Make IT Service-Minded
One hope for the new version is that it will speak more to the CIO and other senior IT executives so that they see ITIL's utility and begin promoting its approaches and even demanding them across their organizations, says consultant Fry. "The CIO can pick up a book to better understand the operations specifically for, say, change management, an area that he may have no experience with," he says.
"You can't take for granted that if the IT managers are taking care of the operations you don't have to worry about it as CIO," says David Wheeldon, director of service management at Hewlett-Packard Education EMEA, UK, and co-author of the new ITIL book on Service Operations.
But that doesn't mean the CIO should become the hands-on manager for that issue. "I'll read the new ITIL, but I won't figure out how to modify my systems for it," notes Hayes. "But I will aggressively ask how my vendors are going to modify their systems for it," she adds. Similarly, a CIO should push IT operations managers on how they're using it.
No one cares about the CIO's strategic vision, if the help desk stinks
Overall, a CIO should use the new ITIL books to set the goals for being a service-oriented organization, develop the metrics to assess whether the operational goals are being met and help develop or buy the processes that help the IT organization make the shift, Fry recommends.
"ITIL drives the strategic direction that IT is about services," says George Spalding, a vice president at the consultancy Pink Elephant and co-author of the new ITIL book on Continual Service Improvement. "And it provides a definition of success," he adds.
This shift to service orientation is particularly critical for companies constantly fighting technology fires, which causes executive management to question the CIO's abilities and prevents a view of IT as a business enabler from taking root.
"No one cares about the CIO's strategic vision", if the help desk stinks, Spalding says. And as more and more customer-facing processes become automated, tolerance for poor service plummets. "CIOs don't have room for error any more," Fry says. Using ITIL, a CIO can "ask a pile of questions for real change", he notes. For example, you might ask whether an IT effort changes capacity requirements, has a recovery strategy built into it and has realistic service-level agreements — all lifecycle issues often neglected if you're focused on delivering technology.
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