Getting to ITIL® Strategic Leader
ITIL®4 Strategic Leader (ITIL®4 SL) is an advanced certification within the ITIL®4 framework, a widely recognised set of best practices for IT service management (ITSM). ITIL®4 focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of businesses and emphasises the importance of efficient IT service management to achieve business objectives.
The ITIL®4 Strategic Leader designation recognises the role of IT in shaping and driving business strategy. It is designed for IT professionals who are involved in shaping IT strategy and want to understand how technology influences and drives business decisions.
What is ITIL®4 Strategic Leader?
To achieve the ITIL®4 Strategic Leader certification, candidates typically need to complete two modules:
ITIL®4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI)
This module provides the practical skills to create a ''learning and improving'' IT organisation with a strong and effective strategic direction. It covers the influence and impact of Agile and Lean working methods and how they can be leveraged to an organisation's advantage.
ITIL®4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy (DITS)
This module focuses on aligning and integrating IT strategies with overall business strategies. It helps leaders to understand how technology and digital investment decisions can impact and drive business success.
Both these modules encompass aspects such as understanding how business and IT leaders can respond to digital disruption, crafting digital vision and strategy, and understanding the dynamics of strategy and leading high-velocity organisations.
ITIL®4 SL is suitable for IT leaders and managers involved in digital services or transformation projects and those responsible for IT and business strategy. It's also relevant for other key business managers and leaders who want to gain an understanding of how IT contributes to broader business strategy.
What are the Benefits of Being an ITIL Strategic Leader?
The ITIL®4 Strategic Leader (SL) certification offers several significant benefits for individuals and organisations, especially in the context of aligning IT services and strategies with broader business goals. Here are some key benefits:
Enhanced Strategic Perspective
ITIL®4 SL provides a deep understanding of how IT influences and drives business strategy. This perspective is crucial for IT leaders to ensure that their IT strategies align with the overall business goals and contribute to business success.
Improved Leadership Skills
The certification focuses on the skills needed for effective leadership in the digital age, including how to respond to digital disruption and lead organisations in high-velocity environments. This is particularly beneficial for IT leaders and managers in developing a more adaptive and responsive leadership style.
Broader Business Understanding
By covering topics that blend IT and business strategies, ITIL®4 SL helps IT professionals understand the broader business context. This understanding is crucial for making informed decisions supporting the business's objectives and communicating effectively with non-IT stakeholders.
Increased Value to Organisations
Certified professionals can provide significant value to their organisations by ensuring that IT services and strategies support and drive business objectives. This alignment is key to business growth, competitiveness, and digital transformation.
An ITIL®4 SL certification can enhance an individual's professional development and career opportunities. It signifies a high level of expertise and commitment to continuous improvement, traits that are highly valued in leadership roles within IT and business.
Better Risk Management and Service Improvement
The certification equips professionals with the skills to direct, plan, and improve IT services and practices. This includes a better understanding of risk management, resource optimisation, and continual improvement practices.
ITIL® certifications are recognised and respected globally. Achieving the ITIL®4 SL certification demonstrates a commitment to industry-recognised best practices and a high level of professional competence.
Adaptability to Digital Transformation
As organisations increasingly embrace digital transformation, ITIL®4 SL certified professionals are well-equipped to guide and manage these changes effectively, ensuring that IT strategies are robust and flexible enough to adapt to rapid technological advancements.
In summary, the ITIL®4 Strategic Leader certification offers comprehensive benefits by enhancing strategic thinking, leadership skills, and the ability to align IT strategies with business objectives. It prepares IT leaders to play a pivotal role in driving business success in the digital era.
Who Should Become a Certified Strategic Leader?
The ITIL®4 Strategic Leader (SL) certification is particularly beneficial for certain professionals involved in shaping IT and business strategy. This certification is ideal for:
IT Directors and Managers
Those overseeing IT operations and departments are responsible for aligning IT strategy with business goals.
CIOs (Chief Information Officers)
Senior executives who manage and implement IT strategies in organisations, ensuring that IT resources are aligned with the overall business objectives.
