ITSM Frameworks: What you can Learn from Intel’s Adoption

As a technology powerhouse, Intel is in the perfect position to re-engineer their IT processes. Why then did they chose to adopt an ITSM framework?

Intel CIO Kim Stevenson recently said that Business Executives need to have Higher Expectations of IT.  She also credits their Service Management  program with “…lean out our process, and minimize outages, to get employees to believe that it was worth the investment to systematically fix things so we can shift to a proactive service delivery”.

A Page Right out of History

When I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan, I saw lots of really cool things. But after nearly 10 years, one still stands out in my memory – the hybrid gas/steam power generator. We’re talking one of the original generators that powered the Model T assembly line at the Highland Park plant.

How cool is that? Checkout the video…

At the time, reliable, commercially-produced power was not readily available. So Ford designed his own massive and technologically innovative generator. It remained in operation from about 1919 until decommissioned, probably in the late 1930’s.

I was struck by the massive change, both technologically and culturally that took place at some point in history as they transitioned to commercial power.

I have a vivid imagination – I picture high drama, and heated debate. There undoubtedly was a dedicated crew who knew the generator inside and out. Keeping it running in top shape was their life’s devotion. They surely had a deep sense of pride and purpose. They knew every bolt, every idiosyncrasy of the massive machine.

I love that image.

Dedicated specialists who’s work mattered to their organization!

I envision the proud team casting doubt on the reliability of commercial power. They likely felt  management was making a big mistake, and that there would be massive assembly line failures. Disrespected and cast aside….the company would suffer, perhaps even fail.

How many years before it was plain to everyone that, eventually, commercial power was not only reliable, but also economical? No one  knows for sure. But one thing we do know –  it’s no longer an issue today. Times have changed.

Time has a way of changing perspectives.

What does that have to do with  best practice adoption?

Fine if You’re Intel

Large IT organizations like those at Intel, HP, and Proctor and Gamble can afford broad process engineering programs. These global companies have unique needs that are well suited to process optimization. And they can afford to do the engineering.

So, why have they all chosen to adopt ITSM instead?

For IT organizations, there comes a time when things that were  once built and maintained by internal experts, became commonplace and economically available “off the shelf”. With technology, this is a well understood truth.

Operational process are no different.  Adopting industry best-practices is  part of a Continual Service Improvement mindset towards (as Stevenson put it) “leaning out processes and minimize outages”, and becoming more proactive in maximizing value to the business.

Which makes sense for Intel. But for the rest of us? We just did the best we could. We were just lucky if we got  through today’s emergencies. No time left for process improvements.

Standing on Tall Shoulders

ITSM frameworks (like ITIL and CoBIT) are especially helpful to smaller organizations, who can benefit greatly from the body of knowledge contained in them. A large community of IT consultants and professionals have worked very hard to assemble a flexible, easily adopted framework. Much of the Process Engineering is baked in by design, ready for adoption.

…if I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

– Sir Issac Newton

ITSM frameworks are the tall shoulders upon which smart IT organizations, both large and small, stand.

Let me be clear, ITSM adoption does not make an IT organization great. What it does do is reduce the effort required to establish a solid foundation upon which organizations can focus their own ingenuity to be truly excellent.

This is why smart IT organizations adopt ITSM frameworks.

Don’t spend your limited time and energy solving problems that have already been solved.

Adopt and go. Adapt the framework and git r done.

Then, unleash your team’s  passion for innovation, and be truly excellent for your company.