Digital transformation is no longer a future goal for most enterprises. From medium-sized businesses to the largest of corporations, there has been a pressing need over the last 18 months to transform systems to modernise systems for “the new normal” and deliver business resilience. As McKinsey data suggests, organisations are accelerating their digital ambitions by as much as ten years.
Those organisations that can successfully transform their environment can now deliver better customer experiences, capitalise on new revenue opportunities (KPMG data suggests that 80 per cent of new revenue opportunities come from digital), and better engage with employees. And yet, for all the opportunity, digital transformation remains an enormously complex and challenging process. BCG research suggests that just 30 per cent of digital transformation initiatives deliver to their expected value.
When looking at the goals of transformation exercises now – they are principally being driven by the need to introduce digital workflows – ITIL should be seen as a core component of a successful transformation project. Enterprise service management – the use of service management thinking, practices, and technology by other business functions to improve operations, services, experiences, and outcomes – is a proven approach to providing the required digital workflows, and other digitally-enabled capabilities, in an optimised manner.
“These new ways of working broke the IT operating model that organisations were using, and for some, the old model was fundamentally incompatible with how people now worked and used IT. Practices need to be quickly revised to realign with the emerging business strategies, and that’s prompted a greater appetite to consider ITIL®, especially with the latest iteration, ITIL 4, encouraging a bit more pragmatism in applying ITIL guidelines,” Stephen Moore, Business Development Consultant at ITSM Hub, said in an exclusive interview with CIO Australia.
“With ITIL 4, service organisations can meet or exceed the rising bar of customer expectations through constructing repeatable and reliable services. And using proven methods, methods to enable change, and to deal with incidents and problems.”
Previous generations of ITIL have had the reputation of being rigid and inflexible, but that has changed with ITIL 4, the newest version of the framework, which was released in February 2019 – less than a year before the pandemic started to drive new transformation priorities. ITIL 4’s new capabilities – including improved recognition and support for integration of Agile, DevOps, and Lean – were built into the structure of the framework, meaning that it is well-placed for modern transformation priorities, and that it now has the flexibility for widespread adoption across the organisation, beyond IT.
Selling ITIL Across The Enterprise
The benefits that ITIL 4 offers the enterprise, as it undertakes transformation, are varied, but include:
- Better ROI for Service Management – ITIL 4 will not reduce the need to invest in Service Management within IT or across the wider enterprise, however, it will help Service Management practices be more constructive and streamlined.
- Future-proofing Service Management practices – One of the core goals of all transformation exercises is future-proofing and providing enterprises with the platform that they need for both resilience and scalability indefinitely. ITIL 4 helps future-proof Service Management by providing modern, scalable, technology-agnostic practices and guidance.
- Faster service delivery and support. Because ITIL 4 encourages streamlining of the journey from opportunity to delivery and ongoing support (without sacrificing quality), the ITSM and ESM functional groups within the organisation can start being more rapidly responsive to challenges and opportunities.
- Greater alignment of strategic intent and services delivered across the business. For the IT department, because the ITSM function is able to be more responsive, ITIL 4 enables it to better meet the needs of other lines of business, where dynamic responsiveness is absolutely essential to their own functions.
- Ongoing improvement to services and products. As mentioned, ITIL 4 enables and facilitates Agile best practices. This means that continual, iterative product and service development is unlocked, and that is critical for companies to take advantage of the real-time dynamic opportunities in digital revenue.
“You can use ITIL 4 to help your teams understand why there are things that should be done a certain way,” Moore said. “It explains how the different practices work together to create a value chain and support the whole service lifecycle. And what you really want is to continually improve services to increase value. If you achieve that your staff will be active leaders of the services and the service management processes, not just followers, and your customers will be singing your praises.”
Digital transformation is an undeniable force in IT, precisely because it acknowledges that IT is now whole-of-business and needs to be re-structured with that in mind. For the IT team, leveraging ITIL 4 in such a way that it “makes sense” to the rest of the organisation is a quick path to transformation success, and the subsequent future-proofing of the environment.
To learn more about ITIL 4’s role in digital transformation and to receive an ITIL 4 business case and certification structure click here.
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