How ITIL 4 Makes Businesses Sustainable

More businesses have embraced ITIL 4 over the past year. This is because the IT service management framework can effectively address the factors they should focus on according to PwC

  1. Crisis Management and Response – The coronavirus pandemic has put companies’ incident management plans to the test. While some had their plans ready, others weren’t. However, both are now looking ahead.
  2. Workforce – Businesses have been under pressure to protect their people, keep them informed on uncertainty, and prepare for recovery. All this while ensuring the workforce remains productive while working remotely.
  3. Operations and Supply Chain – Organizations have suffered supply chain distributions because of the pandemic. This, in turn, affected supply chain scenarios and pricing strategies.
  4. Finance and Liquidity – As activities slowed down, organizations’ revenue has decreased. This resulted in less cash flow.
  5. Tax, Trade, and Regulatory – The pandemic came to prove the importance of understanding the economic, political, and societal environments businesses operate in.
  6. Strategy and Brand – While shifting to working from home, businesses discovered major gaps especially in IT infrastructure, workforce planning, and digital upskilling.

What is ITIL 4?

ITIL 4® is the latest version of the popular IT service management framework. With it, organizations can better design, plan, deliver, operate, and control IT services.

ITIL 4® is designed to support ITSM practices in meeting new challenges in the modern working environment. It especially offers an innovative and holistic approach to IT business providers.

Practitioners and businesses which embrace this framework can benefit in numerous ways, including:

  1. Productivity Boost – ITIL 4® increases employee and overall productivity as it ensures reduced errors and issues. Moreover, professionals can use the framework to manage work processes more efficiently.
  2. Better Decision Making – The framework empowers decision-makers. It aligns IT with the business; therefore, it helps in determining the direction which it will take and which internal processes need to be improved to meet the needs of customers.
  3. Reduced Costs – With increased productivity, reduced incidents, and quicker incident resolution time, ITIL 4® has proven to ensure less business disruptions from service failures.

How ITIL 4 Ensures Business Continuity Despite the Pandemic

The unanticipated virus attack affected businesses globally. While some were inconvenienced, others went under as a result. One factor shared by businesses that survived is that they implemented the ITIL 4® framework.

How, you ask?

Here are the main reasons ITIL 4® is considered one of the best frameworks for ensuring businesses stay afloat amid the current pandemic.

ITIL 4 Introduced the SVS

ITIL 4® introduced the Service Value System. The SVS ensures organizations co-create value with stakeholders through using and managing products and services.

The SVS transforms demand into valuable outcomes through the following five elements:

  1. Guiding Principles – These are recommendations that can help organizations regardless of circumstances. Examples of changes include a change in goals or strategies.
  2. Governance – Governance is the means by which organizations are directed and controlled. While vital all year round, it has become a necessity for organizations in these volatile times.
  3. Service Value Chain – At the heart of the SVS is the service value chain. This represents activities which help organizations deliver a valuable product or service
  4. Practices – These are practices that help practitioners better perform at work or accomplish their objectives.
  5. Continual Improvement – Continual improvement is carried out across the organization to ensure performance meets stakeholders’ expectations.

Together, these elements provide the means to achieve organizational agility and organizational resilience. Both of these are important for ensuring a unified direction, focus on value, and continual improvement.

ITIL 4 Provides an Effective Operating Framework

Many organizations still follow a traditional business model. This means they believe responding to dramatic changes is good enough even when slow. They also assume no changes to the legal system, political environment, and economy. Further, they embrace a waterfall approach during planning, development, and deployment.

ITIL 4® has changed things. It makes organizations more dynamic and able to change according to external factors. Moreover, it guides them to become interdependent and rely on suppliers and vendors to effectively plan, develop, and deliver their offerings. ITIL 4® is also more suitable for the digital economy, another factor that has been known to improve customer satisfaction levels.

Further, ITIL 4® includes new best practices that innovate the way of working. For instance, Agile ensures quick delivery. Lean reduces waste and delivers value to customers. Meanwhile, DevOps enables different departments to collaborate with.

ITIL 4 Enables the Creation of Holistic Solutions

ITIL 4® includes four dimensions of Service Management:

  1. Organizations and People – This directs how an organization should respond and how it should lead the workforce, partner organizations, and consumers during challenging times.
  2. Information and Technology – This aspect relates to how I&T will be considered. For instance, how to leverage email and chat for communicating any changes and solutions to current issues.
  3. Partners and Suppliers – Factoring in partners and suppliers make them part of any decision. This, in turn, guides organizations while making decisions.
  4. Value Streams and Processes – Organizations need to consider their existing value streams and processes. If required, they also need to modify them to quickly ensure new products and services for dealing with the current crisis.

ITIL 4® also takes into consideration PESTLE external factors. It urges organizations to monitor these as they can trigger the need for new products or services or mandate changes in an existing offering.

Case Study: ITIL 4 Principles Were Useful for a Brewery

One example which testifies to the strength of ITIL 4® during the era of COVID-19 is that of an international brewery.

According to one of its employees, the company was forced to close in March and had its employees work remotely. This impacted the company’s information systems as they had to adjust their network capacity to allow work from home.

The company leveraged the concepts from ITIL 4® Specialist’s Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) to manage changes that were not part of a large project. ITIL 4® DSV further structured the approach to service management challenges during the lockdown. The use of a business case alone has helped define opportunities.

As a result, the company’s IT department was given much importance. Moreover, this ITIL 4® stream enabled the company to operate while losing only 1% productivity. As for the future, the brewery believes it’s ready to re-open while meeting the new need for digital payment solutions in the hospitality industry.

You Too Can Use ITIL 4 to Empower Your Business

The path to implementing ITIL 4® in your business begins from having ITIL 4® certified practitioners. And this journey begins with the ITIL 4® Foundation certification. So, don’t waste another minute and bring ITIL 4 and its benefits to your organization.

About the Author

Ikram Khan is CEO of Business Beam and LearningCert. In a career spanning 22+ years, he has successfully completed 110+ performance-optimizing consultancy assignments. Over 5,000 professionals from 800+ organizations have attended the 260+ training sessions he conducted in various countries. Ikram is an accredited trainer for COBIT, ITIL, DevOps, PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, P3O, AgileSHIFT, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, ISO 9001, and ISO 38500. He also holds certifications including CGEIT, CISA, CISM, TOGAF, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSPO, MoP, MoV, and Six Sigma Black Belt. You may connect with Ikram at ikramkhan.info, and LinkedIn.

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