The IT infrastructure library (ITIL) is in danger of losing credibility as firms struggle to improve efficiency. But firms that have focused on change control processes are transforming IT’s value to the business. Not only is there no process control, but the process is too complex to gain easy control of.
Individuals are too busy with day-to-day issues to achieve 100 per cent compliance to ITIL process.
Most firms are overwhelmed by ITIL. In 2005, the Information Technology Process Institute undertook research into performance of IT operations. Using ITIL as a base, the research assessed the performance of organisations against 63 controls.
The high performers had eight times more projects and services and six times more applications – demonstrating a significant contribution to business value. Astonishingly, these companies were not highly averse to change. Many of the firms had invested in process best practice to improve performance. The key differentiator for high performers is the ability to manage change well. While 93 per cent of high performers monitor systems for unauthorised change, this task is only carried out by 21 per cent of medium performers.
Furthermore, the high performers are using this monitoring to enforce change control, with 83 per cent having defined consequences for unauthorised change. This ability to control change is the major contributor to business value.
In firms with poor change-control processes, IT staff were spending more than half of their time on unplanned work. Simply put, without change control IT performance will not advance.
But investment in change management tools that highlight unauthorised change is not enough. Change audit technology that reconciles actual with expected changes within the change management system provides firms with unprecedented visibility into changes that affect system performance.
Without change auditing, any firm is flying blind and has little chance of minimising unplanned work. Change audit is the missing link. With visibility of actual change, and reconciliation with planned change, firms can reduce the volume of unplanned work. Critically, firms can then achieve the significant productivity and efficiency gains that motivated the ITIL adoption.
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