The ITIL cynic

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Oscar Wilde

Sometimes I think most people see ITIL and ITSM as this. Organisations implement the bare minimum of ITIL in order to say ‘We follow ITIL’ but ITIL is too costly to the business so some form of incidents, problems and change has been implemented. As that is ITIL right? In my view, the IT organisation does not appreciate the true value of ITIL.

If we go for a drink after work, after a hard day. I offer to get the drinks but all I have is my credit card and there is a minimum charge for credit cards at the bar, so, can you pay for the first round? I know the prices of most of the drinks so ask if I can borrow £10 and promise to buy the next drinks with some food . You give me £10 and before you can say what you would like, I take the £10 note and goto the bar. You shrug your shoulders and hope I will know what you want, but do I? The answer is clear when I come back with a pint of cider for me and a cocktails, with sparklers, a little umbrella and some much fruit it in you think a gorilla will pop out for you…no Hmmm, I think I have messed up, after looking at your face looking at your drink and the longing look you have for my pint of cider. No problem, off I go again to rectify the matter with the change (we are not in London so I do still have some change), and I come back with…..a glass of sparkling apple juice. I thought you liked apples and a fizzy drink just like my pint of cider. At this point, you go to the bar yourself and buy yourself a drink, one which you want. Would you let me buy you another round?

This is my point, in the example, I know the price of the drinks so know I will come in under budget (£10) but have I provided value to my customer, you? I think the answer is no. I have assumed I know what you want without asking what you really want. If only I had asked ‘What would you like’ then I would of achieved the budget BUT also achieve customer satisfaction and value for money?

Sometimes I hear of companies who are very proud of their ITIL structure, incidents, problems and changes. However, how often do these companies meet with their business and find out how It is perceived? Can the IT organisation do things better to provide more value? Has the IT organisation improved its value from when it was not following ITIL to after it is following ITIL to the business? Does the IT organisation know the critical success factors for different business units and how IT can help achieve these?

If the customer does not see any more value pre ITIL to post ITIL or the business still feels they are not integrated with the IT organisation, then is the IT organisation following ITIL properly? ITIL is just an ideas book to help provide value, it is not a recipe book showing you steps 1-10 on how to bake a great IT cake.

This, I think, is the true value of ITIL. IT organisations should look at the value ITIL can help provide and not just the cost. Do not be an ITIL cynic.

Thankyou for reading my post. This is my opportunity to blog about a subject I love but am still learning. These posts are my way of showing how I understand the subject, however, I would encourage you to leave comments, did you agree / disagree with the post? Did I not explain something well enough or incorrectly? Do you want me to blog about another subject within ITIL? All feedback helps me to understand more. Thankyou.

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