Why ITIL Isn’t Dead — and How It’s Relevant in a Cloud World

by Rackspace Technology Staff

Why ITIL Isn't Dead image

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was first developed in the 1980s by the British government to provide a standardized language for IT. It is best described as a framework for delivering best practices in IT services, and the latest version ITIL V4 was published in 2019.

In our latest episode of Cloudspotting, we introduce our new host Scott Pankonin, a lead Solutions Architect at Rackspace Technology®. Pankonin joins regular Cloudspotting host Sai Iyer and new guest Paul Jackson, Solution Director at Rackspace Technology, to discuss why ITIL is important. Tune in to hear about the following topics:

  • The evolution of ITIL from its inception to its use today
  • The role of ITIL in regulation and compliance
  • The essential concepts related to ITIL
  • The importance of understanding customer experience using application performance
  • An explanation of the watermelon effect
  • What an experience level agreement is — and why it matters

Jackson explains why the ITIL framework is still applicable to organizations. “In the modern world where you can fail fast, there is potential for customer-facing services to fail fast too,” says Jackson. “So, you need to modify your ITIL processes to fit into a DevOps world.”

Jackson also discusses why ITIL V4 works well for cloud infrastructure. “With cloud being agile, it can scale up and down automatically, depending on how your systems are built,” says Jackson. “This type of IT infrastructure requires additional legal agreements and frameworks to help suppliers cope with the fast, iterative pace of change. And ITIL V4 can help to change organizational culture.”

Jackson explains why you need to adapt ITIL to a modern way of working. “The ITIL principles of change control management need to fit into an agile workflow,” says Jackson. “This means using tooling automation alongside coding checks which can be done manually depending on the complexity of the change. Or, if it’s just a patch, it can be done at a time when it will not affect the service.”

Jackson explains why, if utilized correctly, ITIL can fit an organization’s needs. “The beauty of ITIL is that it is designed to be modernized and to suit your environment and operational needs,” shares Jackson. “It’s not prescriptive. ITIL principles stay the same, but now, we use the DevOps pipeline where we build, repeatedly test, approve, and release. The whole code base then gets copied into another repository. By using ITIL, you have all the documentation tracking any changes made.

Jackson also emphasizes why ITIL considerations matter when it comes to planning. “An important part of ITIL strategy is being able to think five years down the line, but you don’t always know what’s going to happen within a business,” says Jackson. “There could be acquisitions, mergers, or the business may pivot in a different direction. The business strategy fundamentally drives the IT strategy, but the IT strategy underpins its achievement. It is a continuous loop of iteration, cycle, and support, which is why all the departments in the business need to understand what’s happening within their IT world.”

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