Is ITIL Valuable Beyond IT?

A recent discussion in the IT Service Management Forum group on LinkedIn centered around the question: Is ITIL appropriate for departments other than IT?

ITIL is a comprehensive set of best practices for managing IT services within an enterprise. Many of its components are therefore specific to IT management (capacity management, IT service continuity management, information security management, etc.).

The ITIL FrameworkStill, because several of the underlying principles of ITIL do have broader applicability, the general consensus of those commenting in the LinkedIn discussion was “yes.”

Principles such as responsiveness and continuous improvement are applicable in any service industry (restaurants, auto repair,  healthcare) as well across other internal shared services groups (human resources, facilities management, finance, etc.). As one discussion participant noted, “One of the best things about ITIL is its ‘adopt and adapt’ approach to how you apply the practices.”

Also applicable across functional groups is the service catalog approach, extending an IT service catalog to an enterprise-wide business service catalog—which is at the core of enterprise request management (ERM). As another commenter put it, in other departments from facilities to HR, “If a customer has an issue or a request then there is no reason why this can not be logged and managed in the same way an IT request is handled.”

Organizations can improve the quality of services and speed of delivery while reducing service delivery costs and simplifying service request and incident reporting processes for users by adopting a centralized service request portal. Business process owners can then use graphical tools to map and automate their own service fulfillment workflow processes.

Continuous improvement in an ERM approach is supported by both quantitative (e.g., how long did a process take to be completed?) and qualitative (did fulfillment meet user expectations?) metrics.

What do you think? You can respond to the poll question here or start a discussion of your own in the Enterprise Request Management group on LinkedIn.


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