Framework Control Objectives Audit Guidelines Implementation Tool Set Management Guidelines The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) refers to a set of comprehensive, consistent and coherent codes of best practice for IT Service Management.
It comprises a library developed by the Central Computer & Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the United Kingdom.
Since April 2001 the CCTA is renamed into OGC (Office of Government Commerce).
The library describes a number of related processes. ITIL was developed in the late 1980’s in response to the recognition that organizations were becoming increasingly dependent on Information Systems (IS).
The objective of the OGC in developing ITIL is to promote business effectiveness in the use of IS due to increasing organizational demands to reduce costs while maintaining or improving IT services. The ITIL concepts for best practices, through the involvement of leading industry experts, consultants and practitioners remain the only holistic, non-proprietary best practice framework available.
As a result, it has quickly become the global benchmark by which organizations measure the quality of IT service management. Each described process in the Infrastructure Library covers a specific part of IT Service Management and its relationship to other processes.
Each book can be read, and the process implemented, independently of the others.
The overall provision of IT services, however, can be optimized by considering each process as part of the whole, such that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This holistic approach suggests that organizations are likely to gain the most benefit from implementing all processes rather than some processes discretely. The most popular ITIL processes are contained in the two sets representing key elements of IT Service Management.
The Service Support and Service Delivery sets describe the processes that any IT service provider must address to enhance the provision of quality IT services for its customers.
In addition, these sets form the basis of the certifications granted by the Netherlands Examination Institute for IT (EXIN) and the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB). Many organizations have embraced the ITIL concept because it offers a systematic and professional approach to the management of IT service provision.
There are many benefits to be reaped by adopting the guidance provided by ITIL.
Such benefits include but are not limited to: Improved customer satisfaction Reduced cost in developing practices and procedures Better communication flows between IT staff and customers Greater productivity and use of skills and experience ITIL provides IT professionals with the knowledge and resources they need to run and maintain an effective and efficient IT Infrastructure that meets the needs of their clients while keeping costs at a minimum. Of the three major frameworks getting a lot of mindshare nowadays – ITIL and CMM being the other two – Cobit is the only one to recognize data management as key to running IT. (I’ve been quite disappointed in CMM and ITIL for this reason; neither one seems to have any awareness of the particular disciplines and issues around data architecture and management.) If your company is trying to address SOX and looking for a framework, I highly recommend Cobit.
Not that it’s mutually exclusive with ITIL or CMM; they all cover somewhat different areas – but again, only Cobit really pays attention to data.
They even mention data models, repositories, and data dictionaries!
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