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ITIL® for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

When ITIL® principles were first released, it was hailed as a major milestone in the IT industry. Currently, many large companies including Boeing, IBM and Procter and Gamble swear by ITIL. ITIL provides a set of best practices and guidelines for IT Service Management for any private or public sector organization. ITIL has been widely adopted mainly by large and complex companies – especially the ones that have been around for decades. These large companies have the capability of dedicating a large amount of resources and effort towards ITIL implementation, and as a result, they have been able to reap the benefits of ITIL.

For some reason, ITIL has been tagged as too complex by small and medium businesses when ITIL can actually help them manage their IT efficiently and compete with larger companies. So how does a small or medium sized business begin to implement ITIL in their organization without making the process a confusing and expensive mess?

Four Critical Areas

When a company starts implementing ITIL, it needs to address various issues and follow these four steps. This will help the company keep its focus and efforts on track.

  • Step 1 – What is the current status?
    • The company needs to figure out the IT issues it is currently facing. This can be done by recording and analyzing all the Incidents with the help of Service Desk applications. These Incidents should be classified correctly under categories like hardware, software, server, etc. This will help the company implement the Incident Management process of the Service Operation stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle.
  • Step 2 – What does the business want?
    • For the company to be successful, its business and IT goals must be aligned. An SLA (Service Level Agreement) must be drawn up that states the goals and responsibilities of the IT and business divisions within the company. It gives the IT department its priorities and boundaries to work within.
  • Step 3 -What needs to be done to fulfill the SLA?
    • The issues and the expectations of the company have been defined in the previous steps.  To resolve the concerns and meet the expectations of the customers and the business, the company needs to implement various changes through the appropriate channels. The Service Transition stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle explains all the activities that must be accomplished during Release and Deployment Management and Change Management. All the Changes must be classified under the three categories provided by ITIL – emergency, normal or standard. Following ITIL guidelines, these Changes can be addressed and managed properly, and this will bring the company closer to the goals mentioned in the SLA.
  • Step4 – How must the company improve?
    • After Change Management has been implemented properly, the company must start thinking of how it must grow and improve and reduce costs at the same time. The Continual Service Improvement (CSI) stage of ITIL is the answer. In the CSI stage, the company must define the metrics and measurements that will be used for its services, technologies and processes. Things like disk usage and server performance must be continuously monitored and improved by keeping the business goals in mind.

Large companies take about seven years to implement ITIL, so this time period will be much longer for smaller companies. A process owner or leader must be appointed so that full-scale ITIL can be implemented even in small companies.

For more information, contact Ashford Global IT today!

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Frank is a leading trainer in IT Security.

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