Today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by the unavoidable interaction between humans, physical assets and digital technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing. It is disrupting business in almost every industry on a global scale and creates an increasingly fast-paced and complex environment, requiring organizations to be better equipped to adapt what they do.
Consequently, digital disruption is now the norm and organizations are under pressure to ensure their IT and digitally enabled services can compete through innovation and agility.
In the face of these challenges, the latest evolution of the ITIL best practice framework – ITIL 4 – is designed to help organizations survive and flourish.
The pressure on IT
In this age of complexity, IT leaders are now under increased pressure due to:
- Increasing demands from customers, CEOs and colleagues for excellence in IT digital products and services
- Competitive pressures from disruptive organizations
- The need to achieve greater speed to market and innovation
- Keeping up with and adapting to the latest developments
- Having to be flexible enough to adapt.
IT leaders therefore need to continually digitally transform and challenge the way they do things. However, digital transformation initiatives demand significant effort.
These growths and change efforts can be divided into four core areas: Experience, Cultural, Business and Operational. Not all organizations will need to focus their change efforts on all of those, but all areas should be considered when embarking on an overall digital change programme.
Disrupting your organization
One of the core areas for digital transformation is Business Transformation: How can an organization proactively disrupt itself before being disrupted by others? Think of Netflix – their initial business model included DVD sales and rental by mail. But they changed to a subscription-based streaming service and by doing so have revolutionized the way we watch films and tv programmes.
Challenges to business transformation
Of course, disrupting your own business is not a straight-forward task. The principal barriers to doing this successfully are:
- The business isn’t ready
- There’s a lack of the right talent
Your business might not be ready if your replies to the following questions are “no”. Can you define how digital transformation relates to your business model? Can you ensure that you can transform your customers’ experience by transforming how you work?
If you don’t think about the desired business outcomes, then digital transformation efforts could be a failed investment, and this would not help with your customers’ overall experience.
Despite some hype around digital transformation, completely transforming working methods might not be relevant to every business or division/department. Organizations need to understand where they can improve and at what speed.
Equally, some businesses underestimate what’s required for digital transformation efforts. This could be their technological deficiencies but also a lack of the right resources and skills. Therefore, change could become an overwhelming challenge and lead to an even less competitive business.
How ITIL 4 helps prepare businesses for digital transformation
ITIL is the most widely recognized framework for IT enabled services in the world and aims to help IT and digital teams meet the increasing demands from their customers while helping services remain stable and effective. ITIL is utilised by 90% of Fortune 500 companies.
Innovation and agility have become an essential component of any business strategy. Organizations and IT leaders need to keep up with the latest technological and cultural developments to be able to disrupt their own business model and transform for future success.
The latest update to ITIL, ITIL 4, has evolved the well-established framework to meet these challenges of the modern digital world. It enables an organization to have their various components and activities working together to facilitate value through an integrated and coordinated effort. It also includes a set of guiding principles that will help any organization when initiating and planning a change programme.
At the same time, ITIL 4 shifts IT into the spotlight, by showcasing how IT teams can achieve digital transformation success. Organizations need to move forward in a non-siloed way by aligning value streams towards a common goal and combining governance and managerial objectives.
The framework also helps with a future-proofed approach to digital services and a clear alignment between strategy and operations. All of this can directly influence business outcomes and help with your business transformation efforts.