ITIL is a set of best practices that can be used as a guideline for IT service providers to effectively manage their technology and improve the overall quality of the service provided by them. ITIL is very successful because of the following factors:
- Adaptable: Industries which use any technology can adapt to ITIL framework and mould it according to their needs.
- Value Creation: ITIL insists on value creation to a customer and does not insist on using the suggested framework without any changes.
- Best practice: It is definitely considered as a best practice as it combines the best processes of service management.
ITIL framework can be explained with a lifecycle consisting of service strategy, service design, service operation, service transition and continuous service improvement.
Service strategy: This is the core of ITIL lifecycle and is mainly about understanding the objectives of the business, their future goals and their current position. Understanding the service strategy is extremely beneficial because the service provided to a customer should align with the business necessities. A better service can be provided if the strategy is understood clearly and it will be easy to adapt to change. There are many processes involved which are financial management, service portfolio management and business relationship management. Utility and Warranty are the two main values that are considered for providing a service.
Service Design: This is the stage where the actual design of the product to be delivered is decided. Again, value addition to the customer is a major factor in designing the service and to provide that, it is not only technical aspects that need to be considered, but the overall processes of the organisation needs to taken into account. Few processes involved in this stage are service level management, service catalog management, availability management, information security management, supplier management, capacity management and design coordination.
Service transition: Once the strategy and design is done, transition ensures that the designed services are delivered to requested customers. Transition is a stage where the actual package is deployed into the live environment and ensures that the integrity of the services is not compromised. This can be achieved by the processes which form a core part of the transition phase; which are transition planning and support, change management, asset configuration and management, knowledge management and release and deployment management.
Service Operation: Operations form part of ensuring that the services that are delivered to the customer are as expected and adhere to the service levels agreed upon at the beginning. It’s duty is to minimize the impact of any faults that occur and reduce the recurrence of issues. It also manages access control at different levels. The processes that form a part of operation stage are Problem management, Incident management, Access management and Event management.
Continual service improvement: No lifecycle ends with delivering the services to customer and solve the problems if it occurs. A good service lifecycle always should think about improving their services to the customer. This improvement might be necessary in any phase of the lifecycle. To decide on improvements, first we need to measure the performance, to understand the level of service that we are currently providing and based on the results can decide on further improvements that need to be done.
These are the basic stages of ITIL service lifecycle and it is not necessary that every company has to follow this hierarchy. It depends basically on the service they are providing, which decides what stages they need to consider in improving their particular service to the customer. Following ITIL improves the quality of services provided to a customer and increases the overall productivity for a service provider.
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