ITIL global adoption rates, or at least an indication

ITIL is such a commonly used word in the kingdom of IT service management (ITSM) that it is easy to assume it to be a global phenomenon (how many people say “ITIL” when they mean, or should mean, “ITSM”?). After all the...

Share

ITIL is such a commonly used word in the kingdom of IT service management (ITSM) that it is easy to assume it to be a global phenomenon (how many people say “ITIL” when they mean, or should mean, “ITSM”?). After all the Official ITIL Website cites ITIL as:

“The most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL provides a cohesive set of best practice, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.”

We know that ITIL exam numbers continue to be strong: with ITIL Foundation Certificate pass rates between January 2009 and July 2011 as follows courtesy of ITSMinfo.com:

  • ITIL V2 Foundation: 142,000
  • ITIL V3 Foundation Bridge: 33,000 (existing certification holders updating)
  • ITIL V3 Foundation: 548,000

But how is this and ITIL adoption spread around the world? The short answer is that I don’t know yet; but what I do know, thanks to the itSMF UK, offers some insight into the global adoption of the ITSM best practice framework.

Global TSO Book Sales

The following shows the top 2010 sales countries for TSO ITIL publications based on quantity (rather than revenues) and the expected sales for 2011 based on the first six months of the year. Obviously the ITIL 2011 update in July 2011 will have had a big impact on sales (cue cash register sounds) but it is nonetheless an interesting insight into who is buying into ITIL where.

Country

2010

2011

UK

46.30%

40.91%

USA

15.14%

19.72%

Australia

6.36%

7.03%

Germany

5.75%

8.95%

Canada

3.63%

4.51%

Japan

3.54%

2.43%

Denmark

2.72%

2.07%

Sweden

2.55%

2.85%

China

2.02%

0.02%

The Netherlands

0.83%

0.89%

Belgium

0.74%

0.18%

France

0.66%

0.87%

Poland

0.60%

0.32%

Spain

0.49%

0.28%

Switzerland

0.38%

0.52%

Brazil

0.36%

0.08%

South Africa

0.33%

0.29%

Finland

0.24%

0.07%

Mexico

0.21%

0.09%

Singapore

0.19%

0.09%

Norway

0.17%

0.62%

India

0.12%

0.12%

New Zealand

0.11%

0.07%

Malaysia

0.09%

0.17%

Saudi Arabia

0.09%

0.38%

Ireland

0.08%

0.09%

Italy

0.08%

0.07%

Slovenia

0.07%

0.00%

Hong Kong

0.06%

0.04%

A quick look at the winners and losers

Firstly, while this is interesting information it is just an unscientific snapshot from a single perspective; please don’t use it for any commercially-related decision making.

As expected the UK continues to dominate followed by the USA; but there are interesting areas of growth such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Norway, and Germany (the highest year-on-year levels) and significant drops in  Slovenia, China, Brazil, Belgium, Finland, Mexico, and Singapore. It would be great to get more insight into both the ups and the downs from ITSM practitioners, tool vendors, and consultants alike. The China snapshot is very, very interesting.

Final thought

Please don’t see this as an ITIL-knocking piece; ITIL has its faults but it also has its merits as per Glenn O’Donnell’s and the itSMF USA’s “The State Of IT Service Management In 2011” which describes ITIL as having delivered significant benefits to adopting organizations across service productivity (85% of the 491 respondents), quality (83%), business reputation (65%), and cost savings (41%). ITIL has definitely made a difference to IT delivery; the real question for me, however, is whether ITIL has made and continues to make enough of a difference.

Anyway, what do you make of the stats? Any surprises? 

Please let me know … especially if you are in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Norway, Germany, Slovenia, China, Brazil, Belgium, Finland, Mexico, and Singapore.

Related blogs: 

Posted by Stephen Mann

"Recommended For You"

IT service management in 2013 - How far have we come since 2009? The ABC of ICT - the top ten people issues