Definition of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL):« Back to Glossary Index
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) deals with contemporary issues faced by modern businesses and the technology that goes with them. The original material was published in material volumes decades ago, but it has been consistently revised and edited to remain relevant.
Overview: What is an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)?
The ITIL is often associated with specific methods or ideas, but the library itself is nothing more than a collection of books and other written material. These documents are an established framework of best practices for organizations that revolve around IT services.
Since the target audience for the book is IT service providers, the original books were really only applicable to a few niche industries. However, the integration of IT and digital services into businesses in all industries has opened up the ITIL to a much bigger audience. Now almost any company that relies heavily on IT internally or delivers an IT service to their customers can benefit from this framework.
4 Benefits of an Information Technology Infrastructure Library
ITIL is a great resource for six sigma practitioners who rely on information technology services or activity.
Proven track record – One of the biggest benefits of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library is its proven track record for businesses building or developing IT services. The collaborative nature of the library’s design keeps revisions moving forward and the comprehensive collection of material has years of credibility behind it.
Comprehensive guidelines – Since the ITIL is a multi-volume work focused on the best practices for a particular type of process, it covers a lot of fine details, possibilities and options. It includes practical and insightful information covering just about any topic related to the subject area.
Flexible framework – The library is just a collection of information, which means there is flexibility in how companies use it. Ideally, the ITIL will serve as an outline and guide for companies that are engaged in a broader process management strategy.
Better productivity and efficiency – The content of the ITIL revolves around improving overall productivity as well as use of individual skills and experience throughout an organization.
Why are Information Technology Infrastructure Libraries Important to Understand?
This material is oriented around the demands of a specific industry and type of process, which means readers need to keep themselves informed about these issues.
Links to risk management – Many of the biggest and most common threats to modern companies are digital ones. Digital networks and infrastructure now house and communicate personal, financial and other essential information all the time. ITIL recognizes the significance of digital threats, which means leaders should integrate these practices into their broader business risk management strategy.
The essential nature of IT – All kinds of businesses, from food service to manufacturing, depend on their IT infrastructure to do basic things like coordinate production or track orders. These issues and systems were once confined almost entirely to big corporations and cutting-edge companies in the tech industry, but now almost any business can leverage advanced IT solutions.
A framework is not a plan – Don’t mistake a framework for an actual game plan. The ITIL does not replace lean manufacturing or management tracks. Six sigma practitioners should still follow the DMAIC method. The library can be used to bolster research, inform decisions and establish cohesion across IT processes.
An Industry Example of an ITIL
As part of their effort to increase prestige and enrollment numbers, a local university decides to emphasize digital and remove education services. This includes the capability of enrollment, consultation, class selection and participation through digital portals. To do this, the university needs to develop IT infrastructure in both hardware and software to accommodate these needs.
Using the IT Infrastructure Library as a reference, the university can proceed in incremental development and continuous improvement. Initial stages include defining the needs of current and prospective students and mapping out the current process. Subsequent stages of the framework take the university’s team through the process of prioritizing and positioning objectives and engaging in a cycle of analytical improvement.
3 Best Practices When Thinking about Information Technology Infrastructure Libraries
The best way to use the library is patiently and thoroughly. It’s easy to rush into things and try to do too much at once.
Invest in education – There is an initial cost for embracing this program, but it’s worth it if the company is serious about embracing changes. Aside from buying the library material itself, companies should also consider investing in training or attending workshops to get started.
Get the whole team onboard – No change management framework will work well if team members are resistant. This might be due to ignorance, apathy or disagreement with the methods. In any case, all leaders and employees should be brought on board to make it a truly collaborative undertaking.
Be realistic – Rather than shooting for the moon, it’s better to start with goals and ideas that can be achieved. Incremental and continuous improvement means there will be more opportunities for change. Keep individual projects and initiatives small enough for the company to swallow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about ITIL
What are the 4 “P”s of ITIL?
Perspective, position, plan and pattern are sometimes called the four “P”s of ITIL.
What is ITIL certification?
It is a formal recognition of successful completion of an educational program regarding ITIL best practices.
Is ITIL like Six Sigma?
ITIL is very similar to Six Sigma in its goals, methods and structure. The IT-specific nature of the material makes it a great resource for businesses already using these methods.
Calm the Chaos of IT
The complex and technical nature of the subject combined with the rapidly-evolving nature of the field in general makes IT a scary, chaotic thing for many companies. It’s easy to fall a few steps behind and never really catch up again. Fortunately, following the ITIL framework is a proven way to get back on track and start making meaningful improvements in an organization.