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ITSM Gets Agile With ITIL® V4

The influx of new technologies has initiated a steep growth in the demand for a more modern, structured IT service management (ITSM) framework. Emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) and many more are shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A report by CompTIA projects the global information technology industry will grow at a rate of 3.7% in 2020, and that IT jobs are at risk as companies move toward automation. However, with multi-faceted certifications like ITIL®, the IT teams will be better equipped to handle more responsibilities overarching the IT industry. What is ITIL®?ITIL® (an acronym for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a common framework that standardized global best practices in IT. It is used globally by millions of practitioners and is relied upon by 90% of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 500 to optimize their IT operations. Its framework equips a service provider with a clear capability model, aligning them to the business strategy and customer needs. Yet, with shifting work practices, the silo-model of ITIL® has been challenging its practitioners to evolve. With its new version, the ITIL® V4, some of these problem areas are addressed.  Carefully curated with the help of 12 lead architects, 61 authors, and hundreds of IT practitioners, the latest additions incorporate a range of approaches from DevOps, Agile to SRE (Site Reliability Engineering). So what exactly sets apart ITIL® 4? Defining ITIL® V4 with agilityTraditionally, ITSM focused on continual service improvement (CSI) by collecting feedback and coming up with improvements in a project plan that spans anywhere between 6-12 months. However, with the advent of digital transformation, this approach has become obsolete. With its delayed turn-around-time or improvement model, customer-retention becomes difficult, and the overall pace is hampered as well.  The introduction of agility to this model ensures shorter cycles of projects and constant iterations to meet the customers’ or end-users’ expectations. Running 4-week sprints becomes a regular process, with mini-projects being stacked alongside – then passed to the Scrum Masters. Not only does this streamline the feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement, but it also helps in tracking the success and optimal usage of resources.  It is as simple as this: instead of doing something for 6 months, finding where it failed and then reworking on those aspects; using agile methodology one can continuously rework on what is wrong, while also progressing with the project and enhancing what is right. A perfect example of this is user testing and MVP (minimum viable product) in the case of IT services.  Agile also allows the setting of short-term goals aligned to the current business needs. With the entire team aligned to the end-result ploughing improvements on-the-go, overall productivity is also increased.  Breaking down silosITIL® 4 focuses on creating a shift in the ITSM mindset, both culturally and in the working methodologies, by breaking down barriers and silo-working. It helps in fostering a collaborative work environment right from the top and nurtures a holistic approach to work. By documenting processes formally and keeping track of consistency and progress, the dependencies involved in each process are transparent. Each team works to its strengths and supports the other in its shortcomings, creating a collaborative environment. When such structures are implemented at the top level, it is bound to trickle down to the remaining parts of the organization.  Benefits of ITIL® V 4ITIL® V4 has been primarily built on four dimensions of service management – people, products, partners, and processes. While the processes were largely overlooked by the previous versions, the ITIL® V4 embraces the core values of other frameworks like Lean, Agile and DevOps, making it more flexible and beneficial to the niche IT services.  With the support of ITIL® V4, ITSM is more structured around development processes and its adoption of agile methodologies creates space and autonomy in work within a consistent framework. Change is imperative for the growth of any organization, and ITIL® 4 helps them navigate it. Shifting gears from process-led delivery to value-driven delivery, ITIL® 4 ensures faster quality and quick growth for people and organizations.
ITSM Gets Agile With ITIL® V4
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ITSM Gets Agile With ITIL® V4

