Project Management optimize

ITIL V3 comes to life on May 30: What can it do for you now?


I just attended a Webinar given by Sharon Taylor, Chief Architect of ITIL V3 and thought I would share some of the highlights of the Webinar with you. Let's start with what ITIL is. ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library and is a comprehensive set of documentation of best practices for IT service management. I won’t go into great detail on the library in this post but rather refer you back to an earlier article I wrote on ITIL: "ITIL in a nutshell." (http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-manager/?p=33)

ITIL V3 is a major enhancement/refresh of the ITIL concept that has moved ITIL from a methodology and a library to ITIL as a service. This movement to a service is a major step forward for ITIL and is a significant change for the framework. The first step in this process is the redesign and release of a new set of books for the library. Known as the new publication structure, ITIL will consist of "The Core Library" which includes:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement
  • The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle.

Along with these Core Library books will come a series of complementary publications. These complementary publications should address application of the generic core guidance in particular market or technological contexts such as in a business or industry vertical or small to medium size businesses.

Additionally, there will be a tier of content available only via the Web.

Besides content changes, there is a whole new approach to ITIL that goes beyond targeting the service provider. ITIL now takes into consideration vendors and how they can use the framework in providing their goods and services, outsourcing and shared services environments. The new ITIL targets a higher level user -- the CIO and CEO -- and how they can use ITIL as part of their overall IT strategy, as well as specifically being able to tie ROI back to ITIL practices.

ITIL has always been good about co-existing with COBIT and ISO, but the effort has been made to ensure that there is a tight connection between these methodologies and that there are no disconnects or anomalies caused in one by adopting the other.

Overall, I got the feeling from Sharon’s comments that ITIL has "grown up" into a full fledged practice rather than a just a body of knowledge. This growing up comes in the form of a more sophisticated certification process, outsourcing of training and other areas (such as the creation of complementary materials and Web materials) to parties such as ITSMF, ITSMFUSA, and to the ITIL community in general. It is apparent that OGC (the Office of Government Commerce), which created and owns ITIL, felt that in order for ITIL to grow, it had to incorporate partners where it made sense and to keep its own hand on the core competencies of the framework.

So what does this mean for practitioners of ITIL? For starters, if you are certified, your certification is still valid. However, there is a caveat in that your cert is for V2 and you will need to upgrade your certification (via testing) to V3. For those who have adopted ITIL as a practice, this refresh does nothing but good for you. It will help you more easily view the practice in the context of your overall IT strategy; it will help you more easily describe the framework/practice to decision makers; and perhaps more importantly, it will help tie adoption of the practice to ROI.

As I said in my original article, the adoption of any framework/methodology involves -- at a minimum -- an investment in time and often an investment of dollars as you bring in specialists to help kick start your implementation. OGC has recognized that ITIL needs the justification and V3 goes out of its way to make sure you can tie it back to governance, standards, compliance, and best practices. If you ever felt you might be going out on a limb by adopting ITIL, V3 does its absolute best to make sure you are more than able to justify your decision.

After listening to the Webinar, I have not changed my stance that adoption of a practice/framework is a good thing. Given that there are many out there, ITIL has gussied itself up to stand alongside the others (and to be able to go toe-to-toe or arm in arm with them, depending on how you need them to work in your organization). I like ITIL's flexibility that seems to be lacking in many of the other frameworks, and I am looking forward to the release of the new series of core books. I am particularly interested in "The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle" and how it eases the newcomer into a practice that is now over 20 years old, but still new to many in the U.S.

I find it interesting that in the world of IT, our view is very "America-centric," and although ITIL is probably the most widely used IT service management best practice approach in the world, it hasn't caught on here because it didn’t happen to be invented here; we often forget that there are a lot of IT organizations outside of the U.S.

With the globalization of everything under the sun, it probably is not a bad idea to standardize on a set of best practices that is recognized internationally. You never know when you might be looking to sell your organization’s services or your own across borders -- and an ITIL certification can go a long way in giving you a competitive advantage. So once again, I urge you to take a serious look at adopting some sort of methodology; I'll go a step further this time and say that the timing couldn’t be better for a peek at what the adoption of ITIL can do for you.

