ITIL for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

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An opinion often heard, is that ITIL is purely suitable for large businesses, where extensive resources are available for implementing and running ITIL processes.

In actual fact however, the guiding ideas behind ITIL are valuable for businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to small and medium-sized businesses. What counts is to leverage the benefits of the ITIL principles, concentrating upon feasibility and relevance during the implementation.

Doing what's already done today, only better

Correctly implemented, ITIL will not create additional work: the reason for the great success of ITIL lies in its proven contribution to more economical working practices.

Notifications of service interruptions have, for example, always been received from users, and registered and eliminated by the IT organization. It has however become common wisdom that a technical specialist does not have to be engaged for the elimination of every interruption: simple issues can in many cases be resolved by a Service Desk.

Example: Problem Management

The introduction of Problem Management does not necessarily have to involve the hiring of an additional Problem Manager. It is rather a matter of someone taking responsibility for the identification of root causes behind repetitive interruptions (Incidents).

For this purpose, the Problem Manager uses existing personnel resources: The aim is to avoid conflicting and unnecessary action, and to co-ordinate all activities within the IT organization for the technical analysis and root cause elimination. The Problem Manager thereby contributes to the fast solution of the problem.

Such an approach is evidently expedient and necessary for large and small IT organizations alike. In smaller businesses however, the role of Problem Manager might be assumed by a single employee in conjunction with the role of Incident Manager.

Example: Change Management

A similar strategy could be used in the case of Change Management, which ensures that any changes to the IT infrastructure are carried out in a coordinated way.

The effort involved in Change Management is directly connected to the size of the business, so that this task is usually less extensive and therefore more ea­sily accomplishable within smaller and medium-sized businesses. In this case, the role of Change Manager can perhaps be assumed by a line manager from IT operations – who could, at the same time, possibly take on the role of the Release Manager, who is responsible for the roll-out of changes.


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By:  Andrea Kempter , IT Process Maps.