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The Buzz About ITIL V3, Part 2

May 30, 2007

Jennifer Zaino

Dave Link, President and CEO, ScienceLogic LLC

  • Movement from “aligning IT with Business” to “integrating IT with Business”:

    ITIL V3 is a “refresh” based upon the observations of “experts” that are tracking how IT service delivery has changed and should change. There are some very specific changes and re-classifications of IT service delivery components that are directly related to this – pulling out event management as a separate focus area from what was a more general incident management piece. Another example: instead of having one service desk component, they’ve split this up into three areas of focus – technical management, application management and IT operations management.

    But what I think will probably be the most pervasive change is this movement from saying “aligning IT with the business” to “integrating IT with the business.” The entire Service Strategies section of the ITIL guidelines focuses on this – gathering requirements from the business side to define, design and measure IT service delivery. Apparently, there is much more emphasis on ROI as well. This can only be a good thing, but it’s also the hardest thing to do.

    In many ways, ITIL represents an ideal. In the best of all possible worlds, with unlimited resources and time to spend to redefine processes from start to finish, with the buy-in of everyone in the organization from top to bottom and both business and technology sides, with the ability to actually redeploy people across the entire organization, etc., the ITIL guidelines define best practices for IT service delivery. Of course, the reality tends to be very different.

  • Expectations for adoption:

    ITIL V2, with the goal of aligning IT with the business, was hard enough to adopt – often requiring a cultural shift within the organization to fully implement a wide-ranging set of ITIL services.

    The ITIL V2 Adoption rate (from Forrester Research 2006, estimated adoption rates in $1 billion-plus companies):

    Implementing basic ITIL services
    20% (2005)
    50% (2008)
    80% (2010)

    Implementing all ITIL services
    9% (2005)
    25% (2008)
    30% (2010)

    I can only imagine how much harder it will be to reach outside of the IT organization and truly engage and integrate the entire business – ideally necessary, but hard. I expect this shift in ITIL V3 focus will slow down the adoption of all ITIL services, but as happened with ITIL V2, companies will have the option of choosing which ITIL services they will deploy. So Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operations, with their more practical considerations (and existing tools to support them), will be much easier to adopt and probably be the first stop for most organizations.

  • ITIL builds on community-building:

    ITIL has enjoyed various community forums over the years, including a very active iTSMf organization. This refresh introduces some complementary and web-based materials, including templates that people can contribute to that I find particularly interesting, especially in light of the growth and acceptance of collaboration and Web 2.0 technology adoption.