It’s no secret that organizations benefit from economies of scale. Unfortunately some have taken an understanding that only large organizations can benefit from the structure that an IT Service Management implementation will bring. I would argue that organizations of any size can benefit from the ITIL® framework, and in some ways, there are serious advantages that small companies can benefit from more easily.
The need for ITSM in a small company
Small companies face the same situations that drive larger organizations to an IT Service Management implementation. There are capacity issues, incidents need to be handled in a streamlined manner, strategies need to be developed, implemented and governed, customer contact needs to be maintained, service levels need to be understood and managed, etc. The difference in a small company is that we will implement our framework in a very lean manner out of necessity. Lean doesn’t mean immature; lean simply means that we will implement only what is absolutely necessary to provide us the desired results and eliminate anything that would be considered waste.
A lean approach in a small organization would still yield the necessary end results but have less overhead and bureaucracy built-in. For example, your small organization uses Amazon Web Services. You conduct a regularly scheduled review of your resource utilization and billing. You review trends, look for any hotspots or exceptions. If there are any, you take a few minutes to deal with them, whether they require investigation or adding additional capacity. You undertake a similar approach for any other on-premise or off-premise resources. If necessary, you roll up the information into a dashboard. You’ve just done the bulk of your necessary actions required for your capacity management practice. In a larger organization, there is more reporting, more stakeholders, more triggers, more inputs, more outputs, more interfaces, etc. Not here – small organizations must necessarily be lean.
While there are many advantages we could point to regarding small organization’s ITIL implementation, there is one significant advantage that needs to be pointed out – they don’t have the luxury of added bureaucracy. They are forced to be nimble, agile and lean. Larger organizations will often make their practices so bureaucratic that innovation is stifled and there are wasted cycles. They quickly lose the economies of scale that should have been gained.
But where should a small company start?
Here’s one of the common sticking points for small companies regarding their ITIL implementations – they don’t know where to start. Like their larger counterparts, they could start by identifying pain-points, prioritizing them, and thinking about what it would realistically take to address some of those issues. A good consultant can help – contact us and we’ll give you some guidance.
One of the keys is to have a good understanding of the ITIL framework. Training is very important to success with ITIL. Small organizations usually don’t have the budget for large scale ITIL training programs. We work with customers all the time who have budgetary constraints and are usually able to work with them on a solution. Sometimes, there are very creative answers to the budget challenges.
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