Business Managers and Leaders
Professionals who are not necessarily from an IT background but are involved in strategic business decisions need to understand the role of IT in achieving business goals.
IT and Business Strategy Consultants
Consultants who advise organisations on IT service management and business strategy alignment would benefit significantly from the strategic insights provided by this certification.
ITSM Managers and Aspiring ITSM Managers
Professionals responsible for managing and improving IT service management processes.
Program and Project Managers
Professionals involved in managing IT projects or more extensive programs, especially those intersecting with business strategy.
IT Professionals aiming for Leadership Roles
IT professionals looking to move into leadership positions need to understand how to align IT initiatives with business strategies.
Digital Transformation Leaders
Professionals responsible for driving digital transformation initiatives within their organisations.
Professionals in Organisational Change Management
Those involved in guiding and managing changes within the business, particularly as they relate to IT and digital services.
The ITIL®4 SL certification is designed for individuals who want to develop a deep understanding of how to use IT to facilitate business change, transformation, and growth. It's particularly suitable for those who aspire to or currently hold leadership roles and are responsible for driving strategy, innovation, and change within their organisations.
How to become an ITIL Strategic Leader?
To become an ITIL®4 Strategic Leader, you must complete specific modules and examinations within the ITIL®4 certification scheme. Here's a step-by-step guide to achieving this certification:
Understand the ITIL®4 Framework
Before pursuing the Strategic Leader certification, it's beneficial to have a foundational understanding of the ITIL®4 framework. If you are new to ITIL®, starting with the ITIL®4 Foundation certification is a good idea. This provides a basic understanding of ITIL®4 concepts, terminologies, and practices.
Complete Required Modules
To achieve the ITIL®4 Strategic Leader designation, you need to complete two specific modules:
ITIL®4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI)
This module focuses on practical skills necessary to create a 'learning and improving' IT organisation with a strong and effective strategic direction. It covers critical topics like continual improvement, Agile and Lean approaches, and effective governance and control.
ITIL®4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy (DITS)
This module enables you to align IT and digital strategies with the broader business strategy. It covers how to respond to digital disruption, innovate, and adopt digital and IT strategies in a high-velocity environment.
Both these modules require you to pass an examination to earn the certification.
While self-study is an option, attending an accredited training course is highly recommended, especially for higher-level modules like DPI and DITS. ITIL®-accredited training organisations usually offer these courses and can be taken online or in person.
Pass the Examinations
After completing each module, you must pass the corresponding examination. The exams typically consist of multiple-choice questions designed to test your understanding and application of the material.
Stay Informed and Current
ITIL® practices and guidelines can evolve, so staying informed about the latest developments in IT service management is essential. Engaging with professional groups, attending workshops, and pursuing continuous professional development can be beneficial.
Apply Your Knowledge
The value of ITIL®4 Strategic Leader certification is not just in obtaining the credential but also in applying the knowledge and practices in real-world scenarios. Implementing what you've learned in your professional role will help solidify your understanding and demonstrate the value of your certification.
Remember, the journey to becoming an ITIL®4 Strategic Leader is not just about passing exams but also understanding and applying strategic ITIL® practices in real-world business contexts.
Where to Find These Courses
At Purple Griffon, we offer both courses in our Strategic Leaders Bundle. Becoming a strategic leader this way will save you vast amounts of money.
But if you wish to do the courses separately, we offer them as individual courses:
Final Notes on Getting to ITIL Strategic Leader
In conclusion, the ITIL®4 Strategic Leader certification is an invaluable asset for IT professionals aiming to align IT strategies with business objectives. This certification, requiring mastery of the ITIL®4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve, and the ITIL®4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy modules, is ideal for IT Directors, CIOs, business managers, and those in leadership roles. It equips them with the skills to drive digital transformation and adapt to rapid technological changes.
As we've explored, the journey involves comprehensive training and examinations. Still, the result is a profound understanding of IT's role in strategic business growth, making it a worthwhile endeavour for aspiring IT leaders.