ITIL® & Consumerization

ITIL® describes the best practices, fancy processes, neat functions etc. But have you ever been wondering why do we actually run the IT Service Management? To our customers of course, you might say. And you’re right! But then again..

..who are the customers?

ITIL defines the following:

a Customer is someone who buys IT services

a Customer of an IT service provider is the person or group who defines and agrees the service level targets.

(Link)

 

But there’s more than that.

 

Let’s say you are a CIO of a worldwide multi-billion dollar company, which produces machinery, tools & equipment to the oil industry. Now, you want to get to know your customer better in order to be able to serve them better – and perhaps to gain some more revenue? Now, is your customer

  • the business department of your company?
  • a buyer or maybe a CEO of your customer company (i.e. oil pumping corporation) – or something in between the two?
  • someone at a customer’s customer company (i.e. crude oil refinery company)?
  • an average-Joe/Mary who fills the tank of his/her car and thus consumes the oil that’s drilled by using the equipment your company has produced, thanks to the ICT-systems your department is responsible of?

Think about this for just a second and then compare your opinion with the definitions of ITIL. What’s the outcome?

 

I was talking to my colleague the other day and she was addressing this dilemma. But why would this be important? ITIL was never meant to be the holy book for consumers but the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

Manufacturing different kind of gadgets and devices, producing whatever services to various organizations, managing supply chains and all that stuff has become more and more transparent in this modern era of consumerization.

Take any Fortune Global 500 company and discuss with their IT department. My claim is that you won’t find any company on that list where the IT department would merely be serving the business operations without giving a thought to the end customer, or customer’s customer.

The IT department must provide value to the business and continually keep looking for the combination of A-1 and cost-effective solutions. Knowing and understanding the customer’s (and end customers’) domain is essential in that endeavor. Let’s turn the idea upside down: if you don’t know your industry, your customers, the common legal statuses etc., how are you going to be able to provide excellent ICT-services to the business?

My claim is that you won’t find any company on that list where the IT department would merely be serving the business operations without giving a thought to the end customer, or customer’s customer.

So even though the ITIL is not going to be competing with the most popular paperbacks in the iBookstore any time soon, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the ITIL would face the need to somehow take consumerization into account in a foreseeable future. Whether we like it or not, consumerization as a phenomenon is here, and it’s changing the rules for its part.

Now, if you still remember what you thought about who was the customer in the example, you see what I mean. ITIL has not much to do with the consumers. Yet.

ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *