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ITIL Ain't Folksy Anymore

Aug 28, 2008

Rob England


In the process of inventing new best practice, the authors at times went well beyond generally accepted and proven practice. They pioneered, they showed the way, they set new benchmarks in areas such as knowledge management, service portfolios or service strategy. This is all well and good in positioning ITIL for the future and establishing thought leadership—except that may not be what the public wants or expects from ITIL.

Which brings us to where we are today: a new framework that is not quite compliant with anything else (not that it ever was); that tries to be a thought leader when perhaps the market didn't want it to be a thought leader; that thought-leads sporadically in the books with no warning of when it is way out in the blue sky; that might just be too big for its boots (it went for breadth when maybe we wanted depth); and that has that gamey whiff of vendors about it which is putting some people off.

The nostalgic, the Luddite and the just plain old amongst us pine for a simpler time when ITIL was wholesome, down-home common sense from some no nonsense Pommy codgers (once again let us not confuse perception with reality). Of course, in some ways this isn't fair. ITIL grew beyond a certain threshold where it did attract the attention of the money engine and then nothing was going to be the same, no matter what OGC or anyone did. But that doesn't excuse the unseemly haste with which ITIL was tarted up in a shiny suit, given fashionable new songs to sing, and shoved out on a stage in Vegas.

Rob England is an IT industry commentator and consultant, and nascent internet entrepreneur, best known for his blog The IT Skeptic. He lives in a little house in a little village in a little country far away.