As many of you are aware, the ITIL methodology provides a framework for organizations to implement Best Practice thus leading to efficiencies primarily within the IT and Business functions.
Companies are going into administration on a daily basis across all industry sectors and as the credit crunching recession grips even harder the number of lay-offs and redundancies continue to grow.
Many companies are tightening their belts, releasing contractors, cutting back on Training and Marketing budgets. Will IT budgets get cut? Undoubtedly in some companies, yes, but can ITIL help reduce costs and improve effectiveness and efficiency, the answer is yes if undertaken properly.
In order to achieve cost reductions, cost savings call it what you will, companies need to understand their starting point or baseline. This can be achieved by carrying out a Service Management Assessment of all the ITIL processes in place or not as the case may be. Using an external Consultancy is recommended, this will not be cheap but they will have no axe to grind and will provide an accurate picture of the current state of play. Usually they will be looking for follow on business to help implement the recommendations, so it's worth asking for a plan on how they might approach this and bridge the 'gap'. Whether they will offer that information without charging for it is debatable!.
Within the IT department, People, Process, Product and Partners should be assessed with recommendations made going forward on how these four 'streams' can work together to be most effective.
For those more ITIL mature organizations who have established processes and consistent reporting, the Return on Investment (ROI) route is worth pursuing. Consultancy companies can take various metrics for example the number of Incidents logged per month, number of IT Staff, their salaries, numbers of Changes (RFCs) implemented per month, numbers of failed Changes, financial impact of unavailable business critical services, amount of overall downtime per month and put this data into a calculator and provide information on the potential return of your service improvement activities.
Typical areas for improvement are the Change Management Process where the cost of failed Changes is not always known both in terms of financial cost but also market reputation.
In this current climate is it Risk and Reward using Service Management and ITIL to improve cost efficiencies? The Risks are limited due to the gravitas that ITIL holds, the rewards are great, however, there is an associated cost and the full returns will not be instant.
If you have a view on this article or wish to share your experiences of how the current economic climate is affecting your company, please contact us.