In order to provide better Information Technology (IT) services to their customers, organisations are increasingly implementing the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists that can be applied by an organisation for establishing integration with its own strategies, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organisation to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure improvements as well as compliance.
Whilst the promise of ITIL implementation is compelling, many implementations do not achieve the anticipated outcomes. The extant literature provides very little information as to how ITIL is implemented or the organisational change strategies that organisations use to implement it. To find a point of comparison, study of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) projects have found that there are similarities in this change processes with those observed during ITIL implementations. Research into the implementation of ERP and BPR has found that applying a formal change management strategy, incorporating a Socio-Technical Systems (STS) approach, can assist in the likelihood of a successful implementation.
This exploratory research was conducted using a multiple case study approach to investigate the organisational change strategies that organisations have applied to ITIL implementation. This research also sought to identify if using STS as an approach to organisational change can influence the success of ITIL implementations. In this research, one particular STS model, the Leavitt Diamond, was applied in order to investigate the inter-relationships between the STS components and how they are affected during the implementation of ITIL.
This research found that organisations were not deliberately selecting and applying an organisational change strategy during implementation. Interestingly though, without knowing it or doing so consciously, the organisations adopted similar organisational change approaches and types for their ITIL implementations. All eight of the organisations studied adopted a planned change approach with a phased ITIL implementation. The research found that although none of the organisations deliberately applied an STS approach to their ITIL implementations, they did without realising, apply an STS approach. The ITIL implementation was found to require greater effort to be applied to the people component of the STS; followed by process, technology and structure.
The research also found that an appropriate amount of effort was necessary for each of the individual STS components; rather than an equal effort per component.
This research has developed new insights into organisational change strategies and ITIL implementations that had not previously been explored. Through this research, an ITIL STS Model of Organisational Change has been produced that provides a plan and overview of the primary decisions to be made, with the resultant actions, in response to changes to the STS components. This research provides ITIL practitioners, for the first time, information about organisational change strategies as they have been applied to successful ITIL implementations; as well as a model that may assist with developing their own organisational change strategies.