ITSM and ITIL: What Software Company CIOs Need to Know
ITIL and ITSM are similar terms that are often used in related contexts. Each term is used to describe the strategic implementation of technology solutions within a business. However, the two are not interchangeable – they each represent a different aspect of service delivery that can have an enormous impact on a company as a whole.
ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of documents that present a framework of best practices for planning and delivering IT services. IT Service Management (ITSM) is an umbrella term for all of the technology solutions that a company or its partners implement inside an organization.
Related Reading –> “ITSM Definition: What is IT Service Management?”
Why does ITIL matter to software company CIOs?
Understanding the ITIL, and using it to form an organized approach to technology, is of particular importance to CIOs of software companies. Software companies must manage a highly competitive business environment, and running internal and external technology solutions efficiently and without waste is vital to remaining competitive.
Because a software company is tech-focused by nature, it is vital that a software company CIO use the best possible solutions, delivering a well-planned strategy and design for the technology services offered to internal and external IT customers. The ITIL can drive best practices throughout the IT department and help a software company CIO to achieve customer satisfaction, strategic alignment, efficiency, and change management.
The ITIL is currently comprised of five volumes, each outlining a different aspect of IT services: the strategy, design, transition, operation, and improvement of technology solutions.
The five volumes of ITIL:
The first volume, Service Strategy, is designed to align technology with strategic organizational goals and to prioritize customer demands. This volume includes creating a technology strategy which can then be used to implement short- and long-term budgets, manage internal and external business relationships, and create a services portfolio for current and future technology needs.
The second, Service Design, outlines the RACI Matrix: helping CIOs to make technology design decisions that are Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. This volume encompasses coordinating design, managing capacity and continuity, and managing network and application security efforts. It’s also where you define your service catalog, SLAs, suppliers management, capacity management, and more.
Service Transition, then, breaks services into two groups: operational services and maintenance. Operational services include transition and change management, configuration, release and deployment of new services and applications, and knowledge management to support the department through a transition. Maintenance refers to the day-to-day activities involved with IT support, addressed in the next volume of the ITIL.
The fourth volume, Service Operation, covers the technology experience for end-users encompassing daily maintenance, problem and incident management, access and processes. Service Operation is essential to ensure that not only are the correct products in place for users but that the budget and support are available for unplanned downtime, access, incidents, and events.
Finally, the last volume in the ITIL library covers Continual Service Improvement. The fifth volume offers a structured approach to achieving both incremental and large-scale improvements in technology applications throughout the organization. This approach includes identifying strategy improvements, defining KPIs, analyzing data, and implementation.
Being informed about the ITIL, and implementing the best practices outlined in it can provide many benefits throughout an organization. The systematic approach to technology services offered by the ITIL framework can help a company to manage risk, use resources efficiently, and improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Further, a well-designed and organized approach to delivering IT services allows a company to align technology with strategic corporate objectives.
Every CIO has the core goal of making sure that the correct technology, people, and processes are in place so that a company can achieve its goals. Using the IT Infrastructure Library to create a comprehensive strategy, and ensuring that technology is aligned with corporate objectives, is an integral part of building a competitive advantage for the organization.
Contact e-Core today to find out more about how an ITSM partner can help your organization implement ITIL best practices, or sign up for our free training webinar with ITIL-certified JIRA Service Desk.
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