At a tech conference earlier this year, the CertMag team made a connection with the good people at AXELOS, a U.K. firm that's up to its elbows in IT and IT certification. The beneficiary of a unique relationship with the British government, AXELOS pushes for growth and innovation in supporting IT best practice communities. Self-billed as "A modern, ever-evolving company for a modern, ever-changing world," AXELOS is definitely a flashpoint for change and an organization to keep your eye on.
To get a better view of AXELOS and its mission, CertMag exchanged e-mails with CEO Peter Hepworth. Here's what we found out:
Q: How does AXELOS benefit from its partnership with the U.K. government?
AXELOS is a joint venture between the U.K. government and Capita PLC. It was formed in 2013 following a decision by the government to work with a private company to promote and grow the portfolio of Global Best Practice, including ITIL® and PRINCE2®. The AXELOS executive board is made up of representatives from both the UK Government and Capita.
Q: How can businesses benefit from working with AXELOS? How can individuals benefit?
For a quarter of a century businesses across the globe have benefited from the way in which our products have helped build more efficient and effective working processes.
The core goal of AXELOS is to nurture best practice communities around the world, establishing an innovative and high quality, continuous learning and development destination that is co-designed by, and co-created for, those who use it.
In 2014 we expect almost 500,000 best practice exams to be undertaken around the world, while around two million qualifications are already recorded on the AXELOS ‘Successful Candidates Register’. This is evidence that we are fulfilling our objective of improving skills that are relevant to industry, enhancing employability and job prospects for individuals, and benefiting the global economy.
The benefit to business is better trained employees, streamlined operations, and the peace of mind of knowing that you are working with an industry-leading organization, providing products and services that set the industry benchmark.
Q: Which businesses in Europe and elsewhere that have benefitted from the work that AXELOS does, and how have they benefitted?
Over the past 25 years, our portfolio has been benefiting companies internationally. ITIL, for example, has become the choice of industry leaders worldwide — from small and medium sized enterprises to large corporations.
Organizations who have successfully used AXELOS products include NASA, Disney, Microsoft, HP and the Australian Government.
There are example case studies on the AXELOS website.
What are AXELOS's aims with the new cyber-resilience certification? What can that accomplish for businesses?
Digital criminality is now recognized as one of the most serious risks to a strong global economy. Successful cyber-attacks impact competitive advantage, market reputations, innovation and national security every day. No organization is safe from attack or can ever be totally secure. Organizations are looking for pragmatic ways to make cyber resilience best practice part of their day-to-day business operations. The AXELOS Cyber Resilience portfolio will provide:
- Best Practice guidance and publications
- Awareness, learning and know-how for all staff
- Foundation and Practitioner training, simulations and certification
- Management pathway tools
Q: How can businesses and individuals benefit from ITIL? How frequently is ITIL updated and/or revised?
ITIL is a trusted and well-established framework based on Global Best Practice in IT service management, used by most of the world’s leading enterprises and forward-thinking public sector organizations.
ITIL enables you to utilize leading-edge IT capabilities to provide world-class services and maximize value. Employing IT service management best practices described in ITIL, organizations have been proven to increase productivity, optimize costs and improve customer experience.
ITIL key capabilities:
- Support business outcomes
- Enable business change
- Manage risk in line with business needs
- Optimize customer experience
- Show value for money
- Continually improve
Practitioners who have already achieved the Foundation level can progress to the Intermediate level qualification. It has a modular structure with each module providing a different focus on IT Service Management. You can take as few or as many Intermediate qualifications as you need. The Intermediate modules go into more detail than the Foundation level, and provide an industry-recognized qualification.
The modules within the ITIL Intermediate level are divided into two categories – Service Lifecycle and Service Capability. Some may wish to concentrate on one set of modules, but you can choose to select modules from both the Service Lifecycle and Service Capability streams in order to combine management and technical knowledge.
Based on feedback from the community, AXELOS is currently working on a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) service to support ITIL and the wider portfolio.
The CPD programme will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications. This best of breed service is designed to be truly customer centric - tailoring professional development to individual needs and allowing an individual to learn in a way that best suits them.
AXELOS CPD is also designed to serve organizations' development of employees in line with corporate objectives. The tools provided by CPD will ensure employees remain current in best practice capabilities, enabling organizations to attract and retain talented employees.
Practitioners can keep up-to-date with developments in ITIL on our website, where you can find a range of white papers including the following recent editions:
— IT Service Management and Cloud Computing - describes at a high level what cloud computing is, how cloud computing is a disruptive innovation and what this means to IT organizations across the globe
— Maximize the Synergies Between ITIL and DevOps - describes the synergies between ITIL best practices and DevOps (development and operations) practices.
Q: How can businesses and individuals benefit from PRINCE2? How frequently is PRINCE2 updated and/or revised?
PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is the world’s most practiced project management methodology, with exams available in 21 languages across more than 120 countries.
It embodies established and proven best practice in project management, navigating you through all the essentials for running successful projects, whether they are large or small.
The development of PRINCE2 was driven by the feedback from end-users, project management specialists and a review panel of 150 public and private sector organizations. This has resulted in a generic best practice tool which is flexible enough to be tailored to your organization for all projects, including Agile delivery.
AXELOS has been collaborating with a number of key project management industry professionals worldwide to establish the key benefits of PRINCE2. These benefits are relevant for both the key people within the organizations who make key decisions on selecting project management methodologies that are right for their business, as well as for the aspiring, and project management professionals who want to develop successful careers in this field.
Here are just some of the benefits of PRINCE2:
- Delivery confidence: using PRINCE2 provides confidence for internal/external stakeholders, customers and suppliers that the PRINCE2 project will be successful by providing guidance to managers and directors when carrying out a project
- Talk the same language: by benefitting from PRINCE2’s common language used throughout all countries to simplify communication between the internal and external project professionals
- Customer focused: by using PRINCE2 you will keep the customer’s interest at the heart of the project making sure that the project delivers according to expectations, allowed for by PRINCE2’s comprehensive change control approach
- Deliver reliability: by ensuring you deliver to budget, quality and time, whilst mitigating risks, managing interdependencies and identifying opportunities
- Supports cross functional working: PRINCE2 supports early engagement with supporting teams such as IT and HR to gain their cooperation, and work in harmony to deliver mutual benefits.
Earlier this year we announced that Project managers worldwide - for the first time - will be given greater access to the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification based on their prior learning and achievements with specific project management professional bodies. AXELOS will recognize other qualifications as a route to Practitioner level rather than the previous, mandatory requirement for the PRINCE2 Foundation qualification. Previous qualifications recognized include qualifications awarded to Practitioner candidates by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) including its local chapters.
In 2015 we will be launching PRINCE2 Agile, which will blend the best of PRINCE2 and agile methods. Agile guru Keith Richards of agileKRC is the lead author. Along with talking directly to other agile gurus globally during the research process, Keith will be working alongside nominated mentor Larry Cooper of BSSNexus Global Inc. in North America to get his regional perspective.
The aim is to provide additional information for organizations and individuals already using PRINCE2 but involved in agile methods. The guide will help experienced PRINCE2 practitioners tailor management controls for agile development while helping agile developers understand PRINCE2 governance requirements.
PRINCE® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited
PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited
ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited
IT Infrastructure Library® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited