by Laura Ayres
IT consistently impacts the business. From finance to human resources, each department voraciously consumes digital services – often without even realizing it (at least, if the digital services are continuously functioning). The IT department ensures that everything works well, and they do that by leveraging ITIL® 4’s service value system.
While ITIL’s roots are firmly planted in the IT space, there are many other areas of the business where the best practices can be applied.
ITIL 4’s seven guiding principles, though IT-focused, can apply to every department in an organization. A successful business recognizes the importance of value, and it is a concept that is essential for everyone in the business to be focusing on– from an administrative role all the way up to senior leadership.
If someone is looking to improve an overall business process, it is better that they start where they are and determine what is working well and what needs to be improved versus reinventing the wheel. From there, once they start making simple and practical changes, they then need to progress iteratively with feedback to ensure that the changes being made are accurate and necessary. From there, it is imperative that they collaborate and promote visibility within the organization.
The guiding principles are not the only area of ITIL 4 that can apply to the entire business. AXELOS wrote an article on how the four dimensions and Digital and IT Strategy can apply to the entire business, not just IT.
The four dimensions of service management focus on four organizational elements that are crucial to effectively facilitating value.
Organizations and People – Focusing on your organization and those who encompass it is not just a function of IT. All areas of the business rely on people and an organizational structure.
Partners and suppliers, again, go beyond IT. The relationships with vendors cover multiple areas of the business.
Value Stream and Processes looks at your workflows and procedures that are needed to complete objectives. While necessary in IT, this applies to all areas of the organization. Almost every aspect of a company has Value Streams and Processes that they follow.
Information and Technology while usually is viewed as the IT organization, it is the entire business. Every part of a business uses and interacts with IT in one way or another and leverages technology. Information is separate from technology. This information is often created, managed, and owned by the business. The IT organization is just the custodian of the data.
Digital and IT Strategy
Digital Strategy is very much an independent area distinct from IT for most large organizations. Digital strategy is primarily focused on how an organization is going to apply digital technology and should be aligned and incorporated within the business strategy. One of the key additions to ITIL 4 over previous versions of ITIL is the Digital and IT Strategy module. This new area becomes an important component of the ITIL 4 service management best practices.
It is important for senior level decision makers across the entire organization to understand the strategic aspects of service management. The example AXELOS uses in their article is investing in remote technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This concept was exceptionally important when everyone had to transition to remote work. Those in senior leadership who were aware of how to plan or react to those external changes were able to adapt better, to the benefit of their teams and their organizations. This was a business decision across all departments, not just an IT decision.