IT Infrastructure Library strategies guide for CIOs

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is designed to help IT professionals improve processes within their organizations. Learn more about setting IT Infrastructure Libraries strategies, including training and educating IT staff on ITIL, tackling the configuration management database and IT Service Management, with this guide.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is designed to help CIOs and other IT professionals improve processes within

their IT organizations. ITIL Version 3 expanded on this concept to provide guidance on how these processes should be done. ITIL is a valuable asset to companies, and can be used to improve external and internal IT processes, IT productivity and much more.

But the CIO cannot simply implement ITIL and be done with it. It's a strategy and a process, neither of which can be done overnight. As ITIL expert and reviewer David Pultorak says, "CIOs must be change champions." Beginning with buy-in from other IT employees as well as top management, the CIO must drive the process and allocate the right time, money and resources to be spent on ITIL. Is ITIL a good fit for all companies? Do you need to upgrade to V3 if you're using V2? What are the service management best practices? Who are the key stakeholders within your organization who'll need to get on board to make your IT Infrastructure Library stragies successful?

This Executive Guide offers advice tips, articles, webcasts, podcasts and more for CIOs. From training and educating IT staff on ITIL, configuration management database and IT Service Management, to the specific details of Version 3, and best practices for implementation, CIOs can implement their IT Infrastructure Library strategies knowing there will be significant progress and results in their IT organization.

This guide is part of the SearchCIO.com CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic guidance and advice that addresses the management and decision-making aspects of timely topics. For a complete list of topics covered to date visit the CIO Briefings section.

Table of contents

  Mediacast: ITIL V3
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ITIL v3 is here! This latest update marks the first major revision of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in seven years. ITIL v2 outlined what should be done in terms of process improvement, and now v3 provides guidance on how it should be done.

Recently, a group of industry experts and reviewers of the ITIL version 3 refresh project offered a full day of ITIL v3 webcasts and podcasts detailing the new content in each of the five ITIL v3 books. Get a closer look at the new ITIL v3 books and gain valuable expertise and insight on implementation, ROI, upgrades and more with these webcasts and podcasts. The webcasts and podcasts are presented under the following topics: ITIL V3, the facts: service strategies; service design; service transition; service operation; and continual service improvement

Learn more in "Mediacast: ITIL V3." Also:

  • ITIL dons a suit and tie
    The new and expanded ITIL V3 released today aims to put the emphasis where it belongs, on the business. CIOs especially should take notice.
  • ITIL V3 is almost here: What should you expect?
    The big promise of ITIL is its adoption can lead to dramatic improvements in business efficiency and customer satisfaction, as well as costs savings across all business operations, principally service support and delivery systems. This article discusses how version 3 of the ITIL framework will refine the standards and processes developed by V2 and V1.
  ITIL V3: Stakeholder coordination is key to success
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ITIL v3 guidance emphasizes the service lifecycle for designing IT services. To implement these IT services, all interested parties -- including software developers, operations managers and customers of IT -- must work together to understand the requirements of the business as well as the constraints that IT faces.

This coordinated approach to IT service design, often called "service design support" or "application lifecycle support," helps IT deliver services that have been designed specifically to meet business requirements. By coordinating input from the various areas that affect the service lifecycle, an IT organization can better meet service-level requirements and consider new technology solutions that could re-engineer business processes, making them more effective and efficient. A coordinated approach also makes it possible to deliver and maintain services that easily accommodate changing business objectives, thanks to input from the service customer.

Read more in "ITIL V3: Stakeholder coordination is key to success." Also:

  • ITIL framework finds new stakeholders with V3
    Contributor Brian Johnson reviews the evolution of ITIL and how the focus of the latest version is attracting more nontraditional stakeholders as well as a stronger need for executive support and group participation.
  ITIL training essential to IT/business integration
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IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) training, which has been around since the late '80s, has taken on new vitality as companies fully integrate IT into business processes, according to Hank Marquis, director of IT service management consulting at Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates.

"IT is no longer an art; it's a science," Marquis said. "There still is a need for great thinkers, but [IT] has to be done in a standard, defined way."

"Our ITIL training program is important to overall implementation and vital to provide a common language to operate in," noted Joe Lithgo, director of the operational excellence program in the North Carolina department of Information Technology Services (ITS). Since late 2004, the department has shifted from a technology-centric organization to one more focused on customers and processes, using the ITIL IT Service Management framework as a foundation.

Out of 450 department employees, 352 are certified in the Foundation methodology, 23 in Practitioner and two in Service Manager, Lithgo said. In state government overall, more than 600 workers are certified through some sort of ITIL training program.

Find out more in "ITIL training essential part of IT and business integration." Also:

  • ITIL process success: Get people on your side
    Executive and employee support can be the biggest barriers to ITIL process adoption. In his latest column, Brian Johnson offers advice on how to secure executive support and appoint ITIL champions to lead your internal campaign.
  ITIL: The latest wave in service management
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A few years ago, CIO Barry Paxman of Cascade Designs Inc., a Seattle-based maker of camping equipment, began investigating ways to improve how his group developed solutions and handled service calls. His efforts led him to the IT Infrastructure Library, or ITIL -- a kind of CIO playbook.

After further study, Paxman concluded that his 11-person staff couldn't handle the sweeping changes that ITIL would require. "The real turnoff for me was the overload of information and the feeling that it was going to be overwhelming for my developers," he says. And so he opted to stick with regular meetings and informal responses to help desk incidents. "Although ITIL has a lot of good ideas, we simply didn't have the time or resources to put them into practice."

Some 300 miles east in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Mike Carper, divisional vice president of technology and operations for Coldwater Creek Inc., a women's apparel company with $780 million in revenue, faced a similar challenge. Help desk incidents would go days without being resolved; nothing was tracked; staffers fixed problems without taking credit.

Find out more in "ITIL: The latest wave in service management." Also:

  • 10 ways to improve IT service quality and reduce costs using an ITIL CMDB
    This webcast debunks common Configuration Management Database (CMDB) myths and shows how to improve IT service quality while reducing costs with an ITIL CMDB.
  • Quarterly Update: ITSM
    One of the primary goals of ITSM is to successfully align the delivery of IT services with needs of the business. IT/business alignment is always a top priority for CIOs, and SearchCIO.com has the latest resources on related topics, such as ITSM. This Quarterly Update features the most current news and analysis on ITSM and ITIL.
  ITIL tough but worth it, says midmarket telco firm
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CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Infrastructure Technology Information Library (ITIL), the British-born set of best practices for the delivery of IT services, has a reputation for being hard -- hard to plow through and hard to implement.

Jim Dunlap wouldn't argue with that. The vice president of IT at General Communication Inc. (GCI), Dunlap launched ITIL when he arrived at the Alaskan telecommunications company in 2004.

"Three years later, we're still at it. It's not easy to roll out ITIL, to go from no processes to process-centric," said Dunlap, who spoke at the annual CIO Decisions Conference here. Indeed, 30% of his IT staff left during the transition.

The gains, however, have been dramatic, Dunlap said, and absolutely necessary for IT to keep pace with the business.

Learn more in "ITIL tough but worth it, says midmarket telco firm." Also:

  • ITIL: Not just for bookworms
    Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL, is bringing law and order to the Wild, Wild West of IT services delivery.
  • ITIL at SMBs challenging but rewarding
    With the right training and investment, ITIL can help SMBs define and improve IT best practices just as much as it benefits large businesses.
  More resources
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This was first published in September 2007

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