"Volatile", "tenuous", "fluctuating" - these words will sound familiar to you if you have been cautiously watching the ups and downs of the DJI, STI and SEHK's. No, these are not new acronyms from ITIL Version 3.0 : ) For those of you who are unintiated, I am talking about the stock markets. We've read the story of the undergraduate in singapore who gained $80k in profits but lost $700k in the stock market within 3 months. It makes you wonder if these folks have any regard for the fundamentals of investments. Does anyone believe in earning through hard work anymore? I guess this undergraduate has learnt his lesson the hard way.
Alright... this is not the Business Times but we sincerely hope everyone has been riding the bulls and reining in the bears of the market well.
The term "ROI" has become a comon word in several of my conversations with friends in the IT field recently. A particular acquintance, whom I will call "John" (to protect his anonymity), was tasked the noble responsibility of launching an IT service improvement program in his company. He is convinced that any form of standardized IT processes will be a great leap forward in his IT organization that is plagued by service quality issues, daily doses of escalations and incessant customer demands, not fogetting hordes of disgruntled users whom have some rather strong and unfavouable opinions about the quality of IT services.
John's particular challenge to get the ITIL program started is that his management seems to have a rather skewed and unrealistically high perception of what ITIL should deliver. The management will agree to the budget to implement tools and getting consulting help only if John can commit to attaining maturity level 4 for 10 processes within a year and $X of cost savings. Stories of companies who saved USD 100 million and 40% of their IT budgets with ITIL are excellent inspirations but these targets are tall orders for many others who are struggling just to put their houses in order. What most people fail to realize is that implementing ITIL should be more than a financial or a maturity level's game. IT cost savings may be realized, but there is more that defines "IT Service Quality" than costs. "Metrics for IT Service Management" offers good guidances on which metrics to define in order to measure "sucess". Another caveat to this: it requires pure hard work. Do not expect that you can fully implement processes in a matter of days or weeks. It takes time for IT staff to adapt and use the new processes and demonstrate incremental sucesses.
For John, after some research and deliberation, he is charging ahead with his proposal but has managed to put in a list of tangible benefits measured by clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) with realistic targets in a phased manner. I wished him luck for his business case presentation to the IT Steering Committee, confident that he has put together a sensible pitch.
So is ITIL a good investment? We dare say "yes", but I would liken it to a good old blue chip stock that yields consistent dividends and returns over time. There can be quick wins but there are no shortcuts and you have to be in it for the long haul.
In this issue of the newsletter, we bring you more on the "fundamentals of investments" in ITIL: an article on the "Do's and Don'ts" and an Asian perspective on ITIL's likelihood of success in Asia. Of course, we continue to trail the upcoming release of ITIL version 3.0.
Cindy Ling, Ho Eu Jin, Chan Hwee Hiong
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think that ITIL is a good investment that delivers the required ROI? What are the experiences or issues you have encountered when determining the ROI's of ITIL? Send us your views and comments to “Letters to the Editors”
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A Dictionary of IT Service Management Terms,
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Planning to Implement Service Management
ITIL Can Succeed in Asia
A brief counter to traditional arguments
against comprehensive adoption of ITIL by Asian organisations
Will the movement to embrace ITIL in Asia fail? In the recent Fairfax IT Leaders Agenda survey, 23.6 per cent of Southeast Asian respondents reported that their organisations had implemented ITIL. Moreover, a further 44.8 per cent expected to be implementing ITIL by the end of next year. Yet, if a reported ‘IT Sceptic’ is to be believed, they are probably wasting their time.
In a recent article on ITSMWatch, the self-professed ‘IT Sceptic’ makes the extraordinary statement that ITIL is unlikely to succeed in much of Asia due to “its formal nature and its emphasis on accountability, ownership and management by measurement, all of which are an anathema to many Asian cultures”. The author claims a level of understanding of Asian culture that would make a writer for Lonely Planet travel guides envious. Yet I would challenge his assertions on several fronts.
At its heart, ITIL is a series of guidelines for establishing best practice processes in IT service delivery and support. It is not something you can simply implement in a project.
Instead it is an organisational journey to best practice. This difference in perception is important as it influences the goals you set for the activity and how you “sell” ITIL to both your staff and business colleagues. In effect when you adopt ITIL, you are embracing a culture change within the IT department.
This excerpt was taken from CIO Asia' Jan/Feb edition. Read the full article at this link
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Do's & Don'ts for a Successful ITIL Implementation- by Peter Edwards
There are many conflicting stories about the benefits and successes
of implementing ITIL. On one side, META and IDC have reported statistics
showing the success of implementing ITIL, including the following:
On the other hand, Forrester has made the following observation:
At a personal level, many of us have heard of both successes and failures in the implementation of ITIL. So what makes an ITIL implementation successful? In this article, we would like to propose a list of “Do’s and Don’ts for a successful ITIL Implementation. This list has been collated from both global and local experience. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor is it a prescriptive list. However, we hope that it will provide some guidance to those of you who are planning to commence an ITIL implementation program.
Don't: Implement ITIL for ITIL's sake
Don't: Implement ITIL purely to Achieve a Certain “Score”
Don't: Implement ITIL Without Understanding the Whole Picture
Do: Establish the Business Benefits and the Business Case
Do: Establish Metrics for the Program
Do: Obtain Executive Support for the Program
In addition, an ITIL implementation always requires implementation of new processes, and often requires changes in organizational roles and purchases of new tools. Such changes normally require executive endorsement, and if you are unable to obtain approval for the changes success will not be achieved.
On the other hand, there are plenty of case studies that show that if there is senior executive support for an ITIL implementation then significant benefits can be derived.
Do: Adopt and Adapt
ITIL implementation can be summed up in the phrase, “adopt and adapt.” The beginning phase in every case includes adopting a standard language and set of service management concepts. Typically the ITIL implementation will commence with education, and an ITIL maturity assessment. These activities provide a basis for an organization to adopt ITIL.
The second phase is to adapt service management best practices to your unique requirements. During the design and implementation of the ITIL processes you should not get into arguments over the content of one paragraph in one ITIL book compared with another paragraph in another ITIL book, or worrying about whether you are strictly adhering to the ITIL textbooks. Instead, be pragmatic and stay relevant to your organization needs. This is the phase of adapting ITIL to your specific organizational requirements.
Do: Plan the Program as a Project
Do: Implement in Phases, with a Clear Scope
Do: Talk To and Use People Who Have Done it Before
In addition, there are many consulting companies that have a wealth of templates and tools that will simplify the implementation of ITIL for you, making the project faster and more successful
We recommend that you use as many of these resources as possible in order to achieve the objectives and maximize the business benefits for your ITIL implementation project.
|Acknowledgements: much of the content of this article is taken from the IBM white paper "IBM Service Management: Practical solutions for today based on 25 years of continuous thought leadership" by Bill Powell, IBM Global Technology Services|
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