Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a great platform for professionals in Information Technology (IT) to research policies and processes which can be implemented in an organization. Current business processes supporting IT should be flexible and changeable in order to stay competitive. ITIL has a framework that covers all the aspects of IT within an organization.
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ITIL was initially created under the backing of the UK government through CCTA department, which worked together with office of government commerce (OGC). The library is effective in defining structure of an organization through provision of skills of improving organizational information technology. It embraces standardized operational management practices and procedures, which help organizations operate IY infrastructure (Steinberg, 2001) and achieve high quality service.
The fact that ITIL is an approved model of IT services, it helps in business performance. The improved performance is due to increased efficiency level in the operations and data handling procedures. Organizations will be able to implement the latest application systems in the business to improve company brand effectively.
The focus should be put on improving the infrastructure library so that the current IT challenges are diverted or minimized. The improvement will enable good service quality and reduce operation cost at all levels of business work. The improvement comes through design of new books that incorporate new management systems inculcated in the business sector (Orand, 2011).
More research on the management systems need to be done with the major aim of unlocking key development strategies in the business systems. The ITIL books are reevaluated periodically in order business management and operations to become successful at all times.
ITIL is an approach to the information technology management service. It helps in practical understanding, identifying, and effective framework for planning and delivery supporting IT services in a given business (Van Haren Publishing, 2007). ITIL was formed in response to increasing dependence of businesses on information technology.
The agency had set many recommendations to safeguard standard practices for both, government and private sectors in order to facilitate good IT management standards. The quantity of books increased from the initial publication in the year 1989 to about thirty volumes.
More comprehensive books were published by the year 2001, which could match various aspects in IT management. The growth in various versions of ITIL books has been constant until the creation of edition of the year 2011. This progress ensured that proper and updated IT infrastructural management systems are implemented for better business service delivery.
The major advocacy for ITIL is that the IT should be in line with the business needs. It also strengthens the major business processes by giving proper guidance on the use of technological tools to most organizations, which results in transformation and general business growth. In its five core publications there is a provision for systematic and professional approach to IT services. The business goals and efficient delivery method are prescribed in the system. These form the basic role of facilitating the process at all the times.
The main reason for ITIL is for identification of needs of customers through managerial approach and good monitoring for improvement of work environment. Adoption of this program ensures improvement of many areas and aspects of successful business. These include IT services, reduction of cost and usage of skills with given experience. There is also improvement in delivery when using ITIL.
In addition, customer satisfaction is also emphasized in the information technology provision, hence this is much advantageous to the business progress. By implementing this process, the companies are able to understand managerial issues through better planning in ICT infrastructure design and management.
Implementation of ITIL also ensures security management systems and this assures investors and business managers to take appropriate actions. Implementation of this program also ensures that the business achieves its identified priorities in terms of fulfilling its strategic objectives.
Benefits associated with ITIL
There are many benefits associated with ITIL that prove its usefulness. To start with, the business will be able to organize its finances and utilize them in areas where they are needed. In line with this, there will be good financial savings due to better resource management or services. The saving is due to reduced cost of operation in the business because of efficiency promoted by ITIL. There will be increased productivity in the business when this program is adopted.
The other important benefit is that change management is realized through ITIL. This change enables business enterprise to be updated on various operational changes and ensures that there is suitable approach to driving the implementation process (Steinberg, 2001). The benefit of improved customer satisfaction is also realized when information technology is implemented. In addition to that, there will be also improved brand image and general perception on the given products as required by the management.
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From the various data collected, it is reflected that many organizations have benefited greatly from ITIL process (Steinberg, 2001).The specific cases show that retail organization with nationwide outlook made excess savings of about six hundred thousand pounds per annum when they adopted the practices of the service strategy for financial management.
The ITIL provided better approaches for information which was knowledge based on nature. This helped in the reduction of cost of support with about 75% approval. The reduction in support cost came about as a result of increase in user satisfaction and productivity level. This had counted as the most beneficial in the whole service delivery package on the information infrastructure.
Major areas of ITIL Framework
The first framework is a Microsoft operations framework, which is a guide series whose aim is to help the IT professionals in establishing and implementing reliable and cost effective service. It was created to provide guidance on the entire IT cycle system in order to integrate the community generated governance, compliance and risk activities.
