Dissertation Proposal: Development of a recommendation on the implementation of IT service management on the basis of ITIL in SMEs

Term Paper, 2010
19 Pages, Grade: 1,0



List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

1 Introduction

2 Problem and motivation

3 Provisional titel

4 Brief Review of the related literature

5 Aims and Objectives of the research

6 Statement of the design and methodology

7 Sources and acquisition of data

8 Method of data analysis

9 Form of presentation

10 Timetable

A Proposed Outline

Declaration of Honesty


List of Figures

1 Dependence of the core ITIL processes

2 Planned timetable

List of Tables

1 Potential interviewees

2 Analysis Methods

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Introduction

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often,"[1]

This quote from the former English Prime Minister Winston Churchill expresses how important continuous process improvement is in today’s business climate. Without permanent optimisation and adjustment, companies cannot survive in international competition.

The IT department will be permanently confronted with new challenges and data processing procedures. Despite that, they are seldom given much recognition in the company, since they are seen merely as an internal service provider. Consistently positive achievements will be barely noticed, while isolated disruptions remain in the minds of the business departments for a long time,[2]Xot only is the availability of IT systems nowadays of decisive importance of businesses, but in particular the support of the core business by the use of IT is crucial. The IT department should be helping achieve the objectives of a company and needs to be able to react flexibly to change,[3]In order to fulfil this requirement, the IT strategy must be consistent with the corporate strategy,[4]

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is an internationally recog­nised method for synchronising the corporate objectives with the IT strategy. In its original version, the entire process model was developed as far back as 1989 by the British government and it has been continuously updated by the public organisation “Office of Government Commerce" (OGC),[5] In its current third version, ITIL is the do facto standard for IT service management, which can be adjusted flexibly for individ­ual needs, regardless of the size of company or area of business,[6] The best practice approach of ITIL makes it possible to measure IT services for a company, make man­agement transparent and thereby to synchronise the services with the objectives of the company. To achieve this, ITIL offers a range of flexible tools and processes that have proved themselves in practice.[7]

2 Problem and motivation

In SMEs in particular, IT is often seen as a separate support process that does nothing to contribute to the added valne of the business. The IT department therefore gen­erally has its own strategy, detached from the objectives of the company,[8]And yet, the IT department nowadays makes a substantial contribution to achieving corporate objectives, since all value-creating business processes are supported by it and could no longer be achieved without it. As early as 2003, Nicholas G, Carr put forward this viewpoint: “Today, no one would dispute that information technology has become the backbone of commerce",[9]Ursula Snry supported the view in an article in Informatik Spektrum 2005: “In the information society the use of information technology is the base and instrument of all entrepreneurial activity",[10]These comments highlight the importance of IT for companies, since all business-related information is processed and stored with IT systems. Even SMEs are nowadays virtually unable to function without IT.[11]

This is why even small organisations who want to survive in the long term need to have all the functions of value-adding IT service management. The ITIL process model offers a good basis, as a practically-oriented collection of best practice. If it is possible to scale the processes, roles and documentation appropriately, SMEs can also benefit.[12]However, strengths such as flexibility and speed in the implementation of requirements should not be endangered by the introduction of a complex management system. For success, it is important that the strengths and weaknesses resulting from the size of the organisation are explicitly allowed for and reflected in the IT service processes,[13] Even though IT service management on the basis of ITIL is now seen as the accepted worldwide standard, many SMEs still decide against it. The main reason usually given is that ITIL seems too complicated and expensive to implement. That said, ITIL offers a number of advantages in customer orientation and service. Its introduction makes the indispensable IT services more transparent, easier to measure, cheaper and qualitatively better. All aspects that markedly improve the productivity of internal IT service management - in particular for SMEs,[14]

3 Provisional titel

The work is to concentrate on the use of ITIL for processes in German small and medium enterprises (SMEs), The focus is in particular on clarifying the research ques­tion of the extent to which the best practice ITIL processes can be implemented.