10 comments
ian
ian

Two things: 1. A body of knowledge trumps a set of practices any time as it represents the whole sum of knowledge within a profession - not a subset of practices as contained within ITIL. 2. If you check your history (and I am Brit) the US led the ITSM charge as far back as 1972 - a bit before ITIL vacuumed up a lot of pre-existing information and printed a select sunset - the easy part. Find one of Ed Van Schaik's books and rediscover the US heritage! In closing - please recognizes that ITIL is catching up - and growing up. It has a way to go and I for one look forward to its eventual maturity as it will mean it has finally paid homage to its roots - the ITSM professiona

dsrmalho
dsrmalho

I see that most of people are thinking that ITIL V3 is going to be the medice for all pains in IT!! It is untrue!! ITIL V3 is going to sell like water and for me this is what they want and how is going to be. Honestly if you think most of the companies in the world has not yet reached the CMM4 for the basic process and have not even implemented the ITIL V2 in its full way. That's why I think that ITIL V3 just came to make things complicated, just for service providers and outsourcing companies to make more money on other companies and executives. Read the books, buy the books, expend your money on the books but first try to implement ITIL V2. Or ITIL V2 does not work and now it is just a matter of "service lifecycle"?? Daniel Ramalho dsramalho@yahoo.com.br

francisco.augusto
francisco.augusto

It?s very good to see the methodology change to follow the TI needs, also I agree with the fellow that had a concern related of SMB.

bill
bill

All IT installations should be well managed by people who understand the applications, the environment within which they operate and the business impacts of their failure. A good service management framework is one leg of this tripod. In the UK about 95% of businesses employ less than 50 people, and 75% of the UK workforce are employed by SMEs ? this must be a key target for an IT service management framework such as ITIL. For ITIL to be of real value to the majority of organisations it needs to address the needs of small businesses as well as large ones. (It is interesting to note that even with ITIL, the majority of high profile IT ?disaster? areas seem to emanate from organisations that use ITIL. eg: UK Tax Credit system and the UK Child Benefit System !) Introducing ITIL V.3 is no doubt of value to large organisations, but is it in a state that it can be easily adopted by the vast majority of SMEs?

bringhurst
bringhurst

Knowing ITIL is a valuable skill to study further and increase your company performance. A very worthwhile investment of time and energy.

egreenberg
egreenberg

As one attempts to boil the phases down to one or two positions, it begins to dawn on the mind that perhaps SMB's have no real economic justification for self-suppporting an IT infrastructure other than desktops and applications. In that case, just one position handles all phases with drastically reduced workloads on infrastructure services (server and network hardware, OS, and Midlevel services being outsourced). The math then becomes simple. Outside server service providers hit hardest on the cost of storage. As soon as that price approaches the labor cost of two employees the time has arrived to consider an inhouse approach. At that point the MOF can be reduced to three positions. The CIO handles Optimizing. The System Admin handles Operating and MSF work. The junior tech handles Changing and Supporting. I wish ITIL or MS or one of the others would address this specifically. It was quite a slog to do on my own.

mkleinpaste
mkleinpaste

I've looked for ITIL resources and it seems like the only copies out there are from vendors. Does anyone know a good resource for ITIL guides?

Lost_in_NY
Lost_in_NY

There's some good information posted by SMEs on various topics on the the ITIL Community Forum - http://www.itilcommunity.com/index.php And you can find materials posted by universities that have implemented ITIL through searching (some of these were pretty decent). None of these are general 'guides' per se, but instead give you a view into how various folks have implemented one or more ITIL processes as well as discussion on issues they encounter. However, the best source for learning about the ITIL framework unadulterated by any particular vendor's spin/hype is through the publications from OGC.

ITSM Guy
ITSM Guy

You might want to try your local chapter of the IT Service Management Forum (www.itsmf.org). Many of the chapters offer ITIL books, as well as other Service Management resources. Cheers.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

the ACM computer society (www.acm.org) has 5 courses you can take free when you join. also some skillsoft briefings and test prep exam. It is not expensive to join. books24x7.com has 3 itil titles and 70 more books with chapters or mentioning ITIL. this is more expensive.