ITIL framework like tide in the ocean? or is this start of a tsunami?! And I’ll tell you why: in the ‘80s and ‘90s ITIL came up from a mainframe / Datacenter centric IT delivery model and it worked really well.
This type of IT infrastructure really thrived on the structure and disciplines offered by the ITIL framework.
As such, the ITIL framework became very popular and offered lots of value to many IT organisations worldwide.
It created improvements in service stability, customer satisfaction, efficiencies and as a result better value for money.
But then came the Client/Server delivery model and ITIL moved out of the datacenter into the generic IT realm; broadening its reach into network support and application management and maintenance.
IT became more visible to the average business employee through the desktop interface.
The desktop was a separate ‘organism’ and so much more than the terminals we had before.
There where so many more things that could go wrong; connections could break, mechanical things could stop working and software was added that made the entire system quite vulnerable to issues, problems and downright failure.
To this date I feel that many W here am I going with this? Well…I am starting to see the first lead indicators of a changing trend in the use of the ITIL framework. 218 IT Professionals are still unclear on how exactly ITIL can help them in their daily tasks of maintaining a piece of equipment, infrastructure or software application.
We all know that ITIL is good for us – that we can only benefit from structures and discipline – but when you ask the average technical IT professional they can’t tell you exactly how ITIL will help them with their part of the job.
And that’s where theory and real life differ: the books say that ITIL touches all areas of the IT organisation, and I personally believe that this is true, but in real life there are many areas where technical expertise and ad-hoc problem solving is needed on a day-to-day basis.
And then came cloud computing.
More and more organisations are using cloud based solutions for their IT Service delivery.
Storage is in the cloud, Processing capability in the cloud and through server and desktop virtualization we have basically come full circle to a scenario where IT Service delivery is handled by specialist groups and companies that manage a large Datacenter.
All IT Services are consumed via thin client or Zero client appliances which look remarkably like a mobile version of the ‘old’ mainframe terminals…
Am I saying that ITIL is no longer needed? NO ITIL is needed – probably more so than ever, and that is what I mean by the Tsunami in the title of this article.
But ITIL will retract into the dungeons of IT Service Delivery where the structure and disciplines are needed to consistently manage multi tenanted servers where the customer dependency is 1 to many.
ITIL is needed more than ever because one simple mistake or oversight will 219 Ivanka’s Blog Articles ITIL framework like tide in the ocean? or is this start of a tsunami?! have massive implications for multiple services delivered to multiple clients and their end users.
The interdependence between services becomes more important and as a result of this the need for ITIL processes.
Maybe Cloud Computing will be the saving grace for the ITIL framework because it is clear again what the value add is of the framework and the guidance; it becomes a logical part of managing the services and because clients expect ‘always on’ IT Services the business case for ITIL Service Management is simple.
Let the experts deal with the technology while the business enjoys the experience.
The tsunami happens in the datacenter and the IT groups, while the consumers of IT Services enjoy a relaxing day at the beach…
An experience that matches exactly the description in the brochure based on which they purchased the service in the first place. 220 Lessons learnt from running Cloud Computing without ITIL Processes enable more streamlined customer interaction and more efficiency in account management.
The CRM software we used didn’t work the way we wanted it and after some research (mainly because we used Microsoft Exchange with Outlook as an email client) we looked to start using MS Dynamic CRM as our contact and account management software.
Because of the nature of our business I didn’t want software on the server in the office so we opted to sign up for a SaaS / hosted solution.
This seemed to be the best of both worlds: • • • No upfront large capital expenditure.
Pay as you Go, no long term contracts.
Internet based, so we have access to customer data no matter where we are in the world.
Well – not such a good story, I’m afraid …
The company we signed up with didn’t realise or understand that when you provide hosted solutions, O — Ivanka’s Blog Articles Does ITIL still cover all Service Management aspects This is an interesting question as it links in to two (and probably more) factors: • • Do you see ITIL as an operational framework, or as a component of IT Service Management as a whole.
Do you see cloud computing as a collection of various internet / virtual based IT services? Cloud computing is more than only desktop or server virtualization although most organisations are working with Cloud Computing concepts in this context.
Cloud computing is also Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Storage as a Service, as well as Web based (hosted) database and application services.
When you continue on this train of thought, you can also think about WHERE the ITIL framework is being utilized: at the delivery side of cloud computing services, or at the receiving side of cloud computing services? OK –first scenario: Let’s assume that we are part of an IT organisation that DELIVERS Cloud Computing Services (and SaaS in particular).
Which areas of ITIL are not coherent with this delivery model? Myanswer is easy: NONE.
All components of ITIL are of interest and importance as the SaaS is a service delivery to external customers so you need to consider all phases in the lifecycle from Strategy to Operation and CSI.
You will need to have controls and management structures in place to build a sustainable IT infrastructure that has the ability to deliver the 226 Ivanka’s Blog Articles Does ITIL still cover all Service Management aspects Software Services as per the agreed Service Levels.
You probably need MORE controls because you always have the unknown factor of the ISP or internet connection to deal with.
Second scenario: Virtual server environment as part of a data centre that utilizes ITIL processes for Service Management controls.
The ‘boxes’ still have to fit in with the overall service offering, you still need to manage their entire lifecycle.
Capacity management and Configuration Management are extremely important as automated sniffing tools might have some issues with an accurate overview of the Configuration Items.
I fully agree with the fact that is only the process component of IT Service Management, and there is a whole lot more to managing your IT Services in a consistent and quality way than to simply look at the ITIL books.
In fact – most ITIL implementations fail to deliver any value and measurable benefits because of the isolated focus on ITIL and not ITIL in the context of IT Service Management.
So we absolutely agree on that point.
I have attached the first few pages of one of our Cloud Computing publications – it might inspire you.
ITIL is by no means the holy grail to fix all problems within the IT industry, but the point that I was trying to make is that it shouldn’t make a difference how and where you get your service components – the delivery management controls should stay the same! Mind you – I am not looking 227 Ivanka’s Blog Articles Does ITIL still cover all Service Management aspects at this from a technical point of view..
I agree that at a technical level a lot of the activities will be (slightly) different, but when you approach this question from a Service Management point of view it stays very much the same.
Even the RACI diagrams for most roles will be unaffected by the introduction of cloud computing services.
One of the reasons why I feel so strongly about the need for ITIL Service Management processes with appropriate levels of control and coordination is because I have been at the receiving end of a SaaS service provider who clearly didn’t have those controls.
And I can tell you from personal experience that this is highly frustrating.
I am sure I will be writing about this more often… 228 What Software Application do companies want in the cloud? T he following question was posted in a Linkedin forum: “By 2012, according to Gartner, 20% of your industry will be going
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