ITIL® and the Renewal of National Productivity
June 1, 2016 by Bill Rosenthal

A friend of mine once interviewed for a job as administrative assistant to the CEO of a photoelectric sensor manufacturing firm. In a series of interviews, she met with the incumbent in the job, who was well respected by her boss and the company at large. My friend asked the incumbent for her thoughts on the contribution she made to the photoelectric manufacturing industry. The woman looked at my friend blankly and finally said, “Is that what they do here?”

It has always fascinated me how an organization can nurture functional units that are disconnected from the business of the organization. I don’t intend any criticism of this administrative assistant. She was by all accounts very good at her job, which was to facilitate the work of the CEO. She had no need to understand the business the company was in. There are a number of functions like that in any company. Human Resources comes to mind, or Finance, or some would even say Management. Skilled practitioners in those disciplines can often move from industry to industry without missing a beat. 

The tendency to become divorced from the company’s business is very marked in Information Technology (IT). There, the technology can easily become a department’s objective, allowing for work processes to develop that are independent of, or even at odds with, the organization’s overall mission. But a company is always more effective if everybody in it is committed to the company’s business. That’s one of the reasons for ITIL®. ITIL®, which used to be known as the IT Infrastructure Library, is a collection of IT service management practices based on the idea that a work process needs planning, continual re-examination, and adjustment. ITIL® focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of a business. ITIL® practices are designed to help companies identify areas where they need improvement, providing vendor-neutral guidelines on where to make specific changes to reduce costs and increase productivity.

In the 1970s and 1980s, American productivity growth slowed dramatically, even while companies were adding information technology at a furious rate. I believe at least some of the stagnation in productivity was due to this tendency for IT to become divorced from organizational mission. And I believe ITIL® is one of the forces that turned the situation around. ITIL® is a management philosophy and a discipline, and as it has spread, it has given IT focus, reducing the incidence of failed development projects and improving the quality of the work in computerization. This in turn has increased output and productivity.

Over the last 30 years, ITIL® has become the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. Logical Operations offers a full portfolio of ITIL® service management courseware to empower IT organizations to deliver better value and services to their business. Our ITIL® Foundation course focuses on the “what” and the “why” of ITIL® practices. Our ITIL® Practitioner curriculum shows how IT professionals can start adopting and adapting the ITIL® framework within day-to-day situations and responsibilities.

Last month, our ITIL® Practitioner curriculum was accredited by Axelos, PEOPLECERT, and ACQUIROS. This signifies the curriculum meets the highest industry standards, and ensures that it effectively prepares students for their ITIL® Practitioner exam. You can find the courses of the ITIL® Practitioner curriculum in our online store: