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ITIL4 and IT Operations Management

ITIL 4 guides businesses on how IT works today, how IT will work in the future - Agile, DevOps, etc

ITIL4 offers a shift from previous editions of the best-practice framework of individual services and processes to a more holistic approach, based on the delivery of value, more suited to the digital age. IT Operations Management (ITOM) offers the capability to operate more effectively, ensuring an organization can deliver the intended outcome by offering improved stability, availability, and reliability. The question isn’t whether ITIL4 and ITOM can be used together, but rather how could the benefits of ITIL4 be delivered to a business without ITOM?

First, consider the focus of each of the two operating models:

ITIL4 Focus
  • Creating a customer-obsessed culture
  • Ensuring IT staff have the proper skillset and abilities
  • Blending information and technology practices to manage services appropriately
  • Building relationships between IT and the business, but also with external partners
  • Defining how the organization works together to co-create value through the delivery of strategic outcomes

ITOM Focus
  • Delivering stable systems and services
  • Reducing IT infrastructure failures and the cost of failures
  • Understanding the operational environment to enable a faster response in the event of a failure
  • Using technology and automation to achieve the stated goals: finding and fixing problems before they impact services


In many ways, ITIL4 offers the customer-focused, strategic practices IT needs to work effectively within a business. Conversely, ITOM provides specific and practical operational activities that enable IT to ensure the products and services delivered with ITIL4 are operating in peak condition. This is why the two work so well together.


Understanding the Critical Aspects of Each Operating Model

ITIL4 is based on the concept of the service-value system, which integrates governance and management practices to convert the demand for new, changed services into value for a business. This uses the service-value-chain concept to define many aspects of the way IT engages with its organization to facilitate the creation of outcomes in cooperation with the organization, a concept of value co-creation.

The combination of these, plus the actual value streams and processes, which include the service management practices in older versions of ITIL, provides a holistic approach to service management.

ITOM focuses on event management, performance monitoring, and analysis of data to identify and address issues promptly, resolve incidents quicker, and help manage the risk of making changes in the operational environment. It is strongly dependent on a well-constructed Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to help bring the data together. A good ITOM practice relies heavily on technology and consolidation into a single tool-set for all technology teams supporting the enterprise.

According to ITIL4®

The Service Value Chain is a set of key activities that create value in response to customer demand, by facilitating the ability to create products and services.

The reason for this is simple: when the success of an effort relies on data and trending information, the more data available in a single view, the more likely trends will be spotted early enough, so the proactive problem management process can address them. A CMDB constructed through automated Discovery and both service and relationship mapping form the foundation for understanding an operational environment. Incident and intelligent event management provides the historical data needed to enable data analytics tools and artificial intelligence to work with the CMDB to identify trends and potential fixes, while automation can implement these fixes anytime a trend indicates an incident could occur.

This allows for proactive problem management, which enables an organization to break a cycle of firefighting incidents and implement fixes before they can impact the organization. Where ITIL4 provides guidance that indicates you should be doing this, ITOM principles provide the “how.” This is just one simple example of how ITOM solutions support the ability to refine the Service Management practices described in ITIL4.

Marrying the technology and operational intelligence of ITOM with the strategic focus of ITIL4 provides an organization with the technology to combine the people and process aspects of delivery with the practice aspects of IT operations. This results in a robust operating model that delivers value to a business in the form of operational products and services.

To find out how Virima can help you achieve more proactive problem management, watch the recent webinar, “The Problems with Your IT Problem Management – And How to Solve Them.” Ensure your IT people, processes, and technologies are adequately prepared to deliver proactive problem management. You can also learn more about Virima’s solutions online, or contact Virima today.

ITIL® and ITIL4® are registered Trade Marks of AXELOS Limited. Copyright © AXELOS Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

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