Why should you attend ITIL® training ? To deliver the services that will make the customer happy
By Marcus Binet
Services: a single word which can cause many IT organisations to come undone.
One day in 1980 or so, Dad came home from work with a big box (actually it was a few big boxes). He worked for a large accountancy firm who had decided “we all need to have computers”, so he got one. It was an Apple IIe (actually it was a cheap clone of an Apple IIe), top notch stuff. So we opened the boxes and plugged everything in, turned it on and a blinking cursor appeared in the top left hand corner of the screen.
We watched it blink for a while until we realised that nothing more was going to happen, and we turned it off. Other than a text based adventure game called “Tarturian” that my brother and I loaded from a cassette, I don’t think we ever achieved anything with that computer.
A few years later, Dad came home with another “computer” which was Windows based. Now we could really add value – we could play solitaire.
Somewhere deep in the IT bowels of Dad’s accounting firm was the beginnings of an IT department. It was run by “enthusiasts”, more precisely it was probably run by an accountant who was an IT enthusiast in his spare time.
When computers were requested, he bought computers. Hardware. And gave it to the customers. No training, no software, no support, no connectivity. Just hardware.
It’s interesting how when we scroll forward 35 or so years, our response to a request for hardware is so very different. A customer request for an iPad will not get them an iPad. It will get them a meeting with an Account Manager, or a Business Analyst or a Project Team Member who wants to ask them one question: “Why?”
We no longer waste our money buying equipment just because someone has asked for it. Instead we want to find out why the customer wants it. What is their expected outcome? Who will use it? Do we have anything that we already offer which would serve the same purpose? This is because we manage IT as a service, not as technology. The aim is not to deliver to the customer what we think they want, or what they might think they want (e.g.“a computer”), but to deliver an outcome. Something that fits the needs of the customer. Something that has an agreed level of performance and consistency. We deliver a service.
ITIL is based on the management of IT as Services, not technology. The management of services is about the management of the people, the tools, the processes and the third parties in order to deliver services – not just to deliver technology. This language has become a normal part of most IT organisations. If you work with, or have heard talk of a Service Catalogue, then you have had some exposure to the idea of managing IT as services.
Managing IT as services is the future. The underpinning provider of those services may be either internal or external, but managing IT is not about technical delivery. The technology becomes secondary, and the need for processes becomes more important. This is the reason ITIL has gained so much traction. ITIL is all about processes. Processes that help deliver services, services which make the customer happy.
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