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ITIL Version 3 Service Strategy: An Early Review

Jun 18, 2007

The IT Skeptic

Regardless of what anyone may try to tell you, ITIL V3 is more complex than V2. ITSM is a deeper and more advanced discipline than a decade ago. Not only are some of the processes more advanced – and Financial Management in this Service Strategy book is an excellent example of that – but many areas that could be quietly neglected in simpler V2 installations are now more tightly integrated and brought back into prominence: the “lost processes” have been re-discovered. Examples are Service Catalogue Management, Information Security Management, and Supplier Management.

So the problem is that there is not – as yet – an ITIL Lite for those who don’t need the rocket science. This is subtly different to ITIL for Small Scale Implementations. What we need is ITIL for Beginners Big or Small, for those making the first steps which may or may not later grow into what we have now with V3: ITIL for ITSM Geniuses. V3 tells us how to run, V2 told us how to walk, and many organisations are still sitting down.

The fact that we don’t have ITIL for Beginners leads me to my second prediction: Version 2 will prove much more resilient than OGC hopes. Its plans are to kill it off in 2008, but I think there will remain a strong demand for training, consulting and books long after that - unless OGC move quickly to get a "red-book-plus-blue-book beginners" subset out as part of the complementary publications.

Please don’t look to this review for detailed criticism of the content of the Service Strategy book. It will take a year of exploration to absorb it, another year to really understand it, especially in a practical context, and more time still to prioritise the insights.

The whole ITSM community will be chewing on Service Strategy for years to come. Quite a few will find it indigestible. Others will find it full of long-term nourishment.

The IT Skeptic is an ITSM consultant and industry commentator who, for editorial reasons, prefers to remain anonymous. More thoughts from the IT Skeptic can be found at the IT Skeptic’s website.