The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

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1 IT service management is often equated with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), even though there are a variety of standards and frameworks contributing to the overall ITSM discipline. The major ones are Cobit, Togaf and CMMI. They are performed by an organization or part of an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to customers. IT service management is characterized by adopting a process approach towards management focussing on IT services rather than IT systems stressing continual improvement The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) ITIL is an IT Service Management framework that aligns IT with the needs of the business. ITIL key areas of focus include Services, Lifecycle Phases, Processes, Roles, Functions. ITIL is the most popular and well known Service Management solution, and has proven its utility so far. Although early adopters of ITIL were generally large corporations, it is now also used by more small to mid-sized businesses. It provides a framework for the governance of IT focuses on the continual measurement and improvement of the quality of IT service delivered, from both a business and a customer perspective. This focus is a major factor in ITIL s worldwide success. ITIL is a great starting point for IT Service Providers who are just beginning to drive process discipline, as well as provides structure and accountability around an already mature organization. The biggest advantage is how ITIL uses Continual Service Improvement to provide a constant feedback mechanism to help you ensure that what you are delivering is in line with customer expectations. A subset of well-known ITIL processes include: 1. Event management 2. Incident management 3. Request fulfillment 4. Problem management 5. Identity management

2 Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) COBIT s focus is not necessarily on how to execute a process, rather what should be done to ensure proper control of that process. Therefore, you won t technically implement COBIT processes from the bottom up, but use it as a tool to help you control processes from top down as a part of a larger governance initiative. This is a very constructive and useful tool. Starting out as a tool designed for IT auditors to assist in the control of IT, it has grown into a model to help companies meet compliance and statutory requirements as well. It helps you understand IT systems, and guides decisions around the level of security and control that is necessary to protect assets through the leverage of an IT governance model. More specifically, it bridges the gap among control requirements, technical issues, and business risks rather than focusing on the actual process (i.e. ITIL) and enables policy development and good IT control practices.

3 ITIL vs. Cobit COBIT and ITIL have been used by information technology professionals in the IT service management (ITSM) space for many years. Used together, COBIT and ITIL provide guidance for the governance and management of IT-related services by enterprises, whether those services are provided in-house or obtained from third parties such as service providers or business partners. COBIT 5 aims primarily to guide enterprises on the implementation, operation and, where required, improvement of their overall arrangements relating to governance and management of enterprise IT (GEIT). ITIL provides guidance and good practice for IT service providers for the execution of IT service management from the perspective of enabling business value. COBIT 5 describes the principles and enablers that support an enterprise in meeting stakeholder needs, specifically those related to the use of IT assets and resources across the whole enterprise. ITIL describes in more detail those parts of enterprise IT that are the service management enablers (process activities, organizational structures, etc.). Generally speaking: COBIT is broader than ITIL in its scope of coverage (GEIT). It is based on five principles (meeting stakeholder needs; covering the enterprise end to end; applying a single, integrated framework; enabling a holistic approach; and separating governance from management) and seven enablers (principles, policies and frameworks; processes; organizational structures; culture, ethics and behavior; information; services, infrastructure and applications; people, skills and competencies). ITIL focuses on ITSM and provides much more in-depth guidance in this area, addressing five stages of the service life cycle: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. Also, COBIT and ITIL are well aligned in their approach to ITSM. The COBIT 5 Process Reference Model, as documented in COBIT 5: Enabling Processes, maps closely to the ITIL v stages. The distinction between the two is sometimes described as COBIT provides the why ; ITIL provides the how. While catchy, that view is simplistic and seems to force a false one or the other choice. It is more accurate to state that enterprises and IT professionals who need to address business needs in the ITSM area would be well served to consider using both COBIT and ITIL guidance. Leveraging the strengths of both frameworks, and adapting them for their use as appropriate, will aid in solving business problems and supporting business goals achievement.