The main thesis of the author is this: “The complete process model of the ITIL library is too extensive and too formal for SMEs," This view is based on the fact that ITIL presents over 20 different process disciplines in complex interdependency. All these disciplines must be implemented using both human and financial resources, both of which are in very limited supply in SMEs,

Subthesis 1: The introduction of ITIL adds structure to the IT area and increases awareness of the internal IT department. The reason: in SMEs in particular, the IT department is largely unstructured and many jobs and activities are chaotically carried out by calling on whoever is available (the Hey-Joe approach)10. This makes impossible a realistic allocation of resources and accounting for IT services that reflects the services provided.

Subthesis 2: ITIL does not bring SMEs any medium-term potential for cost reductions in IT, The reason: The ITIL library is, since it comes from a public source, in principle free, but its implementation in the company will lead to substantial costs. Companies will be reliant on cost-intensive consulting, process restructuring and the purchase of software to support processes.

The main research question was: “To what extent can ITIL, as the do facto standard of IT service management, be realistically implemented in SMEs?" This is the basis for the working title of the Master Thesis: “Development of a recommendation on the implementation of IT service management on the basis of ITIL in SMEs,"[15]

4 Brief Review of the related literature

The comment by Giirth that SMEs are a “motley crew" and a “very lively bunch" make it clear that there is no one criterion that one can use to separate SMEs from large companies,[16]Quantitative dimensions are number of staff, the turnover or the total capital,[17]' The Institut für Mittelstandforsehung (IfM - Institute for SME Studies) uses the number of staff and annual turnover to classify companies as small, medium and large. The Institute considers firms with no more than 500 staff and a turnover of 25 million euros to be SMEs,[18]The EU distinguishes by number of staff, with the sup­plementary criterion that the companies should not be part of a group of associated companies,[19]Changes in competition conditions, such as the expansion of the EU to the east, force SMEs to increase efficiency and reduce costs more rapidly, SMEs are characterised by many features which distinguish them from large companies, some­times markedly,[20]The characteristics affect the processes of this group of enterprises accordingly. Striking differences from large firms are in particular the flat hierarchies and the short communications channels, with limited formalism. The daily business of SMEs requires readiness for rapid reaction and flexible decisions. The limits of finan­cial resources and the limits on staff that they impose therefore require a particularly efficient approach to the introduction of IT solutions,[21]Moreover, SMEs rarely have a high-performing IT department able to provide the required know-how for the analysis and the necessary process changes,[22]

The discussion of the creation of IT service management using ITIL is mainly con­ducted from the viewpoint of the head of IT services. Investigations of IT service management with ITIL are mainly found in large companies,[23]In addition, there is experience of service management in IT system service companies, whose IT services are primarily used by external customers,[24]The view of users of IT services has up to now been inadequately investigated, even though this perspective is precisely the one of particular interest to SMEs, These have increasingly outsourced large parts of IT to external suppliers and only to a limited extent apply methodical concepts of IT management and controlling to control their IT suppliers systematically,[25]

The first study in Germany on the distribution of İTİL was carried out by Schmidt et al at the Technical High School in Aalen in 2004, 217 CEOs of companies with between 100 and 100,000 employees were surveyed. The study found that even then, 25% of all companies used ITIL for process optimisation. Two third (65%) of the companies who were planning to introduce process optimisation intended to use the ITIL model. For SMEs, the level of ITIL usage was just 3%,[26]The result of the Aalen study has been supported by the surveys of the IT consulting firm MATERNA, conducted annually since 2004, the latest available version being for 2009, Of 240 decision-makers in this survey, a third claimed to have introduced a service strategy based on ITIL already. However, the study also shows the continued limited penetration of ITIL among SMEs, only 19% of whom had implemented it. The main reasons preventing implementation were said to be the costs of introduction, standardisation and qualifications,[27]' There are hardly any representative international studies on the distribution of ITIL, There is a study by the IT consulting firm Dimension Data in 2008, The conclusion was that ITIL is most widely used in Europe, where around two third of the companies use this framework for service management. Only around 30% of the international heads of IT believed that ITIL make a significant contribution to the optimisation of business processes. In the USA, for instance, usage was said to be even lower, currently around just 8%,[28]

