Measuring Return on Investment from Implementing ITIL: A Review of the Literature

Measuring Return on Investment from Implementing ITIL: A Review of the Literature

Chee Ing Tiong (HD Digital Solutions, Australia), Aileen Cater-Steel (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Wui-Gee Tan (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-008-0.ch023
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This study reviews literature related to financial metrics that organizations could use in measuring the return on investment from their adoption of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. ITIL outlines an extensive set of best practices for IT service management in organizations but as yet there is limited academic research on measuring the return on investment from ITIL adoption. This review considers appropriate metrics which service managers could use to build a business case for ITIL adoption, or ongoing ITIL projects.
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Itil Service Management Framework

The purpose of ITIL as a framework of best practice is to facilitate the delivery of high quality information technology services. ITIL outlines an extensive set of management procedures that are intended to support businesses in achieving both quality and value for money in IT operations. ITIL is built around a process-model based view of controlling and managing operations. ITIL version 2 contains a subsection entitled IT service management and the subsection is further divided into service support and service delivery.

ITIL makes a distinction between users and customers: customers are the people in an organization who commission and fund the IT services whereas users are those who use the services on a day-to-day basis. Service support defines six processes that ensure users have sufficient access to support business function (OGC, 2002b):

  • 1.

    Configuration management: Provides a logical model of the infrastructure by identifying, controlling, maintaining and verifying the versions of all components.

  • 2.

    Change management: Responsible for ensuring changes are evaluated, approved, controlled, tracked and implemented safely without side effects to the quality of the service itself.

  • 3.

    Release management: Undertakes the planning, design, building, configuration and testing of hardware and software to create a set of release components for a live environment.

  • 4.

    Incident management: Restores normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimizes the adverse impact on business operation.

  • 5.

    Problem management: Reduces both the number and severity of incidents and problems within business to proactively prevent recurrence of incidents and problems.

  • 6.

    Service desk: Receipt and resolution of service requests, technical guidance, communication, etc. The central contact point between users and IT staff.

Service delivery defines what services the ICT provider is required to provide to the customer. Service delivery consists of five processes (OGC, 2002a):

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