4 CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement training and appraisal program and service administered and marketed by Carnegie Mellon University. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, division, or an entire organization. The process areas themselves have many similarities to ITIL and COBIT Organizational Performance Management Organizational Training Configuration Management Measurement and Analysis Supplier Agreement Management Again, some things may be countable, but others suggest ongoing functional activity. CMMI is also notable for having abstract objectives as well appearing as process areas, e.g.: Validation Verification CMMI vs. ITIL CMMI and ITIL are two distinctly different maturity models that can complement each other when used together. The fundamental difference between the two is that CMMI is a method of process improvement for software development, while ITIL focuses mainly on IT issues. CMMI is a process improvement model that consists of the best practices applied in the development of software, derived from the industry. CMMI segregates the best practice knowledge into different levels, and each level progresses to higher standards. All levels address the development and maintenance of products and services through the product life cycle from conception through delivery and maintenance. The basic difference between CMMI and ITIL lies in application. While CMMI is focused toward software development, maintenance, and product integration, ITIL is broader in scope and provides a framework for IT service management and operations including a hardware life cycle.

5 CMMI is geared specifically to software development organizations and focuses on continuous improvement, whereas ITIL addresses IT operations issues such as security, change and configuration management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, and service desk functions. While the application of CMMI helps the organization gain competency and expertise in software or product development, ITIL applications help align the entire IT process and resources of the organization to business processes. Both CMMI and ITIL are process maturity frameworks that follow a similar and structured approach. Both emphasize development of processes to improve product development and customer satisfaction and support the coordination of multidisciplinary activities related to a project. Although both CMMI and ITIL are similar in structure, the amount of duplication is, however, small and there is no contradiction between the two models, making it possible to apply both CMMI / ITIL models simultaneously in an organization. CMMI is the de facto quality standard for software development, integration, deployment, and maintenance processes in organizations and ITIL is the first choice of organizations for standards related to operations and the infrastructure side of IT. Implementation of CMMI / ITIL also aids organizations in reducing the cost of quality, improving turnaround times, and arriving at a precise estimate of efforts required that helps in costing products.

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7 Togaf The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a framework for enterprise architecture which provides an approach for designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise information technology architecture. TOGAF is a high level approach to design. It is typically modeled at four levels: Business, Application, Data, and Technology. It relies heavily on modularization, standardization, and already existing, proven technologies and products. The TOGAF topics incorporate Domains, Architecture Development Method (ADM) and Enterprise Continuum. Domains (or pillars) include Business Architecture, Applications Architecture, Data Architecture, and Technical Architecture. The ADM is an iterative cycle used to manage the execution of architecture planning activities. The Enterprise Continuum is akin to a repository of all organizational architecture assets. ITIL Meets Togaf Similarities Components: CIs and BBs are both discrete components hardware, software, locations, roles, services, etc. each with a unique set of attributes. Relationships: Both are expressed not only in terms of their own attributes, but are most valuable when relationally modeled in respect to other components.

8 Abstractions: Both make use of abstraction, composition, and decomposition to express low level components and their relationship to high level components. States: Some configuration management systems (CMS) are able to manage transitional states between the current state and previous transitions or even proposed future states. This is similar in concept to the transitioning of a BB from a current to future state. Though, the implementation of this is dependent on the ITSM and CMS, CIs definitely support the idea of states. Differences Single vs. Multiple Perspectives One of the biggest differences between a CI and a BB is the framework that manages them. Since ITIL is primarily a service management framework, CIs are typically represented in a service model. Because of this, I would imagine that there is almost never a CMDB dedicated to managing the relationships between organizational goals and a process, nor is data typically modeled in a CMDB at all. Therefore, I believe you could consider ITIL s service models to be a single service management view of the broader set of views required to model EA. This means that only the CIs required to model this view are housed in the CMDB. Operational vs. Strategic Functions Since the CMDB typically only manages CIs related to service management, it is particularly helpful to those performing day-to-day service management activities. Consider a strategy map dashboard that shows strategic goals and their relationship to one another, and rolls up health information for each goal. This would be another operational view, supported by EA modeling, which would not fit into a typical CMDB and therefore is not a candidate CI. Service Management vs. Enterprise Architecture Context In summary, I think the biggest difference between CIs and BBs are their context. The systems that attempt to support this context do not take into account other uses. While the CIs in a CMDB are relegated to only those required to model the service management view, this does not have to be the case. Nor is it true that there shouldn t be some collaboration between CMDB and EA repository vendors to support a dual purpose system, where BBs are able to be made into CIs in support of the IT service management view.

9 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ongoing%20Confusion%20of%20Process%20and%20Function-Betz-Final.pdf

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