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How Software Vendors Lie About ITIL Support

Aug 15, 2008

Rob England


- Performance data is not capacity planning, let alone Capacity Management

- The lowest level event message is often not the Root Cause, so your drill down data is only a symptom and you are not supporting Problem Management, though you play a useful part in providing one source of data for Incident Management. (Root Cause is often a procedural error and no software can detect it.)

- Costing is only one part of Financial Management, and asset costs are only one part of costing data. So your Asset Management tool is not playing a huge part in the ITIL financial processes, and the same with your bandwidth or email monitors.

- Threat detection and defence is one operational outcome of Information Security Management, not the practice of it.

- Tools that make changes to devices or software or networks are only an end tool for Deployment and not any part of Release or Change processes.

- A service is a big thing, obviously bigger than some marketers can imagine. It is nice if your tool measures one tiny part of that service, such as the network links or the database, but it is a stretch to say that it plays much of a part in service measurement other can contributing one data item among many and no part of the process.

- Reducing costs isn’t part of ITIL, not directly. ITIL is about delivering better service. Using the bandwidth more efficiently or saving money on server purchases is often incidental to that.

- Business alignment means making sure that IT is operating according to the strategy and needs of the organisation as a whole. It does not mean measuring network usage by user or by application.

- Trouble shooting is not Incident Management, it is one small part of it.

- Data is not information and information is not knowledge. Knowledge comes from people and knowledge management stores what people know. A database is not knowledge management, nor is reporting.

In summary, processes are done by people. Better data does not necessarily mean better process. A very few tools have those processes embedded in them in such a way as to make those people more efficient or reliable; in the extreme case by automating the process. If you are not doing this for the ITIL processes, please stop trying to muscle aboard the already overcrowded ITIL bandwagon.

Rob England is an IT industry commentator and consultant, and aspiring internet entrepreneur. Some portions of this article first appeared on his blog The IT Skeptic. He lives in a little house in a little village in a little country far away.