Exploring ITIL® Implementation Challenges in Latin American Companies

Exploring ITIL® Implementation Challenges in Latin American Companies

Teresa Lucio-Nieto (Universidad Iberoamericana, Customer Care Associates, Mexico City, México) and Dora Luz González-Bañales (Tecnológico Nacional de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Durango, Durango, México)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITSA.2019010105


The purpose of this article is to explore the challenges faced when implementing the information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) framework. An online survey was completed by 169 Latin American companies. Questions focused mainly on the current perceptions and assessment of ITIL benefits. A descriptive statistical analysis approach was employed. Evidence suggests that the main challenges of implementing ITIL are the time devoted by the information technology staff involved in the project, their understanding of ITIL purposes, and the support they receive from senior management. Participants suggested that the existence of a service management office (SMO) could represent a way of addressing these challenges and to more effectively realize ITIL benefits.
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1. Introduction

Today’s companies are demanding a better and more disciplined delivery of information technology (IT) services to ensure perfect organizational functioning, and the provision of high-quality solutions to their internal and external customers. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the market's most popular model and contributes to improving organizational processes and bringing better results and quality to organizations (De Barros, Salles, Gomes, Da Silva, & Costa, 2015).

As such, the demand for disciplined IT and IT service management (ITSM) is a key issue today due to its proven success factors, and the fact that the traditional functions of IT management now include business-oriented support services (McNaughton, Ray, & Lewis, 2010; Ravasan, Mohammadi, & Hamidi, 2018).

IT and information systems departments are expected to respond with agility when considering new business opportunities, to demonstrate responsible financial management, and to satisfy customers as well as internal staff and management through online systems. This level of service can only be achieved with effective communications between IT and specific lines of business (Berrahal & Marghoubi, 2016; Kahre, Hoffmann, & Ahlemann, 2017; Pollard & Cater-Steel, 2009; Pollard and Cater-Steel, 2009; Pollard and Cater-Steel, 2009). Achieving high quality IT service levels requires the implementation of “best practices” in ITSM frameworks and strategies that guarantee its use, permanence, and efficiency once the implementation phase ends.

During the last 20 years, several ITSM-related management frameworks have been developed to help managers improve their IT operations (Nastase, Nastase, & Ionescu, 2009). The frameworks have mainly been proprietary in nature and company-specific (e.g. Microsoft’s Operations Framework, IBM’s Systems Management Solutions Lifecycle, and HP’s IT Service Management Reference Model). However, of the other available ITSM frameworks, ITIL has become the most popular and influential (De Barros et al., 2015; Economics, 2012; England, 2011; Iden & Eikebrokk, 2013; McNaughton, Ray, & Lewis, 2010; Mesquida, Mas, Amengual, & Calvo-Manzano, 2012; Sune & Lichtenberg, 2018). ITIL is a collection of defined and published best practice processes for ITSM that is managed by the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF, a non-profit association that owns and supports this framework), with chapters in many countries, although there are no defined international standards for ITSM. Despite this, it is now considered to be a de facto standard for implementing ITSM worldwide (England, 2011; Iden & Eikebrokk, 2014; Marrone, 2010; McNaughton et al., 2010; England, 2011; Marrone and Kolbe, 2010; England, 2011).

As the de facto ITSM standard, ITIL allows many education and training specialists to supply excellent courses on ITSM with ITIL certifications. While ITIL training and education prepares skilled and motivated people for the implementation of best practices, some questions and challenges still arise (Fry, 2008; Marrone, 2010): Will the skilled people fit into the IT department? Should there be a separate service management department (SMD) or service management office (SMO) in order to guarantee ITIL benefits after its implementation? If so, who should be in that department? Should problems, incidents, and change management all be addressed by the same team? How does the implementation of ITIL processes affect the maturity of its implementation?

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