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ITSM and ITIL: A Partnership In Success

By Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord

Information technology service management (ITSM) is a framework for delivering technology within a business, and, while often interchanged with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the two are very different. 

ITSM is obviously the organizational implementation of a management model used to design, implement and manage quality services for business customers. ITIL and ITSM together allow for the deliverance and management of a portfolio of quality services for the organization. ITSM is the organizational function and ITIL is the process function. The differences continue.

ITSM allows information systems the ability to manage and deliver value to an organization's customers. Likewise, IT service management technology is used to improve call, asset and change management processes, and manage other services like facilities, fleets, events and even problem management. With ITSM in place, you can manage all properties and anything on the premises from one queue. Such a stance allows you the opportunity to safeguard your processes, including room, property, asset management, reservations and key management or any associated long-term planning. Thus, you can register all buildings and rooms down to the last detail, for example.

For facilities management, tracking properties and assets is a core task: operational tasks, large and small-scale maintenances, room reservations and cleaning and repairs to manage, register and organize information is of utmost importance. ITSM makes possible the capability of delivering services to your customers. Plainly, ITIL is a framework for ITSM; ITIL theoretical framework is spot on for implementing processes. ITIL obviously can apply to a number of business sectors, particularly true where business with an increasingly process-oriented mentality operates like we find in facilities management.

ITIL can enable support of a higher level of service and its application can offer several benefits like inputting improvements or helping in easing existing bottlenecks in the service; stimulating process-oriented thinking and working methods, making it tangible; and introducing common terminology, so that customers, service providers and mutual service providers all speak the same language.

The maturity and size of an organization usually can determine the components of ITIL that will be the most useful to bring into practice. Implementing ITIL is no guarantee of success, and a certain amount of translation may be necessary when applying it for us in the organization. The marriage of ITSM and ITIL improves service levels and enhances the relationship between an IT organization's internal and external service providers while improving service levels.

TechTarget says ITSM aligns the delivery of IT services with the needs of the organization, employees and customers. ITIL benefits are many, too, including more alignment with IT services; better delivery of IT services; and reducing IT waste and meeting specific organizational IT needs.

Not every component of ITIL is required. The ITIL structure that works best for your organization is up to your organization; the most efficient organizations use a combination of the ITIL and ITSM frameworks.

US-based organizations continue to lag behind their European counterparts in the use of ITIL. More than 50 percent of European businesses manage their IT as service according to ITIL best practices guidelines compared to about one third of those in North America. One report suggests that ITIL is key to ensuring that IT processes are closely aligned to business goals. The organizations in the US and Europe that effectively implement ITSM and ITIL are usually considered top performers, achieving nearly 90 percent of their service level agreement goals. On average the best-in-class organizations also have 85 percent of their IT services delivered on time, which is 20 percent above industry average, and they experience more than 80 percent efficiency of IT processes – more than 110 percent better than all others surveyed, while they currently experience more than 60 percent cost savings from their ITSM implementations.

Another report suggests that nearly 70 percent of European business leaders consider ITIL a must. At least 50 percent of organizations use the services outside of IT in areas like sales, HR and finance, among other areas. European firms utilize their service desks to improve customer satisfaction and to meet service level compliance; US organizations use their service desks for knowledge management, customer satisfactions and self-service.

Those that invest in ITIL and ITSM are usually highest performing in regard to how their IT organizations perform.

Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk USA.

 

 
 
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