The influx of new technologies has initiated a steep growth in the demand for a more modern, structured IT service management (ITSM) framework. Emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) and many more are shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A report by CompTIA projects the global information technology industry will grow at a rate of 3.7% in 2020, and that IT jobs are at risk as companies move toward automation. However, with multi-faceted certifications like ITIL®, the IT teams will be better equipped to handle more responsibilities overarching the IT industry. What is ITIL®?ITIL® (an acronym for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a common framework that standardized global best practices in IT. It is used globally by millions of practitioners and is relied upon by 90% of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 500 to optimize their IT operations. Its framework equips a service provider with a clear capability model, aligning them to the business strategy and customer needs. Yet, with shifting work practices, the silo-model of ITIL® has been challenging its practitioners to evolve. With its new version, the ITIL® V4, some of these problem areas are addressed.  Carefully curated with the help of 12 lead architects, 61 authors, and hundreds of IT practitioners, the latest additions incorporate a range of approaches from DevOps, Agile to SRE (Site Reliability Engineering). So what exactly sets apart ITIL® 4? Defining ITIL® V4 with agilityTraditionally, ITSM focused on continual service improvement (CSI) by collecting feedback and coming up with improvements in a project plan that spans anywhere between 6-12 months. However, with the advent of digital transformation, this approach has become obsolete. With its delayed turn-around-time or improvement model, customer-retention becomes difficult, and the overall pace is hampered as well.  The introduction of agility to this model ensures shorter cycles of projects and constant iterations to meet the customers’ or end-users’ expectations. Running 4-week sprints becomes a regular process, with mini-projects being stacked alongside – then passed to the Scrum Masters. Not only does this streamline the feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement, but it also helps in tracking the success and optimal usage of resources.  It is as simple as this: instead of doing something for 6 months, finding where it failed and then reworking on those aspects; using agile methodology one can continuously rework on what is wrong, while also progressing with the project and enhancing what is right. A perfect example of this is user testing and MVP (minimum viable product) in the case of IT services.  Agile also allows the setting of short-term goals aligned to the current business needs. With the entire team aligned to the end-result ploughing improvements on-the-go, overall productivity is also increased.  Breaking down silosITIL® 4 focuses on creating a shift in the ITSM mindset, both culturally and in the working methodologies, by breaking down barriers and silo-working. It helps in fostering a collaborative work environment right from the top and nurtures a holistic approach to work. By documenting processes formally and keeping track of consistency and progress, the dependencies involved in each process are transparent. Each team works to its strengths and supports the other in its shortcomings, creating a collaborative environment. When such structures are implemented at the top level, it is bound to trickle down to the remaining parts of the organization.  Benefits of ITIL® V 4ITIL® V4 has been primarily built on four dimensions of service management – people, products, partners, and processes. While the processes were largely overlooked by the previous versions, the ITIL® V4 embraces the core values of other frameworks like Lean, Agile and DevOps, making it more flexible and beneficial to the niche IT services.  With the support of ITIL® V4, ITSM is more structured around development processes and its adoption of agile methodologies creates space and autonomy in work within a consistent framework. Change is imperative for the growth of any organization, and ITIL® 4 helps them navigate it. Shifting gears from process-led delivery to value-driven delivery, ITIL® 4 ensures faster quality and quick growth for people and organizations.
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ITSM Gets Agile With ITIL® V4

The influx of new technologies has initiated a ste... Read More

5 ITIL® Skills That Set You Apart

The IT Infrastructure Library or ITIL® is a collection of vast data describing a framework of best practices for delivering IT services. Since its inception in the 1980s, the process has gone through many changes, keeping up with the latest technologies in the IT space. The latest addition was ITIL® 4 and encompasses five books with various processes and stages of the IT service lifecycle. Its systematic approach helps businesses manage risk, strengthen customer relations and build cost-effective strategies for a sustainable IT environment.  Demand for ITIL®As new opportunities continue to emerge for IT professionals at the organizational level, companies are leaning towards recruiting or training individuals with higher skillsets or IT certification. Certifications like the ITIL® not only prepare IT professionals for such organizational-level processes but also project a wider landscape of opportunities. Globally, techies or project experts have received over a 15% hike in their salaries after boosting their resumes with an ITIL® certification. ITIL® ranks 7th among all the top-paying IT certifications, with an average salary of $120,556, according to the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report. So, what is it about ITIL® that makes it one of the most in-demand certification courses? 5 ITIL® skills that set you apart 1. Worldwide Recognition The ITIL® framework is professionally recognized and provides a common language of practical, proven guidance for establishing ITSM, with continual growth as well as consistency. It is used globally by millions of practitioners and giant conglomerates. Axelos reports that 90% of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 500 companies rely on ITIL® to run their operations. This opens a window of opportunities for individuals to explore. 2. Skills for high-quality delivery As the ITIL® framework contains tools that power collaboration within IT teams and delivering value across a business, these skills can be used in different projects, teams, and organizations.  3. Alignment to disruptive technologiesThe fourth version of ITIL® bridges the best practices of ITIL® with the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. The new framework enables organizations to smoothly transition into digital technologies and provides practical and flexible support for this adaption. The framework focuses on collaboration, transparency, automating where possible, and working holistically. Emerging technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more are crucial for businesses to grow but come with their limitations. ITIL® also encompasses ways to deal with their iterative nature.  4. Inculcates a proactive culture The ITIL® framework trains individuals to focus on customers’ expectations and user experience. It helps them plan for contingencies and to take appropriate measures to prevent them from recurring. It also improves the overall service delivery quality, developing a new proactive culture.  5. Goal-oriented strategies One of the chief areas that ITIL® trains an individual/team for, is the focus on driving business. With the emphasis on getting better return-on-investment (ROI) by improving business competence, productivity, and customer-relationships, individuals tend to look for cost-efficient strategies. This not only helps in optimizing resources but also generates a holistic approach towards work. The importance of always learningITIL® enhances continuous growth through its practices. The framework aligns with the future of IT by merging business and technology – how it is working today and how it will work going forward with other methodologies like Agile, DevOps and digital transformation as well. For individuals, the ITIL® skills don’t just set them apart with a distinct resume but also let them implement successful growth-oriented practices in real-time.
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5 ITIL® Skills That Set You Apart

