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The Power of ITIL and the Problem with Gurus

If IT was about outcomes only, it wouldn’t matter how the job got done. Some string and tape, a little glue, aaand voilà, the project is complete! Unfortunately, it does matter how tasks are executed for today’s worker. That is why ITIL was created. In an IBM-sponsored article for, the rationale behind ITIL is explained, and why gurus can be a problem.

Passing on Pitfalls

Imagine trying to reproduce a job that was previously executed by a self-proclaimed guru who used clandestine methods to achieve their results. The undocumented processes that accompany such an approach might be impossible to replicate. That is why workplace methods that rely on super star performance are no longer enough. The ins-and-outs of a process must often be passed on to a successor, without passing on the pitfalls of human error.

ITIL to the Rescue

ITIL addresses the problem of replicating guru-methodology by presenting consistent and reliable information about IT. Far from being biased, it is a compendium born of many different practitioners and of different industries, and so houses a broad spectrum of knowledge and best practices.  The result of all this is the processes, procedures, tasks and checklists that make it possible to integrate IT services with the organization's strategy, while at the same time delivering more value and maintaining standards of competency. It lets you demonstrate compliance and measure improvement.

Implementation and Adherence

The only downside to ITIL is its implementation. What’s more, ensuring adherence can be a challenge in the face of budgetary and time constraints. A solution to these dilemmas must include real-time monitoring of endpoints, automatic updates, and centralized configuration for effective management. With the proper implementation of ITIL, the glue-and-tape approach of the everyday guru can be replaced with universally applicable, tried and true methods.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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