For a long time, it was only results that mattered. As long as you delivered those, people tended not to be overly concerned about how the job got done. It didn’t matter if you had to pull a last-minute all-nighter, or re-jigger everything in the system that could ever be jiggered. You were kind of a black box where needs went in and something came out to meet those needs.
While there’s a lot to be said for having those skills (especially in an emergency) as a way of getting things done, on a day-to-day basis the slap-dash, jury-rig method has a lot of problems. For one thing, what if the person who knows how to do the magic act leaves the company? If your only concern is the outcome and you don’t know how to get to it then you’re out of luck. For another thing, what if he just gets something wrong one day? He hits the wrong button, enters the wrong code and things go haywire? To err, as we all know from experience, is human.
Undocumented processes are very, very difficult to replicate and make it a nightmare to figure out where something went wrong. That’s why ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is so important. It provides a framework to identify, plan, deliver and support IT services. Even better, that framework wasn’t created by a single guru, ninja, rock star or whatever else we’re calling them these days. No matter how great one person is at a job, he or she can’t know everything. So ITIL is based on best practices developed and refined by many people at many businesses in many different sectors. In other words, the problems have been looked at from every angle possible.
The result of all this is the processes, procedures, tasks and checklists that make it possible to integrate IT services with the organization’s strategy, while at the same time delivering more value and maintaining standards of competency. It lets you demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.
So what’s not to like?
Nothing really, it’s just that there are so many issues around implementing it and making sure people are using it. Doing that can eat up a lot of time and resources that would be better used taking advantage of ITIL’s benefits and not making sure that it’s being adhered to.
If only there was some way to automate it. Some way for a single program to check and make sure ITIL was being applied to hundreds of thousands of endpoints – in real time. What would be even better is if this could be done continuously, so you didn’t have to wait until the next audit or for a problem to cause other problems to find out something wasn’t right. As long as we’re dreaming, let’s make it a program that updates the ITIL definitions automatically for all the devices it manages and that can be managed and monitored from a single console. Finally, while we’re here in the land of make believe, how about a program that can do all this right out of the box, so you can do all this within hours and not days or weeks or months.