5 things you want to know about ITIL

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Fourteen years ago, no one in Ghana had heard about ITIL. Now, it seems like you can’t walk into an organisation without someone mentioning it. But despite all the buzz, many businesses don’t fully understand what ITIL is all about. Here are the highlights.

#1: ITIL stands for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library

ITIL contains a comprehensive set of best practices that are used to develop and execute IT service management. It offers a number of benefits, including increased competitive advantage through cost reduction, growth, and agility; more business efficiency through streamlining of IT processes; enhanced IT value through business and IT operations and goal alignment, and improved internal customer and user satisfaction.

#2: The organisation body that supports ITIL is located in the United Kingdom

The overall ITIL approach has been available since the late 1980s and has been published on the Internet for years. However, it was largely unknown to other parts of the world including Africa and America until a critical mass of large companies and media publications started to take notice. More than 10,000 organisations worldwide have now adopted ITIL.

#3: You can implement ITIL in stages

ITIL is not a quick and easy solution. ITIL best practices cover a large space (the width, depth and breadth of the entire IT organisation), provide many concepts and take time to understand. For anyone looking for the “silver bullet” to solve his or her IT and business problems, ITIL is not the answer. However, the investment is well worth it once the organisation is clear on how ITIL can apply specifically and is willing to take the time to understand the main ITIL concepts and their value. ITIL provides the main components of an IT organisation that need to be worked out in detail to fit with an IT organisation’s unique organisational structure and unique set of technology.

#4: To be successful, ITIL stresses the need for a strong executive sponsor

Implementing ITIL practices is a culture change initiative. People are going to complain about having to do things differently than they did in the past. You need a strong sponsor to push the change. If you don’t have one, don’t attempt the implementation–or look for limited success.

#5: ITIL is not project management

ITIL does not focus on creating things like projects do. Instead, it focuses on delivering IT services to the company.

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