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  1. Leadership
June 21, 2021updated 28 Jun 2021 9:58am

Thriving in the modern service economy with ITIL® 4

ITIL 4 complements other innovative ways of working, including DevOps, Lean and Agile. It also provides guidance on the application of technologies, including cloud, data, automation, AI and machine learning.

By Pete Barden

The last 18 months or so has seen a seismic shift in how organisations operate. Technology has not only been an enabler, it has also been the reason some organisations have survived and in other cases thrived.

Organisations now need a flexible framework that helps them to thrive in the modern service economy. (Photo by UfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock)

And the innovations made by organisations are set to continue. According to the ‘Top Priorities for IT: Leadership Vision for 2021’1 e-book published by Gartner this year, these three trends have and are currently impacting CIOs and heads of IT:

  • The realisation that technology is critical in keeping an organisation operating has led to boards of directors providing CIOs with a clear mandate for using technology to speed up the enterprise and meet its business goals faster
  • Demand for new digital products and services will continue to increase. Seventy-six percent of CIOs saw an increase in demand in 2020, and 83% expected demand to increase this year
  • The pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable some supply chains are and organisations are now re-evaluating how they operate in order to mitigate future disruption. Organisations are therefore looking to bring business processes, sales, and delivery in-house

Organisations now need a flexible framework that helps them to thrive in the modern service economy. They need to navigate the increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments in which they operate. Organisations also need to focus on tackling future trends and disruption, including an impending skills’ gap resulting from job growth in industries such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, data, people and culture and sustainability.

Develop the employees you need now and for the future with ITIL® 4

ITIL 4 provides this flexibility, as the guidance and certifications have expanded beyond the original scope of IT Service Management (ITSM) to encompass a more holistic approach for the design, creation, and management of IT-enabled products and services.

The guidance promotes alignment between the business and IT teams through a flexible, robust, resilient, and sustainable business strategy. And the comprehensive body of best practice knowledge and concepts enables organisations to adopt and adapt approaches that are relevant to their business and help them achieve their vision.

At the heart of ITIL 4 is value co-creation between consumers, providers, and other stakeholders (such as regulatory authorities and shareholders,) and value is only created if an organisation’s relevant stakeholders realise benefits. While the four dimensions of service management ensure that organisations consider both internal factors (organisations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, and value streams and processes), and external factors (represented by the business analysis model PESTLE) when developing IT-enabled products and services that deliver value.

ITIL 4 complements other innovative ways of working, including DevOps, Lean and Agile. It also provides guidance on the application of proven technologies, including cloud, big data and automation, and emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning.  This allows organisations to stay ahead of the latest trends and cultural developments.

Why should senior IT and business leaders upskill and reskill their teams in ITIL® 4?

ITIL 4 is the latest iteration of the ITIL framework that has supported organisations and professionals for more than 30 years. With the rapid advances in technology, continually evolving trends and emergence of innovative ways of working, it was evident that organisations and senior leaders needed a more flexible approach. AXELOS, therefore, collaborated with a global community of over 4,500 subject and industry experts to enhance the framework and ensure the ITIL 4 guidance and certifications encompass proven real-world best practice concepts, practices, and guidance that senior leaders and their teams can leverage both now and in the future.

The five ITIL 4 Managing Professional and ITIL 4 Strategic Leader certifications provide IT Professionals with a deeper knowledge of specialised aspects of service management.

The ITIL 4 Managing Professional designation provides practical and technical knowledge for running successful IT-enabled products and services, and will benefit a variety of professionals working in ITSM and other digital roles across the business.

The ITIL 4 Strategic Leader designation enables current and aspiring leaders to recognise the value of adopting and adapting ITIL for all IT-enabled products and services, not just IT operations. This designation will also help professionals understand how IT can influence and shape business strategy and provide guidance on how to manage and operationalise the strategy across the organisation.

The modular approach of the ITIL 4 certification scheme structure means leaders can develop specific learning pathways based on the organisation’s goals and their employees’ roles, responsibilities, and career aspirations. This enhances job security and satisfaction through the attainment of valuable and globally recognised certifications.

And the flexibility of the structure allows leaders to develop a system thinking approach through the development of T-shape and even Comb-shaped employees, benefitting from the different specialised certifications. Having this holistic mindset, in turn, boosts collaboration and innovation, as these employees can align their skills along the service value chain and input their knowledge into specific value chain activities.

Future-proof your organisation with ITIL® 4

By adopting ITIL 4, senior IT and business leaders will embed the skills and knowledge required for effectively meeting the increasing demand for optimised, streamlined and innovative IT-enabled products and services. With the rapid advancements in technology continuing at an exponential rate, organisations can only assume the demand trajectory identified in the Gartner survey will keep on rising.

Furthermore, at a time when organisations are facing a skills shortage or making operational efficiencies by bringing activities in-house, upskilling and reskilling teams in ITIL 4 will support senior IT and business leaders to plug knowledge gaps with relevant guidance and practices so their employees can be empowered to make tangible changes.

Source: 1 Top Priorities for IT: Leadership Vision for 2021

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