Research from Hornbill as reported here indicates sluggish uptake of Version 3 of ITIL, but James West has taken a closer look and sees a more worrying reality for those invested in the best practice framework.
Many of the businesses who have moved to version 3 of ITIL are not doing so to take advantage of the latest features, rather they have migrated to stay current and in touch with the latest version. The reality as shown by the research is that most businesses use ITIL to fine tune their common actions, such as change, problem and incident management. The move to make ITIL version 3 a far-reaching business-focused tool was a very brave one and in many ways, the only sensible thing to do. ITIL version 2 had honed the work started by the original ITIL and left little room for improvement, in regards to IT services remaining as a separate entity. The logical progression therefore was to consider the wider implications of an IT service and begin considering it in context with the wider business, and this is what ITIL version 3 does. The ultimate aim of version 3 is creating an IT department fully tuned to the requirements of the business.
The trouble is, the aim is not realistic.
ITIL is built upon honing processes and it does this fantastically well. Yet for IT to be integrated into the mindset of the business, processes are not what is needed. In fact, they can be a barrier.
Let me explain. The reason why IT is still a silo department is because it fails to effectively communicate. We see a lot written about IT needing to do a better job publicising the work that it does, but equally important, it needs to listen. What does the business want? Do the services that are provided offer any value in real business terms? The answers to these questions are not hidden in a process, the process is a distraction that allows IT to close its ears to the voices of the business people it should be supporting.
ITIL version 3 will always fall short of its aim to unite business and IT because you can’t build a process which teaches effective communication.
What do you think? Has ITIL outstayed it’s welcome? Or is it still relevant? Have your say below.