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Unlocking the Power of Value Co-creation and Collaboration with ITIL 4

Unlocking the Power of Value Co-creation and Collaboration with ITIL®4

By David Barrow
June 21, 2023


We live in a fast-paced era that demands a customer-centric business approach; as a result, organisations across industries must recognise the significance of value co-creation and collaboration with colleagues and customers.

These concepts have gained prominence in IT and digital service management, particularly with the advent of ITIL 4 and other value focussed approaches. By embracing value co-creation and collaborative practices, organisations can maximise the benefits of ITIL 4 and enhance customer experiences and deliver ongoing organisational success.

1. Understanding Value Co-Creation

Value co-creation is a fundamental concept within ITIL 4 that emphasises the mutual value creation between digital services, organisations, and customers. It recognises that value is derived not solely from the offerings of the digital service providers but through colleagues’ and customers’ active involvement and collaboration throughout the digital service lifecycle.

In the context of ITIL 4, value co-creation enables organisations to align their digital services with colleague and customer needs, preferences, and desired outcomes.

2. Shifting from Provider-centric to Value Co-Creation

Traditionally, IT service management focused on provider-centric models, designing, and delivering digital services based on the provider’s expertise and assumptions. However, ITIL 4 brings a paradigm shift by emphasising the need to focus on value through value co-creation.

Organisations can gain valuable insights, preferences, and expectations directly from customers and customers by actively involving them in digital service design, development, and improvement processes.

This can be achieved by asking customers and consumers:

‘What does value mean to you?’

This customer-centric question enables organisations to deliver tailored digital services that align precisely with colleagues and customer requirements, enhancing customer experiences and satisfaction.

3. Leveraging Collaboration and Communities for Innovation

Collaboration with colleagues and customers fosters innovation and creativity and builds relationships that enhance IT service management and the digital service experience.

One way of achieving this is to form a community that engages customers throughout the digital service lifecycle, allowing those designing and delivering digital services to tap into the knowledge, ideas, and suggestions of colleagues and customers using their digital services.

Forming a value-focused community allows customers to provide valuable feedback on existing services, identify areas for improvement, and contribute to developing new solutions. By co-creating digital services with colleagues and customers, organisations can harness their collective intelligence to drive innovation and stay ahead of the competition.

In addition, those relationships formed through building value-focused communities ‘lift people out of the fire’ of day-to-day activities such as deadlines, critical incidents, and escalations – and improve these situations in the future as relationships are formed outside of these events.

4. Enhancing Service Quality through Value Co-Creation:

Value co-creation and collaboration with colleagues and customers positively impact service quality and value.

Organisations can proactively identify and address evolving needs and expectations by forming value-focused communities that continuously engage with colleagues and customers. This helps refine service offerings, optimise service delivery processes, and ensure that services remain relevant and valuable over time. The active involvement of colleagues and customers also facilitates effective communication, transparency, and trust, which are essential components of any relationship.

5. Building Customer Loyalty and Advocacy Through Value Co-Creation

Customer loyalty and advocacy are crucial for any business’s long-term success, as is colleague happiness when using your digital services to support customers.

Organisations can foster a sense of ownership and partnership by involving colleagues and customers in the co-creation process. When colleagues and customers feel heard, valued, and actively contribute to the services they receive, they are more likely to remain loyal and become advocates for the organisation.

6. Continuous Improvement and Service Evolution

Value co-creation delivered via value-focused communities promotes a culture of continuous improvement and service evolution. By engaging colleagues and customers in feedback loops, organisations can gather insights about service performance, identify areas for enhancement, and prioritise improvement initiatives.

This iterative approach enables organisations to adapt quickly to changing colleague and customer needs, technological advancements, and market trends, all symptoms of the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and often Ambiguous (VUCA) world we live in.

Collaborating with colleagues and customers allows for agile service management practices, ensuring that ITIL 4 frameworks and processes remain responsive and relevant.


ITIL4 is built around our world amid new technologies and services, being a key enabler in unlocking business value and enhancing colleague and customer experiences.

Organisations must recognise the importance of value co-creation and collaboration to achieve this. Organisations and their service management teams can unlock significant benefits by embracing a customer-centric approach and actively involving colleagues and customers in the digital service lifecycle via service design, development, and improvement processes.

From enhancing service quality and value to fostering innovation, building customer loyalty, and driving continuous improvement, ITIL 4 and value co-creation are powerful enablers of success in digital service management.

About the Author

David Barrow has recently celebrated 30 years working in the IT ‘service’ industry, a career that began building personal computers has led to his working with high-performing global teams across multiple industries in complex environments to deliver value to their colleagues, customers, and partners.

David is an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, recognised by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow.  David has presented to global C-Level audiences on the ‘10 Steps to Digital Transformation’ with EXIN and the IFDC. 

He is also a committee member of the British Standards Institute (BSI), British Computer Society (BCS) & International Organization for Standardization (ISO), discussing all things service management.

In 2022 David published ‘Co-creating value in organisations with ITIL 4’, released via The Stationery Office (TSO) under license by AXELOS and PeopleCer

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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