For effective application of the framework, the lifecycle of IT is divided into three phases namely the planning phase, deliver phase and operate phase. Planning phase in the IT involves strong focusing on the inception, reliability of the IT service requested, compliance with the policies in place, cost effective service and being able to adapt to continuous changing business needs.
The deliver phase ensures that the requested services are deployed effectively through building and stabilizing the necessary services. The last one , operate phase ensures efficiency in the operation by monitoring the services deployed to ensure effective IT application in the business operations in order to ensure that satisfaction of any service agreements in the business.
The legal doctrine framework ensues legal backing of the processes involved in the ITIL. Through this, there are set out rules and regulations that govern the performance of the system. The procedures to be followed are also set out with respect to the common law. The process is outlined in the legal provision and any judgment by all the judges applies the provided regulations when making ruling. This then became the doctrine of any cases since the naming was adopted as legal doctrine framework.
Software framework facilitates software development within a short period of time so that the needs of the business can be met effectively. With respect to this framework, there is use of web application framework as a away of developing banking website to facilitate the banking process with the latest technology.
In addition to this, as part of software framework, the programming team will be able to design purpose built in house framework with the purpose of fulfilling software needs in an organization. This will actually improve data processing and increase efficiency in business management and delivery process.
Other significant features include, control inversion which dictates the general flow of the overall programs. Control is majorly dictated by the framework because the set out procedures must be followed to the latter (Hary, 2005). There is also default behavior of the framework.
This is a useful conduct and it is in line with implementation of the required process. In addition, there is extensibility whereby the user can extend the framework selectively based on the specialized user codes in order to achieve specific application. The last distinguishing characteristic is non modifiable code. The framework code cannot be modified because users can only extend it, but not any modification. Thus, specifications can be met effectively without any alterations.
IT Service Support (Help Desk)
This is the identification of IT items of configurations and its recording process in order to handle changes, incidents, problems that exist in the business operation process. It deals with management aspects in solving given business crisis at all the given times.
The service support helps to identify how the establishment and running of a service desk is situated at central point for all users to get in touch (Larry, 2008). This ensures smooth sharing of information at all times and problems are strategically approached. Named below are some specific management areas that exist at the service desk.
Incident Management: in situations where something is at a mess, there is great need for the normal operations to resume immediately. The strange incidents must be solved fast to avoid any delay in the business timelines.
Problem Management: the first approach is to find out the root courses of all cases that have been reported at the service desk. The immediate action is to arrange IT infrastructure in order to prevent any future recurrence.
Change Management: this ensures that appropriate discussion process and other procedures are done promptly and sufficiently in order to handle the changes that exist in the process of management (Larry, 2008). Handling controlled change procedure will enable the business to comply with the latest approaches in the system management and improvement of the IT conditions.
Release Management: this is the major planning in having new releases which should consider requirements of both IT and non IT compliant processes. This wide view and provision enable the business development at all times because it is non discriminative.
Configuration Management: this deals with how best the identification, maintenance and controlling records for the configurations of items and other services. This configuration management ensures uniformity in the area of operation.
IT Service Delivery
This mainly covers ITIL aspects on the actual service delivery. These delivery aspects entail various management areas mentioned in their respective explanations, which are outlined below.
Service Level Management involves establishment, monitoring and report of IT achievements with the aim of identifying ways of eliminating poor service in the business. The service should be of high quality to achieve success.
Capacity Management involves best practices that are geared towards prediction of future needs of the IT systems.
Availability Management deals with ways of maintaining the available services to allow the effective function of the business.
IT Financial Management involves using of the appropriate accounting and budgeting with IT related tools that promote such services. This enhances better performance with good accuracy of information given by the business management.
IT Business Continuity Management is whereby there is emphasis on continuity after any other disaster or business interruptions due to unexpected circumstances. The IT enables the business continuity through provision of ways in which service delivery is promoted. Continuity is provided through ensuring agreement in various levels of operations in the business.
The business environment requires that IT should be more attentive in tackling the needs of customers because this will fulfill their request in most cases. In order for this to be achieved, there should be appropriate implementation process which should be strategically outlined. These include stage by stage implementation of the IT services in the business.
Vision: the first thing to be done is to state vision for the business on how the management feels about this in long term plans and the advantages that comes with it. Good vision facilitates better start point in the IT implementation process. The vision includes benchmarking all the IT needs of the organization. This will determine how far it is geared towards success.
