If you do a

quick search on IT best practice frameworks, you will find no shortage of

foundations/architectures on which to build your IT organization. COBIT

(Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology), ISO9000 (International

Standards Organization set of quality standards), CMM (The Capability Maturity

Model), and Six Sigma are just a few. Another framework which is gaining

interest in the United States is ITIL.


stands for IT Information Library and it is a framework developed in Britain in

the 1980s that addresses service delivery and support of IT services. Widely

accepted internationally, it is just beginning to make significant inroads in

the US. Privately, IBM, EDS, HP, Mead, and GM have adopted the framework. In

the public sector, the states of Virginia and Wisconsin and Oklahoma City,

among others have embraced the framework.



what makes ITIL so special? Combing the literature, it appears that the

consensus opinion on ITIL is that it is unique because of its strict focus on

service delivery and IT operations as opposed to general techniques involving

quality management or the implementation of standards. To many that have become

involved with ITIL they see it becoming the de facto standard for all IT shops

in the US as it has become so internationally. I have read in one source that

the US and Canadian Governments will soon require IT contractors to use ITIL,

but I have not been able to confirm that through any other sources at this


Specifically what is ITIL
and how do I access the library?


as mentioned above is a collection of best practices that has been developed

into a series of 8 books that run about $114 dollars each. They are:

Service Support:
Covers the basic processes

involved with support to the enterprise such as Service Desk, Incident

Management, Problem Management, Configuration Management, Change Management and

Release Management.

Service Delivery: This book focuses on the

planning and delivery of services and includes topics such as Capacity

Management, Financial Management for IT Services, Availability Management,

Service Level Management, and IT Service Continuity Management.

Planning to Implement

Service Management: “This book answers the question ‘Where do I start with ITIL?’. It

explains the steps necessary to identify how an organization might expect to

benefit from ITIL and how to set about reaping those benefits.”

Infrastructure Management: As the title infers, this

book covers everything about managing your telecommunications infrastructure

including Design and Planning, Deployment, Operations, and Technical Support.

Application Management: Covers the management of

applications from inception to retirement and everything in between.

Software Asset Management: Seeks to explain what

software asset management is, why it is important and how to manage them.

Security Management: “This guide focuses on

the process of implementing security requirements identified in the IT Service

Level Agreement, rather than considering business issues of security policy.”

The Business Perspective: “This book is

concerned with helping business managers to understand IT service provision. Issues

covered include Business Relationship Management, Partnerships and Outsourcing,

and continuous improvement and exploitation of Information, Communication and

Technology (ICT) for business advantage.”


can obtain these books here: http://www.itil.co.uk/publications.htm

or via www.amazon.com

Do you need another

I have to be

honest with you, every time I read about another framework my first reaction is

to roll my eyes. I have been around long enough to experience many “better

than sliced bread” phenomenon that–if only implemented–will make my

organization a superstar. And, of course, there are always an army of

consultants to be hired and classes that need to be taken and certifications to

achieve in order to “realize the potential” of the framework.


in that sense ITIL is no different. You can invest the time and resources in

understanding the framework to build up expertise in order to implement it

(which several organizations have) or you can hire someone to help you along.


like many of the frameworks that have come into vogue before it, integrating

the processes involved with ITIL takes time–usually measured in years.


with all that said, frameworks can prove beneficial. I think there are very few

if any IT organizations in existence that can claim to be perfect and have no

need for improvement. Most can stand some enhancements to their operations. The

tough questions are: where can we improve and how do we go about doing it?

That’s where frameworks are beneficial.


this framework intrigues me–partly, I guess, because it was originally written

by government workers, and I intend to research it further. If you are

similarly intrigued, here are some places, besides the books, that you can get

information to see if ITIL is right for you and your organization:




ITL Community Forum http://www.itilcommunity.com/index.php


IT Service Management Forum http://www.itsmf.com/index.asp