IT In­fra­struc­ture Li­brary

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology - BENE­DICT KELLY

HANG AROUND any tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ence fre­quented by com­pa­nies with large tech­nol­ogy in­vest­ments and you’re likely to hear the acro­nym ITIL sooner rather than later.

ITIL, which is never writ­ten in full, means IT In­fra­struc­ture Li­brary – an in­te­grated set of best-prac­tice rec­om­men­da­tions with com­mon def­i­ni­tions and ter­mi­nol­ogy.

What this means is that when a com­pany has any­thing to do with tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing rolling out new tech­nol­ogy or deal­ing with helpdesk queries, there’s a stan­dard set of rec­om­men­da­tions about how to go about do­ing each task.

This is es­sen­tially the recipe book for IT de­part­ments. In­stead of be­ing told to add three cups of flour and 500ml of wa­ter, they’re told how to con­fig­ure a server or what the next step should be when a prob­lem can’t be solved.

While to the or­di­nary per­son this is about as in­ter­est­ing as watch­ing paint dry, to com­pa­nies that have large IT in­vest­ments, it can mean big sav­ings on the cost of main­tain­ing sys­tems and rolling out new tech­nol­ogy.

In the past, each IT de­part­ment would have to work out the best way of do­ing al­most ev­ery­thing. This could be done by bring­ing in a con­sul­tant or by trial and er­ror. What ITIL gives th­ese com­pa­nies is a start­ing point that is al­ready world class. Even if the IT de­part­ment chooses not to use the ITIL, the abil­ity to com­pare it to the process be­ing used is in­valu­able.

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