30 Oct 2023
Sanumon Valsalam recently crowned his eighteen-year journey through the ITIL certification schemes, beginning with ITIL v2 Foundation in 2006 and culminating in the distinction of the new ITIL 4 Master designation.
He is proud to be the first ITIL 4 Master in the Persian Gulf region, having trained and associated with accredited training organization Knowlathon IT Services.
Working at Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security as a senior IT governance and IT service management consultant, Sanumon is responsible for advising the organization on how to improve capability level of IT service management practices as well as the maturity of the service value system. He ensures that services deliver the right outcomes and fully meet expectations. He establishes policies, procedures and practices based on the ITIL framework, and also designs optimal workflows for process automation using ITSM tools.
“ITIL 4 has thirty-four separate practices, broadly divided into three domains. My job is to determine the capability level of each practice in my organization. If we have no capability in a practice, I work with stakeholders to set it up from scratch, considering the four dimensions of people, process, technology, and partners/suppliers. I advise process owners on creating Improvement plans based on the ITIL 4 continual improvement model, and how they can tailor the ITIL 4 framework to their specific needs,” he said.
Sanumon’s dedication to his ongoing professional development is impressive. Having started his ITIL journey in 2006, he often flew home to India to attend live classroom training courses. When the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, he switched to online training and completed the ITIL specialist qualifications such as Create, Deliver & Support and extension modules such as Sustainability in Digital & IT. He then undertook the Practice Manager certifications before continuing to ITIL Master.
“Achieving ITIL Master in February 2023, as one of the first in the world to do so, means a great deal to me. The new exams are great. You really feel they are worth the effort and appreciate the sweat that has gone into them,” he said.
“Here in the Gulf region, IT has been very vendor-driven, but vendors are not always best placed to advise on an organisation’s internal value streams and processes. Also, many organizations today outsource functions, whereas previously they wanted to develop in-house service management capabilities.
“They are now comfortable outsourcing individual processes or multiple functions but must still integrate them with their internal services. As such, there is a growing demand in the region for qualified consultants who can guide organizations through this transition, working independently of vendors. So, ITIL-certified experts are becoming more sought-after,” he said.
“My organization has recognized the knowledge I’ve gained and the benefits I bring. Being and accredited trainer, I can train internal stakeholders and easily set up processes and practices without having to hire outside help for consulting. Many organizations recognize the need for seasoned ITSM professionals who can support and hand-hold other process owners, without relying on external consultants and vendors. Even my peers in the wider industry and across the Gulf region are really proud of me and value being able to reach out to me for help and advice.”
“Achieving ITIL 4 Master helps me give advice holistically, rather than looking at things with a myopic view. This has been the biggest help with my career. Not everyone is able to do this, as most people focus on their own technical domains, such as IT infrastructure, security or software development. I’m able to show stakeholders how these pieces fit into the larger whole towards providing IT services and solutions to internal as well as external customers. “
ITIL Master is not the end of Sanumon’s journey. He has ambitions to apply his knowledge and skills in other business areas, saying:
“I try to bring service management into other areas, beyond the confines of IT. I am interested in how we can co-create value in other domains and walks of life, and in applying my learning to industries such as airline, hotel, hospital and government services.
“Other service managers should also consider what industries can learn from service management. ITIL concepts such as the four dimensions of IT, the service value system, value streams and service value chain supported by ITIL 4 practices, as well as the guiding principles, can apply to any industry resulting in value co-creation in the form of products and services.
“Each day is a new learning for me in terms of knowledge, skills and experience and I hope to continue this journey by enlightening all.”