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The Quest for IT Service Management Excellence

In the highly-charged economic environment facing organizations today, competition is fierce and any competitive advantage needs to be identified and maximized to ensure survival.

Increasingly Business Technology service providers, whether internal or external, are reaching out to the growing discipline of IT Service Management (ITSM), particularly as expressed in the "IT Infrastructure Library" or "ITIL (®)" to provide the critical competencies needed to create that competitive advantage for their organization.

ITIL recognizes the need for IT departments to think of themselves as Service Providers to their business, providing technology-based services that are critical to the mission of the larger organization. In support of this mission they must, like their own suppliers in turn, meet challenges such as:
  • Providing services that are selected and positioned correctly for their internal "market"
  • Delivering real value to the business to ensure satisfaction and value
  • Working efficiently to maximize the value received from resources and capabilities
  • Prioritizing investments to manage and grow the function, in sync with their market
  • Adopting and adapting flexible work methods, and support service provisioning in an ever-changing business and technology environment.
The good news is that ITIL provides guidance on industry-tested approaches to addressing all these challenges and more. The ITIL v3 core guidance is organized around a service lifecycle, with a set of five books describing guidance on each of the five phases or stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.

To spread the word on ITIL specifically and ITSM in general, a global practitioner organization has grown up in the form of the IT Service Management Forum or "itSMF" with an International body as well as national chapters across the world.

Members actively share ideas and develop the methods of ITSM through national conferences, regional events, and the work of local interest groups and specialty interest groups.

itSMF takes an important and active role in the development and maturity of the actual content of ITIL, contributing many authors, reviewers and leaders to continual improvement of the materials and qualifications programs.

In future posts we'll explore ITSM practices and how they can be applied to the challenges of service provisioning and service excellence.

About the author: An IT Service Manager and ITIL v3 Expert with over 20 years of experience in service industries, Ms. Hunnebeck is the VP of ITSM Vision & Strategy at Third Sky Inc. Her passion for improving how we work led Ms. Hunnebeck to IT Service Management from a background of process consulting, training and Service Management systems consulting.