New ITIL guidance gets more strategic

The government has published a new version of the ITIL best practice guide, aiming to give IT staff more strategic how-to guidance.

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The government has published a new version of the ITIL best practice guide, aiming to give IT staff more strategic how-to guidance.

Version 3 of the ITIL framework contains more prescriptive guidance, and follows a service-driven life-cycle approach, according to its creators, but others are likely to be questioning whether they can get to grips with v3 in the midst of implementing v2.

ITIL first appeared 30 years ago, and the new version has been in the works since 2004. It is available in five core books from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and published by The Stationary Office in the United Kingdom.

The methodology has had global pick up. "ITIL V3 really talks about how IT organisations deliver services within their companies and the processes that underpin the successful delivery of IT services," said ITL chief architect Sharon Taylor, president of IT service management consultancy Aspect Group in Ottawa, Canada. "This is something we have been saying over the years, but until now it has never been part of the core volumes."

Analyst Gartner predicts that ITIL penetration within companies of less than 1,000 employees will by 30 percent by 2010, while it will be in use by 60 percent of companies with larger headcounts.

The more high-level focus of the ITIL v3 release has also seen its ten authors reduce the previous version’s nine books down to five, but those who have taken the most common "foundation level" ITIL v2 exam are unlikely to have to take additional courses.

Organisations such as JPMorgan Chase, and Toyota Financial Services have successfully adopted previous versions of the framework.

The publisher says electronic versions of the hard copy books will be available shortly, and additional materials will be released over the summer.

One of the standards that ITIL Version 3 is supposed to be more tightly integrated with is Cobit, formally known as the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. Cobit is a framework for governing IT and evaluating internal system controls, and it is increasingly being used by companies to help with their Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance procedures.

Highlights of the latest version of ITIL include:

  • Service strategy – aligning the role and requirements of IT with business goals
  • Service design – identifying processes that can deliver on strategy efficiently and cost-effectively
  • Service transition – deals with change management in more detail, including guidance on testing agility, mitigating risk and the speed of response of the IT department to business needs
  • Service operation – creating and managing effective processes
  • Continual service improvement – to measure the cost and quality of IT services

Catch up on all of the implications of ITIL v3. Tune in to a special webcast on 4 June and hear a panel of experts discuss the release.

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