In our whitepaper, ITIL Lite: Service Management for SMBs, we introduced the concept of “ITIL Lite”: an SMB-friendly version of the ITIL service management framework that provides the benefits of ITIL without the overhead of adhering to the complete set of ITIL standards.
As you may know, ITIL, short for “Information Technology Infrastructure Library”, is a set of best practices designed to formalize processes in the IT sector, such as availability management, deployment and release management, capacity planning, and on… and on. It is a multi-volume compendium that aims to tackle every conceivable process encountered in an IT setting and formalize IT management procedures.
If you’re running a large corporate enterprise, then a full ITIL implementation may be appropriate. For the majority of organizations, however, a full ITIL implementation is not feasible due to the high overhead required to put the complete set of features into practice. That is where ITIL Lite comes into play.
ITIL Lite: Being Realistic About IT
An ITIL Lite approach can bring the concepts and intention of ITIL into the IT department without over-burdening staff with maintaining formal adherence to ITIL standards.
With this in mind, our ITIL Lite whitepaper addresses three ITIL processes that are commonly practiced by IT firms:
- Incident Management: The process of restoring normal operations as quickly as possible.
- Problem Management: The analysis of the root causes of incidents.
- Change Management: The implementation of changes to infrastructure designed to prevent the recurrence of incidents.
These three categories comprise only a fraction of whole ITIL framework but they account for a significant percentage of service management effort in the IT world. In our view, Incident, Problem, and Change Management comprise the core best practices of ITIL Lite. Monitoring and resolving incidents, finding root causes, and preventing incident recurrence are major themes of ITIL and its parent philosophy, IT Service Management (ITSM); these concepts can be applied to even the smallest IT shop.
Using Software to Facilitate ITIL Lite
IT service management practices at smaller companies are often focused on fire-fighting using disparate tools. Problems are tackled as they appear and incident resolution may rely on a patchwork of solutions: manually maintained e-mail lists for Incident Management, in-house developed reporting tools for Problem Management, and a variety of change request and asset management tools to handle Change Management needs. This approach to IT service is informal and ad-hoc, tending to be reactive and relying on isolated silos of knowledge.
ITIL Lite brings a level of formality to IT with processes designed to automate incident resolution, understand and manage problems effectively, and identify changes that need to be made to improve service. Being proactive is key: ideally, finding potential issues before they become incidents and addressing them efficiently using a process-based approach.
Software plays a significant role in making these ITIL Lite practices become a reality. Incident Management relies on effective ticketing, routing, and automation in order to facilitate rapid resolution. Problem Management depends on reporting and analytical capabilities to assess incidents and discover root causes. Change Management formalizes changes to infrastructure, processes and procedures, often interacting with asset management software to provide a holistic and specific view of assets and infrastructure that requires modification.
Any IT group can gain the benefits of the ITIL framework without the overhead of a full implementation by adopting procedures and using software that incorporates incident, problem, and change management, along with asset management. Crow Canyon has taken this approach with its IT Help Desk and Asset Management software packages that run in SharePoint and Office 365.
We have found that an ITIL Lite approach often provides the “Goldilocks” solution – just the right amount of structure and process without the burdensome overhead.
After all, staff time should be spent providing service that keeps the company’s operations running smoothly rather than arbitrarily trying to adhere to formal ITIL rules and standards. With an ITIL Lite approach, it is possible to get the best of ITIL with the least amount of unnecessary formality.
See also our blog, Implementing a SharePoint-based Help Desk That Meets ITIL Service Desk Standards, for more on this subject.
Crow Canyon Software is known for delivering the power of a connected digital workplace to organizations worldwide. Crow Canyon helps companies be more successful and competitive. We provide the tools that allow you to gain the maximum benefit from SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft’s premier collaboration platforms.
Learn how our business productivity applications for SharePoint and Office 365 can power up your organization. Give us a call at 1-925-478-3110 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.