Intel CTO Justin Rattner links standardization with innovation, especially in information technology. Consulting on the outcome of standardization, Rattner points out that standards allow “technology investment to concentrate in a much smaller are of innovation.” Rattner is also articulate on why consumers should care about technological standards – namely because “Global standards create a positive user experience. They help to satisfy consumers’ expectations that technology products will work together easily.” This benefit also applies to the business world; IT systems operate much more consistently if they are standardized. CFIOs, IT managers, and IT consulting services provide top-shelf service when they follow industry-specific service standards.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the set of standards guiding ITSM (Information Technology Service Management). By following ITIL principles, CFIOs can reduce the probability of system meltdowns.
Failing to abide by ITIL standards typically results in three significant problems:
1. Skyrocketing costs. ITIL standards specify the most cost-efficient, stable solutions for ITSM. If a CFIO does not follow ITIL guidelines, his or her organization will waste money on patchwork solutions to sustain operations. In the long term, these temporary answers create unnecessary costs.
2. Declining service to employees and business. If an information technology consulting firm or CFIO fails to follow ITIL standards, service quality will almost always decline.
3. Poor communication with management. The first step in implementing ITIL standards is to create a catalogue of current IT services included in ITSM. Next, CFIOs and IT consulting services compare current practices to ITIL recommendations. Finally, a configuration management database (CMDB) is created. A CMDB specifies which technology is required to carry out IT services. In this way, a CMDB helps CFIOs understand current IT expenses and identify more cost-effective solutions.
Without an up-to-date service catalogue and CMDB, IT managers are not able to accurately identify ideal investment opportunities to improve IT infrastructure.
The reality is that many IT managers are too busy keeping up with daily problems to spend time on standardization. The transition to cloud-based storage and “software as a service” only increases the incidence of IT crises and makes it much more challenging for CFIOs to find time for “big picture” questions such as following ITSM standards. In such instances, it makes sense for company leadership to invest in professional information technology consulting. IT consulting services can be contracted to analyze where an organization’s ITSM practices wander from ITIL guidelines.