Job Description: This person is in charge of implementing Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) policies, concepts and processes for managing IT services. ITIL impacts the management of hardware and software incidents, changes, configurations and security, among other areas. “It’s a process, discipline and framework to ensure IT has the right resources, equipment, software and people,” says David Van De Voort, a consulting principal at Mercer. “The ITIL manager has to be an advocate, ombudsman, salesman, visionary and organizer.”
Salary Range: $130,000 to $175,000
Why You Need One: Adopting best practices for IT service operation and delivery, which are the two cornerstones of ITIL, lets organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT departments. “ITIL projects are being initiated again” as the economy improves, says Evelyn Hubbert, a senior analyst with Forrester Research.
“None of this works without having process owners who introduce the notion of ITIL, bring the language, the knowledge and the guidance in any given subject area,” Hubbert adds. An expert can make sure the implementation is done correctly and that later, the organization stays on the right course, says Rick Joslin, executive director of certification and training at Think Services’ HDI, a membership, training and certification association for technical support professionals.
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The United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce developed ITIL, whose official site (www.itil-officialsite.com) and accreditations are managed by APM Group. The site is a good place for CIOs to get acquainted with the various courses, books and certifications available for ITIL. However, experts agree that the most important quality in a candidate is having had hands-on experience. “I would be looking for someone with proven success implementing ITIL,” Joslin says. In addition, it’s a job for which seasoned IT pros tend to be a good fit because they can balance ITIL with common sense, Hubbert says.
Candidates needn’t have been the top ITIL project leader, but they should at least have been significantly involved with the implementation team. Van De Voort says.
How to Find One: Companies that have already implemented ITIL are an obvious place to find a manager. These companies tend to be proud of their accomplishments and often will highlight that on their websites.
What to Look for: Leadership skills, comfort with managing change, strong organizational skills and eagerness to stay involved and current with the latest best practices are some hard-to-measure but important abilities ITIL managers should have. A talent for diplomacy is also important because implementing ITIL means changing the way existing processes are handled, says Van De Voort.
Elimination Round: Ask candidates how they approached an ITIL implementation and how they overcame problems, Van De Voort advises.
Growing Your Own: Good internal candidates are senior-level, highly skilled project managers with experience leading complex IT efforts such as the rollout of an enterprisewide ERP system or data center consolidation and migration. Relevant experience also includes IT service and infrastructure management.