Whether you call it ITIL or not, you are likely "doing" a lot of ITIL already, given that common starting points are incident and change management, or change and configuration management. But don't overstate your level of maturity. For example, some may say they're doing problem management and decide to move on when in reality their process is completely reactive and not proactive. Likewise, Forrester often finds confusion between priority and maturity. The most severe consequence of this is that identified business priorities and pain points that could be solved by ITIL process improvement don't get addressed first. As a result, the time to value from your ITIL efforts are only extended and likely not appreciated.
Before undergoing any sort of process improvement program, determine which processes are most important to delivering key business priorities or solving key business pains. Prioritize the processes and then conduct a maturity assessment to close gaps between where you are and where you need to be. In the spirit of continual improvement, use this data to guide staffing, skills, and technology decisions.
Step 3: Evaluate technology only after you've addressed goals, people, and processes
Getting the right ITSM technology is not as big a key contributor to success as many might think. But too many I&O organizations, unhappy with their current ITSM technology, jump feet first into replacement mode. This is the equivalent of applying a new coat of paint to a house that is falling down; people will still not want to live there.
Think long and hard about what you want from your ITSM tool. What business and IT issues do you need it to solve? Which ITIL processes does it need to support both now and in the future? In addition, consider the effect of tool design -- single application or integrated solutions "hit the spot" for I&O's growing need for simplicity. Turn on capabilities only when you have addressed the required people and process aspects; and insufficient planning for technology integrations with other corporate systems can be a painful oversight. Consider the benefits that alternative vendors and delivery models, such as SaaS, can provide -- but recognize that SaaS itself is in many ways a red herring.
Step 4: Plan beyond the "technology project"
Be sure to plan beyond the initial people- and process-based change activities and technology implementation. A common error is to plan for a shorter adoption window than is realistic, normally driven by how long it takes to install the technology. Moreover, do not plan for the technology implementation to take a year. Rather, get the technology up and running quickly and tweak as needed based on real-world execution rather than how your old ITSM tool was set up.
Step 5: Regularly communicate ITIL's value and involve the IT and non-IT stakeholder