ITIL or FitSM service management? It’s not a question of commerce

18 Jan 2022 06:00 AM By itSMF Staff

Reading time: ~ 4 min.


Service Management is much more than the available Best Practice frameworks.

However, they are an important basis for guidance when it comes to planning service management and implementing it in your organization.

Especially in IT operations organizations, ITIL® - as the internationally recognized best practice framework - has made an indispensable contribution over the last 20 years on building transparency and structures in IT organizations.

A lot of employees have been sent for training and certification exams in order to anchor the know-how and the mindset regarding service and customer orientation in the organization.

The IT service management processes have contributed greatly on defining important responsibilities and tasks and organizing them in a process-oriented way. 

ITIL: what has changed around the framework over the years

In the meantime, however, much has also happened around the ITIL® brand itself.

In 2013, the English Cabinet Office (CO) sold 51% to the company Capita. With the formation of the joint venture company Axelos, the framework lost its commercial innocence.

Capita was primarily interested in skimming profits and less in other cost-intensive further development, which was no longer carried out by unpaid authors alone. After the market of Examination Institutes was decimated from originally 7 to 1, to Peoplecert, the influence of the market had been very much suppressed.

And now Capita - probably driven by a need for money - has sold on its 51% stake in Axelos. To Peoplecert, of all people. The framework is now fully in the hands of a company focused on the certification business.

And as a first measure, the examination fees will now be increased from February 2022. Not only that: with the exam, the book should be bought at the same time, whether you want it or not.

Even if you have already received the book elsewhere - the electronic version is available at a corresponding additional cost together with the online exam voucher. Exams at the training provider will no longer be possible.

ITIL®4: the next big thing on the market?

Whether a best practice framework remains relevant to the organization over time is shown by how the framework itself evolves and adapts to the changing needs in the market.
Here, after a long hiatus from 2011 to 2019, ITIL has finally treated itself to a new version: ITIL®4. With this new version, the aim was to show the organizations that are increasingly changing to agile ways of working and the emerging new technologies such as cloud and artificial intelligence an approach on how service management can be adapted to these new values.

The ITSM processes that are often seen as rigid and bureaucratic in agile organizations are now to be put on the backburner with adapted agile principles and a value chain view and steered towards holistic "practices" with a change of focus.

This inevitably leads to a more systemic view of service management and no longer to the down-to-earth process view of the tasks encountered in everyday life.

This is because these details are no longer taught and can be found, if at all, in the separately available practice guides.

As a result, many organizations find that when they send their employees on a service management training course, they are taught the components of the service value system, but nothing concrete to enable them to carry out the service tasks in their daily work. The tasks and interaction of incident, problem, configuration and change management are simply no longer the subject of ITIL Foundation training.

The alternative framework: FitSM or the lightweight IT service management framework

However, the need for such process - and practice - oriented training is very great in many organizations.

And there is also a real alternative: FitSM. This framework, known as a lightweight IT service management framework, is based on the 14 processes known from the ISO/IEC 20000 standard:
👉 Service Portfolio Management (SPM) 
👉 Service Level Management (SLM) 
👉 Service Reporting Management (SRM) 
👉 Service Availability & Continuity Management (SACM) 
👉 Capacity Management (CAPM) 
👉 Information Security Management (ISM) 
👉 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 
👉 Supplier Relationship Management (SUPPM) 
👉 Incident & Service Request Management (ISRM) 
👉 Problem Management (PM) 
👉 Configuration Management (CONFM) 
👉 Change Management (CHM) 
👉 Release & Deployment Management (RDM) 
👉 Continual Service Improvement Management (CSI)

The purpose of such training is to teach goals, tasks and roles and how they interact, and therefore the basics of a controllable service management system.

FitSM: a well designed and flexible framework

Even though no framework can be placed above the other, consider that FitSM has been designed to integrate with the ISO 20000 standard and the ITIL best practice framework, which means that if there are certain areas of service management that organizations wish to cover in more detail, then the standard or framework can be used to cover these deeper needs.

Don’t underestimate the value of FitSM. Although lightweight, it should not be viewed as a basic option. It provides the right level of guidance for any organization looking to get started with best-practice ITSM, or for those that wish to follow a framework but don’t require the organizational-level certification of an established standard such as ISO 20000.

It can also be considered an exploratory option into the world of better ITSM capabilities. Allowing your organization to “test the waters” before deciding, whether or not, to invest in certification or training in a more recognized, and more involved, framework or standard. 

If simple yet concise guidance sounds just like what your organization needs, then FitSM could be your answer.   

Post extracted, adapted and translated by itSMF.
Author: Martin Andenmatten, 2021.11.14 

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itSMF Staff