One of the main tasks of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) implementation process is choosing an ITIL automation tool. Hence, while embarking on the IT service management (ITSM) automation journey, we should not rush into implementing a tool, even if the supplier claims that the tool has pre-built ITIL processes. First and foremost, we need to identify the existing gaps and the maturity levels in the 3 major domains, namely people, process and technology. The priority of these 3 domains should also be people, process and technology, respectively. Second, we need to ask specific questions for each of these 3 domains.
Questions that need to be answered in the people domain are:
- Does your existing organizational structure have adequate staffing in all ITIL-relevant areas? This includes help desk, desktop support, system administration and database administration.
- Are the job descriptions clear?
- Does each function have standard operating procedures (SOPs)?
- Is each function exposed to ITIL processes?
Questions that need to be answered in the process domain are:
- Does your organization have well-defined policies on all core processes, such as incident, change, release and service level management?
- Is each process defined in detail with work flows, notifications and escalation paths?
- Does each process have process owner(s)?
- Does each process also have a responsibility and accountability chart (RACI) for each activity within the process?
- How does your organization measure process efficiency? Have you defined the key performance indicators (KPIs)?
- Does your organization have well-defined service level agreements (SLAs)?
- Does your organization have well-defined business services and service catalogues?
Questions that need to be answered in the tools domain are:
- Does the proposed ITIL tool support ITIL-certified processes?
- Considering scalability and flexibility, can the proposed ITIL tool provide a cloud-based solution?
- Is the proposed ITIL tool modular and does it allow for implementation of specific processes?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool provide a strong configuration management database (CMDB) to manage the IT asset and configuration management?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool support a standard database (Oracle, SQL)?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool provide strong analytics to generate dashboards and KPI reporting?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool have functionality to support context-sensitive multi-channel self-service for users on mobile, Internet or tablets?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool include a unified portal covering self-service requests, knowledge management and dashboards?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool have flexibility in licensing models with named users (for high volume users) and floating users (approvers, low volume processes)?
- Does the proposed ITIL tool provide automated discovery tools to gather IT asset configuration data?
Finally, ensure all key stakeholders, including business management, technical support teams and call center employees, are a part of the project team.
Read Ram Mohan, Mathew Nicho and Shafaq Khan’s recent 2-part Journal article:
“Challenges and Lessons Learned Implementing ITIL,” ISACA Journal, volume 4, 2017.