ITIL v3 future uncertain in many IT departments

Approximately two-thirds of companies polled by analyst group IDC are uncertain about the future of ITIL version 3 in their businesses.


Approximately two-thirds of companies polled by analyst group IDC are uncertain about the future of ITIL version 3 in their businesses.

In November, IDC conducted a poll with more than 300 companies, and found that nearly half of the IT departments it polled were implementing a maturity model and best practices framework. More than 65% of those said they had ITIL at work to some degree within their organisations.

Yet, when asked about plans to migrate to the latest version of the process framework, ITIL v3, a majority of survey respondents had not yet determined their migration plans for the next three years.

"We found about one third of current ITIL users plan to implement version 3 within the next three years," said Fred Broussard, research manager covering PC and device management software at IDC during a presentation at the IDC IT Service Management and ITIL Forum in New York.

Dave Howard, national business technology manager at Toyota Financial Services (TFS) in California, explained to forum attendees his take on the differences between the two versions. In many ways his business had been using the “concepts” laid out in Version 3 before the process framework owners officially articulated those concepts in the upgrade.

"As we created service management processes, we found we were hitting a ceiling against trying to provide value to the business," Howard said. "When we saw the concepts in version 3, we realised the upgrade was recognising the business relationships. We had started using version 3 concepts on our own to better align IT with the business."

While two thirds of survey respondents indicated they were uncertain if ITIL v3 was in their future plans, one third intend to tackle the upgrade. In the near term, about 7% of US organisations plan to upgrade to version 3 in the next six months. And about 12% of international companies also have it on their agendas for 2008, IDC reported.

TFS' Howard recommended that those IT shops just starting with ITIL should jump right into the latest version, and that those still in the design phase should continue with Version 2 and incorporate the principles of Version 3 as they went along. He advised companies that have partially implemented Version 2 to base their improvements on the tenets of Version 3, and organisations that are in the implementation and mature phase of their ITIL implementation to base any improvements they make on the updated version.

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