Informational Technology Infrastructure Library or ITIL is a group of practices designed to align IT services with the goals and vision of the business. It was originally developed in the 1980s and since then received regular revisions to suit the changes in technology and business better. This approach is highly effective in multiple industries, and the same could be said about its adoption by Disney. To better understand that success, a deeper investigation is needed. This paper will provide information about Disney’s experience with ITIL implementations such as reasons for it, results achieved, possible challenges, reasons for success, and whether the same results could be achieved with other systems.
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Reasons for ITIL Adoption by Disney
Disney is one of the largest corporations in the world with millions of customers that are serviced just by its parks division. With the continuous expansion of the company, it became extremely difficult to provide a reliable and desirable service to the customers. Even the IT department of the company employed almost a thousand people when the ITIL system was implemented. The company needed a way to manage its servers and applications but would not be able to do so without realignment.
While a multitude of systems exists, Disney management chose ITIL due to its focus on making the IT department have a significant contribution to the success of the company. It was a likely choice considering that there were almost two servers for each member of the IT team. The experience of the customers often relies on the quality of service that the IT department provides to the company. If machines break or become obsolete, it could have a negative reflection on the image of the company.
The Results Attained by Disney
The results of the implementation were positive for the company. Employees were educated on the new approach to IT management within Disney, and through careful planning, the implementation occurred mostly without issues. As a result, the organization was able to focus on providing the most active, accessible, and reliable IT service in its history of operation. Communication also became a priority. The recent successes of the Disney company can be partially connected to the highly effective IT department. With the company now being even larger than the day ITIL was implemented, management of IT had to be aligned with the goals of the company.
Types of Challenges Encountered During Implementation
One of the possible challenges that the company could have encountered is confusion during the widespread adoption of the system. The presented article describes that the company had 700 IT members in the United States alone and even more abroad. During ITIL implementation in such large companies, it is likely that it would not be adopted evenly throughout the organization. This issue could be solved however through an organized awareness program of informational documents and education courses (Winter, 2010).
Another issue can occur if the ITIL experts chosen by the company do not fit the required criteria. However, this issue can also be solved. If the company makes sure that every expert they assign can articulate the vision for their managed processes, can learn all the information that ITIL V3 comprises, has a likable but powerful personality that can influence people into working as a unit and can utilize ITIL best practices while being aware of present limitations (Marrone, Gacenga, Cater-Stee, & Lutz, 2014).
Three Reasons ITIL Adoption Succeeded
The first reason the Disney adoption of ITIL succeeded is the awareness that was brought to the organization from the executive level down through the commonly performed information sessions and meetings. It was the first step in the apportion process.
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The second reason is the training that was also developed from the CIO level down to the IT department. The company organized special training sessions that involved 250 members of the IT department. The program could be completed in two days, but its effective use of training on main and additional topics made it highly effective for the chosen employees.
The last step of the adoption was to select 20 people who were designated “champions” from every TP&R to make them experts through online training. Since the process had different levels of education, they could be easily applied to various levels of responsibility in the department.
Could the Same Results be Achieved with ISO 20000?
I do not believe that the same results could have been achieved if Disney chose ISO 20000 as its system of choice. It is specifically designed to be used only with financial assets which make it much less relevant to the goals of the company. The specific focus of ITIL on IT departments is the core of Disney’s success. The company needed a better IT service, and ITIL worked perfectly (Cots & Casadesús, 2015).
ITIL can be a powerful tool for IT management. It is designed to make one of its core departments much more effective. Disney needed improving the management of its large IT department, and ITIL became the solution to that problem. This was only one of the examples when ITIL was beneficial, and there are many more throughout recent history.
Cots, S., & Casadesús, M. (2015). Exploring the service management standard ISO 20000. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 26(5–6), 515–533.
Marrone, M., Gacenga, F., Cater-Stee, A., & Lutz, K. (2014). IT service management: A cross-national study of ITIL adoption, 34, 865–892.
Winter, K. (2010). Disney’s ITIL® journey case study. Web.