What is IT Service Management (ITSM)?
I guess we can start with what it is not...ITSM is not concerned with technology, software development or other purely IT related disciplines.
ITSM is all about providing service to the customers and users of IT services. It relates to the alignment and integration of IT into the business. Good ITSM practices will bring IT into the business strategy area, helping to enable business growth and being perceived as an enabler rather than being seen as a potential road block to progress.
ITSM is not proprietary, it relates to multiple frameworks from different organisations and vendors, one of the key frameworks is ITIL (formerly the IT Infrastructure Library).
ITIL was orginally the creation of the British Government in the 1980s, Version one of the framework consisted of around 30 volumes of guidance on all aspect of IT service management. In 2000/2001 ITIL was refined and two main volumes - Service Delivery and Service Support - were released along with a number of complementary texts expanding on some areas of the framework. A comprehensive training and certification scheme was established, providing a recognised qualification in the discipline of IT Service Management, using the ITIL framework.
In 2007 the framework underwent a major re-engineering under chief architect, Sharon Taylor. The resulting lifecycle-based framework consistes of 5 key publications - Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. Over 2 million IT professionals globally have been certified at Foundation level on ITIL V3.
In 2011 some refinements were made to ITIL V3, the latest version of the framework is known as ITIL 2011.
ITIL is still the intellectual property of the British Government and is managed by the Cabinet Office. There are a number of complementary publications, I would recommend reading the ITIL Foundation Guide, 2011 edition, to understand the basics of the framework and gain insight into ITSM best practice.
One key thing to remember is that ITIL is just a framework, it is not a standard. You do not "implement" ITIL, ITSM tools cannot be "ITIL Compliant". ITIL is simply a set of guidelines that you adopt and adapt to suit your organisation, picking the parts of it that will improve YOUR IT services and leaving those that have little impact.
This means that ITIL and ITSM is relevant to even the smallest business. Every organisation today relies to some extent on their IT capability and managing that part of your business effectively will give you a headstart on the opposition. Using IT to innovate and move your business forward is what ITSM is all about. So harness the power of IT in your business by using ITSM best practices.
Come back tomorrow and see how SerioPlus can allow you to easily bring best practice to your IT services.