Resources and Capabilities of ITIL®

Any item or human of economic value that an organization holds is considered an ‘Asset.’ It is important for organisations to clearly identify if an ‘Asset’ is a Resource or a Capability. Resources and capabilities are the pillars for any organisation. Together, they not only help create value to their customers but also help  an organisation to strategically position themselves in a unique way to stay ahead in today’s growingly competitive economy. The best way to differentiate a resource from a capability is by understanding, if an asset can be procured with the help of Money or if the organization has to invest Time in procuring that asset.

Resources are money driven while Capabilities are time driven. It could be easy to hire a technical architect with ample experience, however, the company will need to invest time to turn that resource into a capability who understands the core values and purposes of the organisation. Similarly, it is easy to procure a software that would ease the way we work, however, it would take time for an organisation to get the best out of the software. As it will take time for the organisation to train everyone to use the new software and understand how they could get the best out of the software inline with their modus of operandi.

At a time when ‘Nothing is impossible’ is true to the word, its easy for one to procure all the resources that their competitors have. Yet, not all companies flourish the way the other does. Some do exceedingly well while some not so well. The major differentiating factor is the set of capabilities that the organisation has that help them do the same things differently or in the best way they can be done at the lowest price. having said that, it wouldn’t be wise to negate the importance of the resources. Capabilities alone cannot deliver value without the help of the resources. Tough Assets are categorised into Capabilities and Resources, both walk hand in hand and have to be integrated well to ensure that the organisation runs seamlessly.

ITIL classifies Resources as: Financial Capital, Infrastructure, Applications, Information and People while it classifies Capabilities as: Management, Organisation, Process, Knowledge and People. If you’ve noticed, People have been tagged twice, once in Resources and once Capabilities. The headcount of the people working in the organisation is tagged within resources while the combination of the skill sets and the capabilities of the headcount are tagged in capabilities.

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