Organizations that are successful focus on delivering quality products, keeping their customers engaged and optimizing processes to maximize output. In this digital transformation world, organizations that have adopted Agile and frameworks like ITIL will succeed; as modern frameworks are all about adaptability, quick delivery and customer focus. These frameworks have their own unique set of processes and help teams address complex problems through adaptation and value creation. In this blog, we look into the two most popular frameworks used by IT companies, ITIL and Agile and what wins in the battle between ITIL vs Agile.
ITIL is the most popular ITSM framework adopted by organizations across sectors --Forbes Insight
ITIL stands for (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and is a framework followed by IT companies to improve business processes, sustain growth and ensure progress. ITIL defines a set of detailed processes and practices that ensures that organizations are able to use IT as a medium for transformation, growth, business change and value delivery.
The latest versions of ITIL have helped organizations become nimbler and respond to changing market conditions by becoming more adaptable, flexible and open to digital transformations.
ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft and HSBC--Axelos
ITIL 4 is an adaptable framework for managing services. Through our best practice modules, ITIL 4 helps to optimize digital technologies to co-create value with consumers, drive business strategy, and embrace digital transformation—Axelos
The ITIL framework consists of five stages with 26 process areas.
The five service lifecycle stages include:
The guiding principles of ITIL are:
Advantages of ITIL
Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment—Agile Alliance
Agile is not just an IT implementation framework or strategy but a culture shift and a mind-set. Any organization that wants to undergo an Agile transformation has to transform not just processes but also people and its inherent culture.
Agile is built around four values and twelve principles
The four values of Agile are:
The twelve principles of agile are:
Almost three-quarters (71%) of organizations report using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always--Project Management Institute
Advantages of Agile
|ITIL has a fixed set of practices and processes which IT businesses should embrace to deliver consistent value||Agile is more flexible and is a change in the entire cultural fabric of the organization to deliver quick value and keep customers happy|
|It is an IT framework that focuses on processes rather than practices.|
It helps improve ITSM processes to ensure better service delivery and client satisfaction
|It comprises of methodologies that define practices and principles that help in ensuring faster release of working products through better co-ordination between development team and end users|
|Tries to fix the processes an organization should follow to deliver consistent value repeatedly||Is more flexible and allows teams and organizations to question and break existing rules in pursuit of delivering value|
|Adheres to strict rules of documentation and SLAs||Documentation is secondary and emphasis should be on delivering value incrementally|
|Follows a sequential framework and processes||Is incremental and iterative and creates a minimum viable product|
One is rigid while one is more flexible. One focuses on leveraging past experiences while one focuses on getting processes that are right for the current situation.
There are many differences between two frameworks but the best of both can be taken and applied to modern IT systems.
While they may fundamentally differ in ideology, there are also many commonalities between the two, such as the idea of delivering working software and ensuring a focus on value both of which help to deliver high quality products to the customer. The two also focus on keeping processes simple and responding to change in order to implement changing customer requirements and delivering highest quality to the customer.
ITIL systems can adopt the principles of Agile that make it suitable to environments that are fast paced and help IT and DevOps teams adapt rapidly to change and deliver high value.
While earlier versions of ITIL focused on being sequential, plan-oriented and focused more on delivering first and then maintaining, these are no longer the hallmarks of modern systems. Modern enterprises require better managed services that can align to customer goals, in other words ITIL was becoming outdated in an increasingly agile world where test at the end approach was longer relevant. Agile’s incremental and iterative approach helps to have a more dynamic relation between IT and operations and works in the fast paced, continuously evolving business world.
The latest version of ITIL takes this into account and helps businesses adapt and adopt the digital age. It helps organizations to more seamlessly adapt to changing technology, simplify operations and create greater efficiency.
For many years, ITIL helped legacy systems thrive by offering a dependable management system that helped increase efficiency, reduce risks and deliver value to customers. But with the advent of Agile, modern systems realised that what they needed to stay afloat in the current market scenario is the ability to adapt and be flexible to changing market conditions. Many experts are of the view that agile is the perfect backbone to enabling a DevOps transformation ensuring high performance and frequent release working software to production.
ITIL, on the other hand, ensures an overall growth of the company and offers strategies for future growth and business evolution. Applying ITIL to DevOps can speed up new releases, reduces risks related to projects, optimize processes and enhance customer satisfaction.
Both Agile and ITIL are associated with several credentials that are well recognized in IT circles.
Opting for Agile or ITIL depends on where you are working currently and the type of framework your organization supports. Both support growth and innovation and offer services to improve operations and work better. Pursue the certifications associated with these frameworks and turbocharge your career.
The debate of ITIL vs agile and which is better for modern systems is an age old one. While Agile supports rapid innovation and focuses on adaptability and flexibility the newer versions of ITIL also prepare organizations for digital transformation. Each team should evaluate what works best for them and choose the framework accordingly.