The questions I’ve heard numerous times over the past 12 months concern mostly the shift to a digital mindset which may include all or some of Agile, DevOps, Cloud and automation. What is important is getting everyone in an organization – including service management – on the same page, creating value for customers.
A customer "lightbulb moment"
A mantra from the past year is that ITIL 4 contains tools and approaches that bring us closer to customer needs.
By that I mean building a customer relationship, meeting customers where they are, understanding needs and co-creating value. The challenge is getting this message across to companies and colleagues.
A company can experience a lightbulb moment with this: if they have been trying to handle operations management in a fast-moving environment while meeting governance regulations. There are probably pockets of it happening already in a company, but not enough to make it a cost-effective IT model.
However, a conversation around ITIL 4 will demonstrate the possibility of having an Agile/DevOps environment alongside governance to reduce risk. Once that lightbulb goes on with a company they understand it, like it and progress it to co-create value.
We can show companies how ITIL 4 interweaves each of the pieces in a service value system and how they can trace value streams in that system. And this is something they can do themselves, developing an approach that is fit for the future.
A year of learning lessons
When it comes to embedding ITIL 4 principles, a lesson learned this year was to get senior leadership buy-in and cultivate a “champion” in your corner to support it.
But to be able to translate its worth to CEOs and COOs requires an “elevator pitch” in executive terms that answers the questions: What is it, what will I get and why?
The ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy module has particularly useful guidance in its customer and market relevance section. This insists that everyone, including the C-suite, is thinking about the customer and whether everything the organization does is relevant to that customer.
If you look at Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, we all need to prioritize the essential things that will help us fulfil our purpose. That’s why the customer and market relevance advice in ITIL 4 is so key: your customers are the reason you exist, so make sure what you do is relevant.
Changing demands needs adaptability and flexibility
Today, many companies maintain on-premise IT versus cloud-based services.
If – thinking ahead to 2022 – you need a DevOps environment that is cost effective and want to work in an Agile way, on-premise IT creates bottlenecks. Similarly, if you need a quicker turnaround with new applications, it’s better to feed into a continuous integration/continuous delivery approach.
While many in service management are still figuring out how to work with that, ITIL 4 provides the methods to be both flexible, adaptable and help customers get what they want.
And service management based on ITIL 4 – suitable to high velocity IT and resilient operations – means that individual practitioners also need cloud certifications and knowledge to support where companies are heading. In addition, becoming a Scrum Master is a good way of learning how to facilitate communication among a team and keep them on pace.
The changing demands and requests for new skills are now a weekly occurrence and practitioners need to ensure they have those skills in place to remain relevant in 2022.
Source Axelos: Jonathan Wafford | ITIL 4 Strategic Leader/Managing Professional