IT Service Management, which is primarily evolved from 'IT Management', refers to any aspect of the management of IT Service provision. In view of today's heterogeneous and distributed IT environments, it is a challenge to IT Managers to provide quality IT Services in an effective, efficient and economic manner, and at the same time, fulfill the Customers' needs and expectations. To further extend the challenge, IT is expecting to facilitate the creation of business opportunities.
Through the adoption of "Best Practice", it helps IT Service Management professionals to achieve these challenging objectives with a higher success rate. According to Aidan Lawes, former CEO itSMF on the definition of Best Practice, it is "an industry accepted way of doing something, that works". There is a wide range of publications about Best Practice in ITSM. The main providers are the OGC (the Office of Government Commerce), the BSI (British Standards Institute) and itSMF itself.
ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is probably the most popular term referred by IT Service Management professionals when mentioning about best practice in this area. The ITIL Framework provides 'best practice' guidelines and architectures for IT Service Management and is the most widely used and accepted approach. As it has been developed to be process driven, it is independent on the actual organizational structure of the entity. Hence, it can be tailored to any IT service provider (either internal or external third party) irrespective of their size or the technology in use. In fact, a number of other IT Service Management frameworks developed by commercial organizations are also based on ITIL.
How can we implement the 'Best Practice'? Two key and important words here are - "adopt and adapt" As mentioned by Colin Rudd (2004) in 'An Introductory Overview of ITIL', IT Service Provider organizations should adopt the guidelines, principles and concepts and adapt them to fit their own unique environment.