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Don't Give Service Design the Cold Shoulder

12/10/2014 by: The SunView Team

Alright, so we get that the IT Infrastructure Library isn't exactly the cool thing to follow right now. Sure, plenty of businesses are still using it, and with good reason, but there have also been plenty of conversations talking about ITIL as too rigid for contemporary IT demands. We can sympathize here, but ITIL still has plenty to offer when it comes to creating a tightly organized IT process framework. Let's take a look at service design processes in light of the changing outlook on ITIL and talk about why you still need to take the time to stop and think about how you are handling service design processes.

Service design in an ITIL framework
ITIL establishes a clear workflow for service design. Like many key terms in ITIL, service design means exactly what it sounds like; it is the process of either designing a new service or updating an existing one to meet operational needs. Essentially, you are crafting the precise workflows that need to be followed when performing or delivering service, a roadmap that is incredibly important when it comes time to actually put the service into action. However, it is worth noting that ITIL creates a fairly rigid roadmap to creating this workflow model, as its core purpose is to encourage you to create a clear, concise and repeatable process framework.

Rebelling against the system
There are plenty of IT leaders out there who are in open rebellion against the restrictive nature of ITIL. The though is that with the rapid pace of change in contemporary IT departments, the value of a highly structured process framework becomes limited. There's definitely something to be said for this perspective. Recent industry discussions around the idea of making major updates to ITIL are happening for a reason - IT service management demands have changed substantially since the last ITIL revision in 2011.

The logic is simple - why follow operational best practices from 2011 in an IT department that is dealing with the technology problems of 2014, not to mention those that are expected in 2015. Remember, 2011 was a time when the cloud was still in its infancy and the bring-your-own-device movement still involved significant conversations about how corporate-liable BlackBerry devices were holding a significant market share. All of the change in IT has left technology and service desk leaders to bristle against the rigidness of ITIL and to start to look for new, flexible ways to get the job done.

While there are places where customization is necessary, service design is one part of the ITSM scheme that should be kept within the cozy confines of ITIL.

Why do service delivery plans need ITIL-based structure?
Creating a service delivery framework is incredibly complex, but that isn't even the biggest issue. Instead, the primary concern with service delivery plans is the need to give support teams a good starting point from which they can serve end users effectively. Essentially, your service delivery framework dictates how you go about delivering a solution, and if you don't perform proper due diligence, you can run into an overwhelming number of issues when that service is put into place. Crafting the workflow and process models that go into service delivery plays a vital role in stability and quality, making the ITIL-based task incredibly important, even in contemporary IT departments.

There are reasonable contentions with ITIL as it stands. However, many experts concluded that organizations shouldn't just throw ITIL out the window, they should use it where it makes sense and be flexible in other areas. Service delivery frameworks are a prime example of a place where the structure of ITIL is still critical, and ITSM teams need to keep this in mind as they plan new solutions.