The CIO s guide to ITIL in the Midmarket

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1 E-Guide The CIO s guide to ITIL in the Midmarket Businesses across the globe have adopted the concepts set forth in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a set of guidelines to help companies determine best practices to achieve quality service. Now that ITIL is becoming more and more prevalent in the midmarket, a series of important questions has arisen. What kind of training is necessary to implement ITIL? How does a midmarket company go about instituting such a vast framework? What is the return on investment? Find the answers to these questions and more in The CIO s guide to ITIL in the Midmarket. Sponsored By:

2 Table of Contents The Midmarket CIO s Guide to the Evolving CRM Landscape E-Guide Table of Contents: Implementing ITIL in the midmarket? Take a highly focused approach ITIL at SMBs challenging but rewarding 10 ITIL implementation mistakes and fixes ITIL cert: Industry game changer Resources from SkillSoft Sponsored by: Page 2 of 13

3 Implementing ITIL in the midmarket? Take a highly focused approach Implementing ITIL in the midmarket? Take a highly focused approach By Kate Evans-Correia, Senior Director, News When considering ITIL, you ve got to ask yourself: Where s the return? If you can t answer that question, then don t do it, advised Larry Killingsworth, an IT consultant at Pultorak & Associates Ltd., a Seattle-based consultancy firm. This is especially true for midmarket firms, where resources are limited. If you can answer that, then go for it, he said. To blindly follow because some guru said so is just foolish. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a globally recognized collection of best practices for IT Service Management. It provides businesses with a customizable framework of ways to achieve quality service and overcome difficulties associated with the growth of IT systems. ITIL is organized into sets of texts, which are defined by related functions: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. In addition to texts, which can be purchased online, ITIL services and products include training, certifications, software tools and user groups such as the IT Service Management Forum. But if influenced by all the hoopla, midmarket CIOs risk getting into hot water while implementing ITIL. ITIL is no panacea, Killingsworth said. You have to implement the right parts to make it work. That s the only sane way to approach this. Otherwise, you ll be spending a lot of money for nothing. Kathy Lang, CIO of Marquette University in Milwaukee, agreed. She said her successful approach to ITIL had as much to do with taking it slowly as it did good planning. Her group began with only three of the proposed ITIL frameworks incidents, change and configuration. Implementing them was still a huge undertaking, but Lang said the expectations among her staff of 75, as well as upper management, were realistic. And she did not promise anyone anything she didn t believe she could deliver. Lang s team, which supports about 11,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff members, began using the ITIL framework about three years ago. Lang, who reports to the vice president of administration, has been with the university for six years. We started with an assessment of current processes, she said. Surprisingly, we found out we were doing better in something than we had actually thought. Not so good in others. Upshot: You can t make assumptions. Despite the higher number of implementations in large enterprises, IT analyst firm Enterprise Management Sponsored by: Page 3 of 13

4 Implementing ITIL in the midmarket? Take a highly focused approach Associates Inc. (EMA) found that ITIL is likely to be more valuable in medium-sized enterprises than in larger ones. A key reason for this is midsized organizations have smaller IT staffs and also smaller budgets, and simply cannot always add resources to address IT problems. While ITIL includes a huge number of best practices that cover all aspects of IT service management, the key for midsized organizations is to focus on those processes that are most relevant to their unique situation. The highest-performing IT organizations apply a vetted and repeatable set of processes that maximize the performance of their IT services. ITIL is a framework that defines best practices for these processes for organizations to leverage, said Steve Brasen, an analyst at Boulder, Colo.-based EMA and author of a report titled Is ITIL Right for Medium Enterprises? They need to do this if they expect to compete with large industry, Brasen said. Not only is ITIL appropriate for them, but it s probably better for them than the enterprise it s because they don t have the resources that [larger organizations] have to do it. Like Killingsworth, Brasen recommends a phased-in approach when implementing ITIL, addressing only the things that are critically important at that point in time. Don t try to eat the whole thing all at once, Brasen said. Working through each problem then frees up resources to address other problems. ITIL never ends, he said. The more you do, the more efficient your environment becomes. In addition to working in phases, Lang said approaching ITIL as a special project was essential to success. We implemented all those processes as a project, she said. We had a project manager leading the implementation. Giving the responsibility to someone who isn t dedicated to the project is a bad idea. It doesn t work because they ve got other things to do. Lang said everyone s role was defined up front. We treated it like any other project. That showed that it was a priority for IT. Regardless, there will be obstacles. For Lang, it was cultural changes. Some people just couldn t cope with doing things differently until they saw the benefits. Brasen said for the midmarket, it s that IT workers have to wear many hats. Less money, more hats. Sponsored by: Page 4 of 13

5 ITIL at SMBs challenging but rewarding ITIL at SMBs challenging but rewarding By Matt Bolch, Contributor Lou Hunnebeck compares the challenges of adopting IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) practices to those of starting a diet: lifestyle changes take some getting used to, and you ll probably still crave sweets. IT folks are ones and zeroes people. They want a kit, said Hunnebeck, IT Service Management (ITSM) practice director at CCN Inc., a New York-based ITSM and IT workforce technology provider. ITIL can be very frightening because it takes a certain amount of trust. It s really about changing culture. But more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are adopting the concepts set forth in ITIL, which puts a framework around IT practices and aligns them with business strategy. A revised version of ITIL standards is expected to be released at the end of May, with new instructional materials to follow in about a year, according to Hank Marquis, director of ITSM consulting at Enterprise Management Associates, an analyst and consulting firm in Boulder, Colo. Faster reaction time, better results Raritan Computer Inc. began adopting ITIL standards in spring 2005 to quicken reaction time to the needs of its data centers in Somerset, N.J., and in Asia, said Neil Liu, director of global IT. The company has 400 employees worldwide, including a global IT team of 21. The company is a leading global supplier of analog KVM, KVM-over-IP, remote server management, power management and network monitoring and management technologies. It was chaos when something went down, Liu said. So we adopted a project management style with service manager technologies, including a reporting dashboard, speedier alerts when something goes amiss and remote access. More than two dozen engineers and the IT team were trained in ITIL and collaborated on the project, which saved Raritan $12,000 a year by bringing server monitoring in house, Liu said. Other savings include an hour a day of the server administrator s time thanks to better reporting and increased compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Don t do ITIL for the sake of ITIL, Liu said. You have to find that pain point that ITIL can solve to develop a standard operating procedure that any team member can pick up and follow. Hunnebeck said her company doesn t stress ITIL in its IT projects, but the methodology is important to help SMBs achieve strategic goals. We call it quality or an operational excellence program, she said. ITIL is just one of the tools to achieve that business objective. Training staff and ITIL certifications ITIL was developed by the United Kingdom s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in the late 1980s, but it has taken on new importance in recent years as SMBs have recognized IT as an integral part of a company s business processes. That recognition, however, puts a heavy burden on once-maverick IT departments that now must rein in their superhero mentalities. Sponsored by: Page 5 of 13

