3 ITIL implementation red flags to be aware of | ALC Training News

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The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a popular and proven approach to IT service management. Designed using established best practices sourced from both the private and public sectors, many organisations around the world have benefited from integrating ITIL into day-to-day workflow.

However, using ITIL effectively takes careful planning and management, to ensure that processes designed to improve efficiency do not end up hampering your employees.

With that in mind, here are three red flags to look out for when integrating ITIL within your organisation. Any one of these could be an indication that you need to step back and examine whether you are going about this process as effectively as possible. 

Red flag: You don't actually understand what ITIL is

First thing's first, if your business doesn't actually understand what ITIL is and what it can offer, it's unlikely that you will ever get full value from it.

ITIL is not the solution to all of your IT service management problems, nor is it a one-off implementation that can instantly deliver significant results. Instead, it needs to be treated as a long-term investment that with proper focus and dedication will pay off in the long run.

Remember that ITIL is designed to be integrated within your existing IT service processes, and tailored to your unique requirements. You do not 'implement' the ITIL framework, so much as use it to improve established methodologies.

Finally, don't fall into the trap of thinking ITIL alone will solve all your problems. ITIL is more effective when used as part of a wider strategy that encompasses other frameworks such as ISO 20000, COBIT 5 and Six Sigma.

Red flag: Senior management is not on board 

It is particularly important that top IT decision makers have a strong grasp on ITIL and the return on investment it can offer.

Without proper buy-in from key stakeholders, it will be difficult for your organisation to dedicate the proper resources to the ITIL integration, and therefore see adequate results.

The first step in achieving this executive buy-in is determining exactly why you need ITIL. If you are having trouble optimising service operation performance, tracking the performance of IT services or achieving continual service improvement, these could all be indications that you need to explore the framework.

Then, use this information to explain to decision makers why ITIL will be beneficial, using business terms that clearly convey the practical advantages. Show how ITIL can help your organisation improve efficiency and cut costs, and you'll be well on your way to achieving the executive investment you require.

Red flag: Momentum for your ITIL initiative is waning

As noted above, ITIL it a long-term process – it cannot be treated as a short-term investment with an end-date in mind.

Make sure momentum for your ITIL initiative remains high. Make it a part of your IT service management philosophy, playing a key role in everything your IT department does. Continue training employees on the practicalities of ITIL and ensure people are enthusiastic about the integration. 

Some organisations choose to bring in third party consultants to assist with their ITIL deployment. This can be beneficial in the short-term, but it's also important to ensure that you have internal people available that can keep things moving once these consultants are gone. 

Another key step here is to ensure you are identifying the ITIL success stories within your organisation and communicating these effectively. If people can't see ITIL succeeding and delivering benefits, what motivations will they have to continue employing it correctly?

While the road to successful ITIL integration is complex, businesses should not shy away from the advantages on offer. Commit fully to ITIL and you will gain a valuable competitive advantage. 

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