In the technical press, concepts are also currently being discussed how ITIL can be implemented among SMEs, These articles tend, however, only to reflect a superfi­cial approach. For example, the Computerwoehe (Computer Weekly, German edition) suggested at the end of 2004 in an article “SMEs need ITIL coaching" the necessity of special concepts,[29]Knöpp et al, advised a reduction in the complexity of ITIL disciplines and the identification of key performance indicators in their article in Mit­telstand Aktuell (SMEs Today), “Introducing ITIL simply and successfully in SMEs", but without giving any concrete recommendations for specific implementation meth­ods,[30]An article by Peter Saeekel at the start of 2010 entitled “ITIL helps SMEs - consistent service management pays off quickly" makes a general recommendation to reduce the scope of the process, without specifying the exact degree,[31]One can at least say that the theme of ITIL in SMEs is the subject of very current discussions, but it has only been dealt with to date in a verv rudimentary wav.


[1]Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (*1874 - f1965), British politician

[2]cp. Blankenhom, H. (2005), p. 2

[3]cp. van Bon, J. (2005), p. 7

[4]cp. Karnleitner/Langer (2006), p. 12

[5]cp. Schmidt/Dohle (2010), p. 12

[6]cp. Kresse, M. (2008), p. 54

"cp. Holtz, B. (2005), p. 25

[8]cp. Kamleiter/Langer (2006), p. 12

BCarr, N. G. (2003), p. 41

[10]“Dor Einsatz von Informationstcchnologic ist in dor Infomiationsgesellschaft Basis und Instrument

jeglichen unternehmerischen Handeln”, (Súry, U. (2005), p. 69, translation by author)

[11]cp. Stahlknocht/Hasonkamp (2005), p. 681

[12]cp. Kamlcitncr/Langcľ (2006), p. 12

[13]cp. Kcllcrmann, K. (2005), p. 58 and cp. Kamlcitncr/Langcr (2006), p. 74

[14]cp. Elsässer, W. (2006), pp. 120-123

[15]cp. Zeil 1er. N. (2010), pp. 21-27

[16]“kuntorbuntor” and ‘'sehr lebendiger Haufen”, (cp. Gürth, W. (2001), p. 328, translation by author)

[17]cp. Mugler, J. (2008), p. 19

[18]cp. u.a. (2009), Mittelstand: Leistung durch Vielfalt, pp. 12-14

1Bcp. Europäische Kommission: Die Novellierung der Empfehlung 96/280/EG, Artikel 1

[20]cp. Kellerniann, K. (2005), p. 58

[21]cp. Kol beck Wimmer (2002), p. 12

[22]cp. Neuburger, R. (2003), p. 19

22cp. Kemper, H.-J (2004), pp. 22-31

[24]cp. Koch, N. et al. (2006), p. 41

[25]cp. Sditili, A. (2006), p. 55

[26]cp. Schmidt, R. et al. (2004), p. 52

[27]cp. Wittig, A. (2009), pp. 2-25

[28]cp. Gambichler, T. (2008), p. 24

[29]“Mittolstand braucht ITIL-Nachhilfo”, (Eser, L (2004), p. 37, translation by author)

[30]“ITIL ini Mittelstand einfach erfolgreich Umsetzen”, (Knöpp, M. (2009), p. 23, translation by author)

[31]ITIL hilft dem Mittelstand - Konsequentes Service-Management macht sich schnell bezahlt”, (Saeekel, P. (2010), p. 2, translation by author)

Excerpt out of 19 pages


Dissertation Proposal: Development of a recommendation on the implementation of IT service management on the basis of ITIL in SMEs
Prifysgol Cymru University of Wales
Research Methods
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1045 KB
Dissertation, Proposal, Master Thesis, ITIL, KMU, SME
Quote paper
Markus Groß (Author), 2010, Dissertation Proposal: Development of a recommendation on the implementation of IT service management on the basis of ITIL in SMEs, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/165739


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Dissertation Proposal: Development of a recommendation on the implementation of IT service management on the basis of ITIL in SMEs

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free