Written by CloudTalent – published 24 March 2016

My name is Roger Bennett, a qualified expert in Service Management with many years’ experience working for multinational corporations and more recently in strategic advisory firms.

Now you might be wondering why an American (expatriate if the IRS are reading this) is so gushingly fond of a standard built for the British government, well here’s five good reasons why I love ITIL and everyone in IT should too:

1. ITIL is fundamental

Every IT organisation needs a code to live by. ITIL gives you just that – a shared reference library – the pooled knowledge of many experts who gave their time willingly to create a compendium of best practice for IT. It’s foundational, and open to your interpretation.

2. ITIL is good for business

If you are responsible for IT at a major organisation and you ignore IT service management in general or the principles in ITIL – you do so at your peril. IT in our digital world is simply too complex to manage (whatever vendors may tell you), without a comprehensive framework for implementing, executing and governing IT operations. Fewer mishaps, faster recoveries, greater repeatability, and closer strategic alignment – the benefits of ITIL form a long list. What’s good for your business is often good for you too.

3. ITIL uncovers hidden issues

Some people say that ITIL “is just common sense” and “they would have done all that anyway”. Well, I challenge anyone to compare their own practices with ITIL and see what they are missing. They will almost certainly be missing something and if not, I take my hat off to them, as they must be pretty damn cool.

4. ITIL is adaptable

There are many misconceptions about ITIL. Some people say it is “too prescriptive”, “it’s just an excuse to sell software” or “it’s just for data centres and helpdesks”. None of which are true. I will leave exploding many of the myths of ITIL for some future date, but for now, be assured that:

  • It’s up to you to interpret and implement processes and systems that are right for your business, so it’s OK if don’t adopt all its recommendations.
  • It can make sense to buy software tools, but only when they are aligned with your processes and made fit for purpose for the people who are going to use them.
  • ITIL provides guidance around the entire lifecycle of IT services from business needs to design, build, run and restore, so expand your horizons regarding the benefits it brings.

5. ITIL is the best option out there

ITIL was started over 25 years ago in the public sector and there’s been nothing better since. It is the best service management option available, and it is recognised as such by chapters of the IT Service Management Foundation across the world.

Whatever industry you’re in, IT and service management go hand in hand. And the same goes for ITIL and service management. I don’t expect you to have fallen in love with ITIL just from reading this blog but hopefully it’s made you think about how ITIL could transform your IT practices. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch.

My next blog will focus on the 5 reasons to hate ITIL too:

  • ITIL is dogmatic
  • ITIL tries too hard
  • ITIL is misunderstood
  • ITIL has been sold
  • “ITIL” is a lousy acronym!

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