6 ITIL at SMBs challenging but rewarding Although budgets are a concern at companies of all sizes, SMBs feel that pain more acutely. Gaining ITIL certifications can stretch already tight budgets and put additional pressure on employees both those being certified and those left behind to pick up the slack. But the payoff is more efficient processes and the integration of IT throughout the organization. Current ITIL training will remain valid even after new curricula based on ITIL v3 is developed, Marquis said. A preview of v3 indicates a consolidation of the current library of nine books to five. The new books are service strategies: service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. Foundation is the basic ITIL certification, which covers the 10 core processes of ITIL. Two-day exam-cram sessions or a three-day program that also explores real-world applications through case studies and role-playing can cost participants between $700 and $1,500, Marquis said. The Practitioner certification offers an in-depth look into key processes. Practitioner exams are focused on four clusters: support and restore (service desk), release and control (back-office functions), agree and define (service-level and financial management) and plan and improve (availability, capacity and continuity management). Courses generally are five days and cost around $2,500. Service Manager is the highest level of ITIL certification. Courses can run up to 15 days, including two testing days. And it s not cheap. Costs range from $8,000 to $12,000. This certification is geared toward project managers and those who lead ITIL initiatives at their organizations. Keep your operations in top shape Electronic control device manufacturer Phoenix Contact had an ISO 9001 certification, but its IT function around the service desk wasn t as robust as network operations manager Bill Sheaffer thought it should be. Phoenix Contact, which has its U.S. base in Harrisburg, Pa., employs 500 workers domestically, including 20 in its IT department. We were looking for best practices around our service desk and a good framework, Sheaffer said. Like a mechanic who never fixes his own car, we always get to our stuff last. After training three managers in Foundation last year, the remaining Phoenix IT staff will undergo ITIL training this summer. To help offset costs, the company received state technology funds, a viable option for many companies to explore as city, state and regional entities compete to attract and retain industry. Sheaffer said executive buy-in is vital to gain support and funding for ITIL initiatives. Once ITIL concepts take hold, projects should be adapted to the ITIL framework, instead of altering the framework to fit the project. When you talk about ITIL, you can t think about the way you do things now, Sheaffer said. If you do, you ll wind up with a combination of ITIL and the way you do it now, and you won t be any better off. Sponsored by: Page 6 of 13

7 Question: What is the best time to send your entire IT team out to take a class? Answer: Never. Keeping IT infrastructure secure and operational is a 24x7 job. So is keeping up with the latest technology. That s why it s important for IT professionals to get instant access to the learning resources they need on mission-critical topics like security, project management and programming languages such as VB.net and C#. SkillSoft KnowledgeCenter portals bring together the most relevant courses, Books24x7 resources, mentoring services and skill-building exercises designed for specific IT challenges. To find out more about KnowledgeCenters, go to Joe Coronetti Chief Information Officer Needs a high availability network. Needs high availability learning. ID: BGH18943 Copyright 2008, SkillSoft.

8 10 ITIL implementation mistakes and fixes 10 ITIL implementation mistakes and fixes By Karen Guglielmo, Special Projects Editor But change doesn t always come easy. Organizations often make mistakes within the first year of an ITIL implementation, and that s normal. In his presentation at Pink Elephant Inc. s 12th Annual International IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition, Graham Price, IT management consultant at Pink Elephant, addressed the 10 biggest mistakes IT organizations make during the first year of an ITIL implementation. Mistake No. 1: There is no vision. No one is sure of what is happening with ITIL and there are no clear answers. What to do: Make sure the plan and focus for the ITIL project is clear, so you can get buy-in or support. A vision will also build momentum for the initiative. Mistake No. 2: Top-down commitment isn t necessary. The project can be infiltrated via middle management. What to do: You really need an executive sponsor for ITIL, especially when you need more time, money or resources. It s hard to sell ITIL to an executive board, especially when executives have no idea what you re talking about. You need a boardroom champion or sponsor for any ITIL project. Mistake No. 3: We don t need a business case. We know why ITIL is important and why we re doing it. What to do: You need to articulate the business benefits of ITIL to the stakeholders. Create a project checklist that includes the following items: Understand and articulate cost. We know there s a cost for doing ITIL but what do we get in return? Confirm the scope. This must be very clear. Specify success criteria and define benefits. Define the success of your program and how to meet your goals. Outlining benefits will help justify the resources you need. Mistake No. 4: We don t need an initial baseline. Let s just get started. What to do: Figure out what you re trying to improve on. Have specific targets identified and have examples of usable baseline methods such as maturity assessment and change readiness assessment. Mistake No. 5: ITIL is not a strategic project, so we can use existing resources to implement it. What to do: Create a formal project plan and identify the best resources for the project, not just people who have free time. Create a Dream Team of ITIL resources that includes the following: an executive sponsor, steering committee, stakeholders, process owner, process manager, project manager, process advisor and process team members. Mistake No. 6: We don t need a communications strategy. A few s and a kickoff meeting will suffice. What to do: A clear communications strategy will help you tell management the what, when and why for the ITIL project. Use a variety of ways to communicate. Most people prefer face-to-face communications (Web meetings, Sponsored by: Page 8 of 13

