Taking ITIL beyond IT to leverage true value
BUSINESS| Aug. 27, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
By Colin Scott, Business Developer at Marval Africa
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the most widely adopted best practice approach for IT Service Management (ITSM) in the world. It provides a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services to the business. However, ITIL is simply a framework for service lifecycle management and improvement.
ITIL practices, tools and software can be harnessed for many other areas of business. Leveraging the true value of ITIL means taking it beyond IT, creating a culture of service improvement throughout the organisation.
The ITIL framework and software designed to support ITIL practices are simply tools that can be adopted, adapted and improved. They can help manage collections of items that have certain dependencies and relationships.
The IT department fits this bill, being a network of computers that are interlinked and interact with each other, but this definition can be adapted to include many other aspects and areas of any organisation.
Any industry, organisation or environment that relies on processes; or resolves incidents; that require the management of risk and the impact of change, can also benefit from ITIL. By the same token, any organisation that is already using ITIL in the IT department can leverage greater value from the tools by applying ITIL in different areas of the organisation.
Public transport services is one area where ITIL can be harnessed beyond IT, with trains, bus routes and even airports being regarded as large networks. The challenge with these networks is that they are geographically dispersed.
Using the ITIL framework and a good ITSM tool, it is possible to develop solutions that highlight stations, bus stops or airports as hotspots or important entities held in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Users can then expand or search each hotspot to find out more information. For example, problems that could disrupt transport as well as what equipment is currently located at which station, who is responsible for it, the equipment’s history and what might be wrong with it, just like it could if it was a computer in a network.
Effectively this equipment, its relationships and dependencies are no different to a computer network, and the fact that the components of the network are not necessarily a computer, but a ticket machine, a gate, an air conditioner or anything else, is irrelevant. The system is still capable of managing these ‘incidents’ relating to this equipment in the same way as it would if this was a computer network. Using the ITIL framework, public transport service companies are able to manage services, processes and their interactions that typically are not related to IT.
Health services is another area where the ITIL framework can be exploited. Hospitals need to manage many things, often from a central service desk, most of which are not traditionally related to IT. From fleets of ambulances to surgeries, life support machines to laundry services, and understanding the condition of equipment, scheduling maintenance and making sure everything is running cost-effectively and trouble free is vital to the smooth running of any hospital or clinic.
There are many other industries and examples of ITIL being leveraged outside of IT. In the hospitality industry, ITIL can be used to manage room bookings as well as conferencing facilities and more. Other areas include casinos to manage various gambling machines, fire brigades and emergency services to ensure that equipment is managed and maintained, and even at ports to manage ships, offloading and docking.
Any service provider will need to make sure their services are stable, provide value for money, are fit for purpose and support their customer strategy. This is the same for IT services and non-IT services. Consideration needs to be given to planning, designing and managing incidents, events, problems and requests; new or changed services, accountability, risk; making sure there is sufficient capacity, security and agreed availability of services for current and future needs. All of the above and more are underpinned by Continual Service Improvement.
Ultimately, ITIL is a service lifecycle and process control mechanism, and ITIL process compliant software will follow set workflows or procedures no matter what the process is. Service management can be applied across departments and environments, which mean that service management tools and software based on the ITIL framework have multiple applications outside of IT. Taking ITIL beyond IT will enable organisations to leverage true value and efficiency from service management solutions.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Kenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customersAs confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative. Read More
BITC invites ICT investorsThe Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) is casting its net wide to appeal to players in the Information Technology sector to invest in the country. Read More
Yudala ‘an unstoppable movement’, says Zinox chiefThe opening of Yudala outlets, combining an online shopping platform with retail stores, has been described as a game-changer in Nigeria. Read More
Travelport, TTS sign reseller agreement for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific regionTravelport and TTS have signed a sales and distribution agreement for TTS products in the Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. Read More
Airbnb to expand further across AfricaAirbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced that its CEO, Brian Chesky will attend GES 2015 to meet with entrepreneurs from around the world and explore the sharing economy’s impact and expansion, particularly on the African continent - which represents a huge opportunity for the company. Read More
What African entrepreneurs wantOn the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, GeoPoll, the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and the U.S. State Department have released a survey of 1,000 business owners throughout sub-Saharan Africa on entrepreneurship in their countries. Read More
ISON eyes 25,000 jobs, $400m in NigeriaISON Group has projected the creation of 25,000 new jobs and $400 million revenue within space of one or two years in Nigeria. Read More
NEC invests in XON to accelerate regional African growthNEC Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, has invested in XON, the sub-Sahara African ICT group, and the two organisations will have an integrated market approach that will combine their local expertise in the region to provide greater sales coverage in the sub-Sahara African market. Read More
Orange, Airtel in talks on acquisitionsOrange and Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, have entered into an exclusive agreement to explore the possible acquisition by Orange of four Airtel subsidiaries. Read More
Equitel seeks a share of Kenya’s lucrative telco marketEquity Bank’s subsidiary, Finserve Africa, has launched Equitel, a new mobile payment and banking platform for its customers, which officially brings to the fore the convergence between mobile and banking services in Kenya. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers
As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.