ITIL: Half UK firms just don't get it

Half of UK companies do not believe ITIL offers them a competitive advantage, according to new research.

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Half of UK companies do not believe ITIL offers them a competitive advantage, according to new research.

Under a quarter of IT staff are trained in ITIL version 2 or 3, and only 51 percent of IT departments believe that having ITIL-qualified staff would give them an advantage, the research states.

ITIL offers best practice recommendations for incident management, change management and service desk management, among other factors. It also attempts to create a common IT services approach between staff, suppliers and users.

IT managers said the main reason staff were not trained in ITIL was that their company did not understand the benefits. Another factor was the cost of training, with departmental budgets under pressure.

One hundred IT managers in British firms were interviewed for the survey, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne. A previous survey, in 2007, had highlighted time constraints as the largest barrier.

Eddie Kilkelly, chief executive at training services firm ILX Group, which commissioned the survey, said businesses’ rate of project failure could be “significantly reduced if staff are trained to properly manage projects and are provided with the right framework and best practices to avoid common mistakes”.

The cost of failure often “exceeds the cost of training”, he added. The top three reasons for project failure were poor communication with stakeholders, missed deadlines, and cost overruns.

ILX said the top ten strategic benefits of embedding ITIL within a company included:

1. Improved customer satisfaction through a more professional approach to service delivery

2. Improved ROI of IT services through the use of proven best practice processes

3. Improved delivery of third party services through the specification of ITIL

4. Improved morale of service delivery and recipient staff

5. Increased competence, capability and productivity of IT staff

6. Reduced hidden costs that traditionally increase the TCO

7. Better asset utilisation and greater visibility of IT costs and assets

8. A clear business differentiator from competitors

9. Closer alignment of IT departments with commercial business services and products

10. Reduced cost of recruitment and training - hiring ITIL qualified people is easier and increases staff retention

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