the vision. When we think about any engagement the Continual Service Improvement mindset and its model are at the core. What are the business goals and the high level objectives. Understanding this is crucial. When we think of Continual Improvement, we actually mean the process of stabilising and brining out consistency in the growth and improvement of services and processes. The continual approach, repeatedly analyses and improves the service on an on going basis. Some of the continual improvement tools include:

Corrective Action Analysis Preventive Action Analysis Customer Satisfaction Analyses

The Quality Management system, part of ISO, is a good example of a system used to ensure the overall objectives of an organisation are achieved. These days Continual Improvement is recognised as the most effective way for companies to improve efficiency and improve quality. Customer feedback and evaluation are crucial to determining 'how am I doing'? It's a two way process, if we have Service Strategy we have Service Management. It's an opportunity to see how I'm doing, to fill those gaps and make things better. Feedback and evaluations are good indicators to track the performance and expectations from the customer's perspective. Review process steps and support from management are welcome and important factors. Unfortunately, many organisations take the wrong approach to Continual Service Improvement, they see it as a bolt-on or quick fix process. It's more about that, it's the hands on, high level, proactive approach to improvement. For successful service improvement it's important to have well documented and clearly defined processes. Stakeholders should be involved in improvement discussions and examples of the weaknesses of the service should be available. Points of failure are identified and corrected, complexity is reduced where possible and safeguards are put in place to protect quality. Related service strategy model example improvement iso efficiency quality

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