Using ITIL for better WAN management

* ITIL basics

Roughly two years ago we wrote a newsletter on the potential use of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to, among other things, improve WAN management. ITIL was originally defined in the 1990s by the U.K. government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency and its goal is to provide detailed, vendor-neutral process definitions that can be adapted to any IT organization. Today, and in the next newsletter, we’ll describe the momentum behind the move to implement ITIL.

We found that the interest in implementing ITIL is sometimes driven from senior management. For example, we interviewed the CIO of a financial services company. He stated that he has a mandate from “the top of the house” to implement usage sensitive chargeback for all of IT. One of his goals is to use ITIL to identify a unit pricing for IT that can be used in dialogue with the company’s business leaders. The example he gave was that he wants to be in the position to say “If you need more bandwidth or more MIPS, here is the cost.”

The main body of ITIL focuses on two groupings of processes – Service Delivery and Service Support. ITIL defines processes in terms of their flows, inter-process relationships, process components, benefits, cost components and potential pitfalls. To understand how IT organizations are adopting ITIL in general, and each these two groups of processes in particular, we recently surveyed 321 IT professionals.

One of the questions that we asked was if their IT organization was moving to an ITIL-based approach to providing IT services. Nineteen percent of indicated that their IT organization had already implemented ITIL and only 31% indicated that they had no implementation plans. The rest of the survey respondents (50%) indicated that their IT organization was either already in the process of implementing ITIL or was planning on implementing it.

Next time, we’ll describe the interest that IT organizations have in both the service delivery and the service support components of ITIL. In the meantime, we would like to hear from you. If you have implemented ITIL, how well did that implementation go? If you looked at ITIL and decided to not use it, why did you make that decision?

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