9 10 ITIL implementation mistakes and fixes videocasts, etc.) vs. just . Be creative to bring attention to the project. Involve a marketing or communications person to help create a communications strategy. Tailor the messages for your various target audiences, i.e., senior management, middle management, etc. Have a consistent message and use the same terminology throughout all communications. Two-way, interactive communication allows for more user feedback. Mistake No. 7: We don t need an overall process strategy. Different process teams can do their own thing and we ll worry about process integration later. Let s just get it done. What to do: Introduce document control and establish common templates for all processes. Be consistent. Design your processes with integration in mind. Mistake No. 8: We ll start with a new tool and build processes around that later. What to do: Allow ample time for implementation. When selecting a tool, remember that the vendor s version of ITIL isn t necessarily the same as yours. Listen to the vendor s views, but base your selection on your own plan and process design. Mistake No. 9: Unmanaged scope creep. Manage growth as you go along. What to do: Don t bite off more than you can chew. Continual service improvement is a large part of the new ITIL. You don t need to get it perfect out of the gate. Work on making it better and keep improving. A steering committee should approve any scope changes. Mistake No. 10: We don t expect much resistance to ITIL. We ll just tell them what to do. What to do: People will resist change and need a reason to change. Let your staff know what s in it for them. You re not just changing processes with ITIL you re changing culture and people, too. Sponsored by: Page 9 of 13

10 ITIL cert: Industry game changer ITIL cert: Industry game changer By Linda Tucci, Senior News Writer A year ago this month, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) came out with ITIL V3, touted as the first significant revamp of the British-born system of IT best practices in seven years. The five-volume set, slimmed down from 10 books, aimed to reflect the evolution of IT from marginal business player to the beating heart of most 21st-century corporations. While V3 was rolled out with the fanfare of a World Series parade, the certification courses for the new version were not ready. IT trainers and students have made do with an ITIL V3 foundation course (already revised once) and various bridge courses to fill in gaps for people who already have V2 training. The market was somewhat confused by that, said George Spalding, co-author of the fifth book of in the V3 series and vice president, global events, at Pink Elephant, an IT services training provider in Burlington, Ontario. When the ITIL qualifications board meets today in England, Spalding and others are hopeful that a whole slew of the things that are questions today will be answered. The V3 pyramid, in theory and practice The board s delay is due in part to the ambitious aims of the new ITIL version. In addition to updating the content of the ITIL library, the governing body of ITIL is determined to professionalize the process of certification, Spalding said. Unlike the training offered for V2, for example, the V3 courses will be based, for the first time, on credits. In addition, all ITIL training organizations will be required to use the same tests to certify candidates, another departure from the past. In V2, there were certifications for only two of the 10 ITIL books, so all of the other books were just nice books, Spalding said. Part of the rationale this time was to have the certifications for V3 span the five books of the library. We want people to be more broadly educated in the ITIL library, he said. Changes like these are difficult to enact, but especially so in an incestuous political structure like ITIL s, which is headed by the Office of Government Commerce, the UK organization that owns the copyright to ITIL, and includes the ITIL accrediting and training companies that stand to make (or lose money) in the wake of a major revision. The theoretical view of what the new V3 certification structure will be, Spalding said, starts with the foundation layer, followed by a middle layer of service capability and service lifecycle modules. The V3 Foundation layer is covered in a 2.5-day course. Participants take a 40-question multiple choice exam and need to earn a 65% to pass. So far, Spalding estimates that more than 3,000 people worldwide have earned the V3 Foundation certificate. The average pass rate for this course is 88%. V2 Foundation Certificate holders can upgrade to a V3 certificate by taking the one-day V3 Foundation Bridge course. Sponsored by: Page 10 of 13

