ITIL update – the chief architect explains

Version three of ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, which is about to be launched, will help IT directors and CIOS demonstrate a return on investment from adopting the methodology, according to Sharon Taylor, ITIL's chief architect.

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Version three of ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, which is about to be launched, will help IT directors and CIOS demonstrate a return on investment from adopting the methodology, according to Sharon Taylor, ITIL's chief architect.

What’s prompting the need for ITIL Version 3?

The landscape of IT, and indeed IT service management, changes at a very rapid pace. When Version 2 was released, some of the landscape was different than it is today. An example is that the use of outsourced partnerships was not the rule of the day during that time.

How will Version 3 help with outsourcing?

[It will] deal with the strategies about outsourcing: When is it right to consider, in what form should that take, through to the design of how you actually execute an [outsourcing] decision or strategy.

How do you know that you’re giving good advice?

The content of ITIL itself has not been developed in a vacuum by any means. Our philosophy has been to use the experience and the best practices of what’s going on in the industry, in a diverse client base.

How many people contribute to this?

We’re talking upward of thousands.

What else is new in Version 3?

One of the gaps that evolved was that the focus on service management became very operationally based. The big change that we’re introducing is to take a broader viewpoint of what service management encompasses, [including] strategic considerations, the design implications, the cultural and organizational change implications. So the major shift is to introduce service management from a life-cycle perspective, as opposed to just a process-based view.

What’s going to be the takeaway for CIOs?

One of the things that is most difficult to do with the current version of ITIL is develop a solid business case for return on investment. IT organizations face competition through outsourcing service providers; they are being required to operate and manage themselves as businesses and produce value.

From a CIO perspective, the biggest benefit that this [new] version of ITIL brings is that we have added guidance that allows senior executives to be able to demonstrate, measure and produce a return on investment for supporting a unified best-practice framework for service management. It helps them to demonstrate why investing in good service practices gives them a solid return on investment.


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