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ITIL 4: Embedding safety culture and behavior

How well prepared are organizations for information security and risk management in an increasingly cloud computing-based world that is also volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA)? The rush to use cloud services sometimes means organizations are not perceptive about the risks. Sounding that “it’s in the cloud, therefore its safe” is wrong, though vendors may claim it is. This is why it’s overriding for ITIL® 4 to have dedicated management practices for information security and risk management; helping enterprises to fabricate healthy cyber behaviors and ensure all employees are involved. It’s also important that external suppliers embrace these best practices to manage overall risk. Balancing security and freedom to innovate Both information security and risk management are everyone’s job in the organization. In high-velocity IT environments, development teams are operating with agility and multiple, regular changes. Although, once they embed healthy information security behaviors, risk management congruous with basic company culture and poses no problem to innovation. This supports the ITIL 4 service value chain, fortifythat everything the organization is doing to co-create value for customers is secure at each point in the chain. The information security management practice helps people perceive the boundaries to work within and tools for solving specific product functionalities for the customer, such as anti-virus, malware protection and supplier access. And, eventually, it’s possible to wangle the cyber security maturity model: Identifying the risks/information vulnerable to threats Assessing how to comply Measuring and monitoring with key performance indicators Establishing continuous programmes for healthy cyber behaviors Transforming the organization with a strong security culture. Balancing risk management and innovationIf an organization’s risk appetite is communicated effectively from C-level, then it becomes the standard approach and shouldn’t inhibit innovation. ITIL 4’s risk management practice evince that, on a daily basis, we are windswept to different types of risks; this means leaders need to nurture both culture and behavior to curtail risk while, at the same time, co-creating value. Having a clear converge on the management practice accredits organizations to identify risk, know how to address it and repeat this process. A major factor highlighted in ITIL 4 is the need to embrace change: what is best for an organization in a VUCA world and how to adapt to the anxiety that comes from the interminable cycle of change. For this, enterprises need to burgeon the culture and behavior among their people to be reliable but also to give them the credence to make mistakes and the ability to fix and learn from them.
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ITIL 4: Embedding safety culture and behavior

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Agile Service Management – Towards Value Streams

With the advanced version ITIL®4, the discipline of Service Management has been catapulted back from the supposedly old, past world to the center of current reality. No, not bureaucratic processes should manage resources or utilities anymore. Rather, holistic practices are to be developed as strategic capabilities within the organization and aligned with a constant focus on the value of the customer. With the seven central guiding principles, the essential values of the service organization are to be reviewed again and again before important decisions are made during the design and implementation of services and products. Agility is not simply a new method, but anchored in the DNA of the newly created Service Value System. This new memorandum is very well received by companies. Finally, the framework has opened up to new build-outs and created a bridge to new technologies, automation and new agile methods. The attempt to define new agile approaches was contradicted. Rather, the coexistence of the various approaches was emphasized, paving the way for the transfer of existing, often rigid IT service management to a more open, flexible and agile service management. A central notion in the contemporary Service Value System of ITIL®4 is the Service Value Chain with the Service Value Streams. Value chains and value streams are not really new, butprocured from lean management. The Lean Management concept procured from the optimization of Toyota's assembly lines to discern and avoid fritter in the production chain has basically existed since the middle of the 20th century and was claimed in various management areas. This is now also the case in service management. But how can this notion be seeked in practice? How do you identify and optimize your value streams? How do I transform an IT service management organization fragmented by many individual processes into an end-to-end value stream oriented service management organization with a common vision and focused on value? We pursued this question in an intensive workshop with the Service Management Team of Swiss Post. What was important at the beginning was a common discernment of the difference between action and practices and between processes and value streams. In the beginning, an understanding of value generation, fritter, workflow, lead time and effective working time were also important prerequisites for working together on a value stream. When identifying a value stream, it is ideal to look at the entire value chain from the customer request to the delivery of the service or product. In our workshop, we looked at the prevalent process from ordering an electronic workstation with a notebook to providing a managed workstation service. We divided this seemingly trivial process into four phases: Selection & Ordering, Review & Approval, Staging & Deliver and Monitoring & Billing. The question arose right at the start: where do we start? From the beginning of the value flow - or from the desired result? Traditionally, the process has been viewed from the order and developed through to delivery. If the focus is now to be on the value for the customer, this expected value must first be clearly understood. This means that the result, the outcome, must be the start of our design. During the workshop it soon became clear that the result of an order for a workstation system cannot simply be the provision of a notebook alone. Preferably, this workstation should be managed and integrated into the support, lifecycle, reliability and monitoring. In two teams, the Value Stream was developed from two sides. One team is based on the outcome of the value stream, the other on the input. The different problem zones on the way from input to outcome were electrifying to see. A lot of fritter was located around the securing of all necessary information until an order for the provision of the workplace was accrued. Cost and other release points, roles and permissions, identity and password information, licenses and billing models. Or also input fields such as a "comment field", which ultimately nobody really entails in the processing of the order has been identified as a waste. Media breaks and breadlines can also be identified as problem zones. All these problem zones must be systematically recorded and systematically analyzed and eliminated by means of suitable problem management methods such as the problem solving circle with 6 steps. In the subsequent examination of the value stream recorded in this way, the various ITIL practices used in the processing of customer orders were discerned. These were for this value stream: Service Catalogue, Request Fulfillment, Infrastructure Management, Identity & Access Management, Asset Management, Service Configuration Management, Change Enablement, Event & Monitoring, Service Desk, Financial Management and Information Security Management. Each of these practices must now be able to make an optimal contribution on the path to value creation of the value stream. These practices now provided by ITIL4 can help design an optimized value stream with all four facets (people and organization, information and technology, value stream and processes, and partners and suppliers). This is one of the key annotations of this workshop. If the focus has so far been on the performance of the respective process, the interface of the actions up to the desired value suddenly becomes obvious. Alignment of the processes with the overall result now seems much more central to the workshop contributors than appraising any self-defined KPIs. The focus on value bespeak in this way and the insight gained that all employees intricate in the value stream will now be able to better identify their staging with the overall result was also regarded as one of the main aid from this workshop.
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Agile Service Management – Towards Value Streams