11 ITIL cert: Industry game changer The ITIL Service Capability modules will replace the four ITIL practitioner courses in V2: Release and Control, Support and Restore, Agree and Define and Plan and Improve. The new courses, in final review, will address every process in V3, as well as cover the material in the previous version, albeit from a process-centric view, Spalding said. The processes will be clustered in four categories: Operational Support and Analysis; Planning, Protection and Optimization; Release, Control and Validation; and Service Offerings and Agreements. These are five-day courses, 30 hours per cluster. The 90-minute exam requires 80% to pass. Many people might opt to master the cluster of processes most useful to them, rather than taking all four courses. The new ITIL Service Lifecycle modules include a course for each of the five books in the V3 library: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The syllabus and exams are in the final review phase; these are four-day courses, with a 90-minute exam, requiring 80% to pass. After the middle layer of training there will be a capstone course, called Managing Across the Lifecycle. This layer in the pyramid of training makes sure that no matter how IT professionals get through the first two layers and there are several options they complete a five-day course dealing strictly with V3, Spalding said, and have accumulated a total of 22 credits. The capstone is a five-day course, also in review, that will be topic-based (planning and implementation, projects, framework integration, risk management and so on) and require either lifecycle or capability certification as a prerequisite, or a total of 17 credits. When you pass the magic test after taking the Managing Across the Lifecycle training, you become an ITIL expert, Spalding said. V2 foundation certificate holders can also reach this level by earning a certain amount of credits as well as taking the aforementioned five-day Manager Bridge courses. There are so many nuances and rules for reaching the capstone layer for example, no overlapping courses that Spalding said he expects the ITIL qualifications body will develop a Web site that allows IT people to automatically plot a way to the top, by clicking various options. Even we get confused, Spalding said. For the time being, Spalding has a recommendation: Because the credits courses in the middle layer don t yet exist, the long, hard and expensive service manager course, which requires 10 long, hard days of active training, might actually be the most direct route to ITIL Expert, if that is your goal. Even if you were coming in blank today, you could get a V2 Foundation certificate, a Service Manager Bridge and get to ITIL expert, probably faster and cheaper and maybe even easier than going through the middle, because the middle is currently not available, Spalding said. Not a collection of cowboys anymore The pinnacle of the pyramid now called the Advanced Service Management Professional Diploma is undefined, to date, a pipe dream, really, Spalding said. Sponsored by: Page 11 of 13

12 ITIL cert: Industry game changer What I believe it will be, is someone who has taken all the appropriate tests to get to ITIL expert, plus has three years of documented ITIL management experience, Spalding said. The ITIL board may also decide to require continuing education credits, so ITIL experts can maintain that level, similar to those required of lawyers, doctors, real estate agents and by other professions, Spalding said. This ITIL offering, when it happens, will perhaps turn out to be the biggest game changer for the industry, in Spalding s view. He uses the example of house construction, where each portion of the work plumbing, electrical, etc. must be signed off by a licensed inspector. What is the license I need in order to design the infrastructure of the world s largest bank? My sole qualification is I can breathe that s it! Spalding said. We can design an infrastructure where 10% of the world s economy goes across it and it is just because we re good geeks that it works and the commercial entity needs it to work. But what is the entity that signs off? When do we get the infrastructure code? IT is maturing. IT is not a collection of cowboys anymore, Spalding said. Don t you think it s time IT became a profession? I do. Sponsored by: Page 12 of 13

13 Resources from SkillSoft Resources from SkillSoft About SkillSoft SkillSoft is a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions. Offerings include business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware, simulations, KnowledgeCenter portals, mentoring, SkillPort LMS and Dialogue virtual classroom. Books24x7 offers online access to unabridged IT and business books, summaries and reports. For more information visit our website: Sponsored by: Page 13 of 13

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