Conforming to ITIL v3, the latest IT Service Management [ITSM] standard, can require major changes to any organisation's IT operating processes. And proceeding too quickly is a recipe of trouble.
Michael Davies, principle consultant at ProActive services and fellow at the Institute of ITSM, told the ITSM Forum Australia [ITSMFA] recently that organisations looking to take the plunge should consider starting with ICT IM principles.
ICT IM [ICT Infrastructure Management] is a series of best-practice principles for the planning, design, deployment and operational management of ICT infrastructure. It is a part of the ITIL [Information Technology Infrastructure Library].
ITIL was recently updated with a new set of principles which collectively comprise ITIL v3. The key difference in the new version is that the technology and business aspects of ITSM are now seen to be integrated.
According to Davies, adapting to ITIL v3 principles can be a major undertaking, one that many organisations underestimate.
""Many organisations have claimed they can implement ITIL in 18 months. I've had some say they could do it in six months," he says.
But attempting such a big undertaking in too short of a timetable is a recipe for failure, Davies warns. There just isn't enough time to let the principles behind the standard sink in.
"I have a motto for ITSM - it's called Festina Lente. It means hasten slowly," he says.
"If you get the priorities right and make sure you embed the changes before the next version comes along you'll have a much better chance of success."
This is why Davies recommends starting with ICT IM principles in preparation for the change. Doing so will allow organisations to take a life-cycle approach to their ICT infrastructure, he says, which will make adopting the integrated principles of ITIL v3 a whole lot easier.
The other components of ICT IM also have striking parallels with the ITIL principles.
"There's design and planning – that is service design service strategy. There's deployment, which is all about service transition. Then there's service operations, and technical support," he says.
"If you look at all those functions, [ITIL v3] is there."
The good news is organisations which have made an effort to conform to v2, especially those which have tried to adapt the guiding force behind the principles, may find they already match many of these principles.
"v3 isn't that much of a change from v2, if you accept the fact that v2 was always about more than service support and delivery," Davies says.
Indeed, he says, organisations should ask themselves, "do we need to implement [v3] or are we already there?"