Baseline: there should be some baseline of operation. The major identified areas that should be implemented in the organization which brings the success. There should be test line whereby the designed IT needs are gauged and assessed. It also involves the practice guidelines that reflect the nature of the exercise in the business operation.
Goals: they are mainly useful in identification of standardized level that the business requires so that IT implementation is fixed successfully.
Once the position of the organization is known, the extent of implementing the IT services is set. These set goals should be met by the business in order to fulfill the needs of ITIL best practices. They are the long term objectives in the implementation process used to determine the best application process in the ITIL.
Costs: the price of implementation of the process should be determined. For instance, the business clients may require that optimization be the business interest, but this may call for large financial backing in order to succeed in the process. The cost determines to what extent implementation can be done.
Once this is noted down, then the process can just be implemented to actualize the set needs of ITIL. Then, there should be need to do the gap analysis. This helps in identifying the cost effective ways of performance and select the best target practices.
Milestones help in determining which successful process has been realized in the implementation process. There is a need to restore any normal operations to the clients very fast. This ensures that incident management is implemented fully so that other milestones in management are be achieved successfully.
This also involves evaluation and measurement of how far a particular IT management system is brought out. This will also help in the delivery improvement process in order to employ ITIL fully in the business (Steinberg, 2001). All the changes in the IT process are adopted in the business operation process.
In order to ensure effective service delivery, there should be need for continuous improvement while the process testing is periodically done to ensure that it is technically sound.
The common challenges include common tendency in revising processes so that familiarity knowledge in operation newly improved service is adopted by the client (The Stationery Office, 2010). The other challenge likely to be faced is the need for culture change. The best practices may be unfamiliar to the clients, including any additional changes that are anticipated during the improvement process.
Many organization are currently relying on IT to enable them achieve business vision, goals and best strategy. Information technology has been used successfully to revolutionize business operation and communication process (Steinberg, 2001). There has been a significant innovative market gain that has promoted many businesses through IT awareness.
This ensures that the business is kept closer to customers by communicating with the global marketplace. Through the wider market, productivity has been successfully increased hence improved business process, sales increase, application of economies of scale, and general business growth.
The ITIL is very useful for professionals in IT for conducting good research policies that can be implemented in the organization. Many business processes support change as away of staying relevant in the competitive business world. ITIL has a framework that covers all the aspects of IT in an organization in order to achieve this objective.
There is clear demonstration of the processes and procedures for the best practice for the IT management of the business. The mentioned benefits in implementing ITIL are the major ways of ensuring good incorporation of IT in any given Business.
From the given history, ITIL was to give efficient business environment when it was initiated in the early years through various business processes. The implementation is done in line with the provided guidelines for business efficient performance so that the mentioned benefits are achieved.
The ITIL frameworks enable good implementation process. These frameworks, among others, included software framework and Microsoft operation framework. These must undergo continuous improvement with other legal doctrine frameworks provided. The operation process must actually inculcate service delivery management as reflected in the provided information.
The implementation process of ITIL caters for vision, baseline, cost and goals to be achieved in the process. In addition, there are milestones that enable efficiency in the improvement process. It is also possible for a suitable improvement process to be adopted as outlined in the research work. Finally, challenges like need for culture change are necessary.
The future of ITIL is very bright, as IT has become one major mode of operation worldwide. For instance, the stationery office has begun to update in the entire IT infrastructure Library version three.
This is in order to acknowledge experience and all the expertise in ITIL. Most businesses worldwide will be able to give a clear structure in the operation process regarding the ITIL and that the challenges will be greatly minimized. The scope and all development plans for new version is in progress hence the best ITIL practice guidance is in the offing.
Hary, S. (2005). Management Metrics that Matter most to IT Senior Executives. Bloomington, Australia: Trafford Publishing.
- Larry, J. (2008). Implementing ITIL Change and Release Management. India: IBM Press
- Orand, B. (2011). Foundations of IT Service Management – The ITIL Foundations. Web.
Steinberg, A. (2001). Measuring ITIL: Measuring, Reporting and Modeling – the IT Service. New York, NY: Lary Publishers.
The Stationery Office (2010). Executive Briefing: The Benefits of ITIL. Web.
Van Haren Publishing (2007). ITIL® V3: A Pocket Guide (ITSM Library). Netherlands: Haren Publishing.