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How ITIL® 4 Helps in the Breakdown of Siloed Working

Silo mentality is a mindset adopted by certain employees/teams/departments within the same organization. Silo working hampers efficiency, scope for improvement, cross-functional knowledge transfer as well as trust-building within a workforce.The existence of a silo mentality drastically affects the health of the company culture in the long run.However, silo working has been a management term that has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. A silo mindset can be eradicated with the right vision and training by the executive leaders of organizations. ITIL® plays a vital role in creating this shift and helps in preventing such destructive organizational practices.2 ways ITIL 4 eliminates a siloed approach to workITIL 4 was introduced with the intention to streamline the service value chain by eliminating orthodox processes. It enables teams to develop a holistic approach instead of a siloed approach.Below are the 2 ways enterprises can use ITIL 4 to avoid a siloed approach to work:1. Foster a collaborative work environment right from the top77% of organizations say that ITIL has helped them implement effective organizational changes. In majority of these organizations, ITIL was adopted right from the senior management to beginner-level employees. When professionals in the top levels of an organization display teamwork with a growth mindset, it’s inevitable that the rest of the workforce would adopt it.This level of collaboration right from the top reinforces the idea that employees/teams must work together to achieve business goals. ITIL 4 helps organizations frame new process architectures that revolve around the value-creation principle. Processes are formally documented to keep track of consistency and progress, and dependencies involved in each process are clearly laid out.  This way, teams tend to work holistically and a siloed approach to work is reduced.2. Enlighten the employees about a holistic work approachA rigid work culture leaves the employees uninspired to collaborate. ITIL 4 advocates building a customer-centric culture. However, for happy customers to be born, employees must be satisfied first. Enterprises must consider the aspirations of their employees and why they prefer siloed work over teamwork. If the employees raise concerns regarding the company culture and the lack of enough support is compelling them to work in silo, those need to be addressed.Employees who feel that they lack the right skills to collaborate should also be supported to uplift their productivity. They can also be rewarded for their efforts for team work through periodic performance reviews and rewards/recognition.Nipping siloed approach at the budIn the past, ITSM had received a lot of flak for promoting siloed working, However, the latest version of ITIL, ITIL 4, rectified this flaw of ITSM. Amidst this highly competitive market, it’s imperative for organizations to generate value quickly. Siloed approach impedes enterprises from a value-generation point of view. Industry experts are of the view that on-the-job trainings are the best way to upskill the entire workforce in ITIL 4. Adoption of ITIL 4 will greatly help in curbing a siloed approach to work and encourage a holistic and collaborative work methodology.
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How ITIL® 4 Helps in the Breakdown of Siloed W...

Silo mentality is a mindset adopted by certain emp... Read More

A Quick Guide to ITIL®4.

ITIL®4 was launched in 2019 as an evolved version of ITIL® v3 concepts and practices. The core focus of ITIL®4 is to provide an emphasis on the business and technology world, how it works today, and how it will work in the future with Agile, DevOps and digital transformation. It was developed with the goal to empower enterprises with new and agile ways of working.This infographic serves as a quick guide to ITIL®4.
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A Quick Guide to ITIL®4.

ITIL®4 was launched in 2019 as an evolved version... Read More