ITIL v3 can co-exist with existing frameworks

Since its release, ITIL v3 has evoked mixed reactions among Indian CIOs. Vishal Vyas, an ITIL expert with 60 ITIL credit points (as well as the delivery head of South Asia for ITpreneurs) explains what ITIL v3 brings to the table for Indian organizations. Could you elaborate more on ITIL v3?

Vishal Vyas
Vishal Vyas

In July 2007, ITIL Version 3 (ITIL v3) was released as the advanced edition of ITIL Version 2 (ITIL v2), which was introduced in 1999. Version 2 was never formally launched in India. While there were books, certification took almost nine months to come to India. Version 3 is not separate, and requires no upgrades for implementation. It offers a different perspective of looking into the IT environment in a company. How would you separate ITIL v3 from ITIL v2?
ITIL v3 is not as popular in India, as it has been in Europe and other western countries, largely because ITIL followers have traditionally been managed service providers and production support domains in Asia Pacific countries. So ITIL has incorporated all aspects of IT relevant for a wider spectrum of the business, right from strategizing, designing, transitioning and running a service.
Earlier, ITIL had seven framework books and people would refer to only two. Now with just five books, the company can cover service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. Is ITIL framework relevant only for IT companies?
It's a myth that ITIL is only relevant for IT companies. Traditionally, ITIL followers have been from service operations.

The major push for ITIL adoption is coming from customers. In India, the push is coming from counterparts in USA, UK and other countries.

IT is a crucial support function for verticals like pharma, retail, BFSI, oil and gas, as well as FMCG. So ITIL is important in verticals where there is a huge dependency on technology. Now ITIL has also incorporated business related aspects while structuring them in five books. How can CIOs leverage the benefits of ITIL v3?
ITIL v3 has taken a formal approach in terms of improving services. CIOs, CTOs and service delivery managers continuously face SLA pressures, and the focus is on improving services, which is otherwise lost due to operational challenges. "Continual service improvement" ensures that improvement within the IT environment happens systematically. Even the certification roadmap for individuals is no longer based on two out of seven books as it was in ITIL v2; all five books have to be considered at different depths for different countries.
The new version of ITIL will not replace other frameworks within organizations. On the contrary, it tries to match itself in a better way for domains such as SDLC frameworks like CMMI, governance and control frameworks like Cobit. How is the awareness level for ITIL v3 in India?
There is awareness but a lack of indepth understanding. The major push for ITIL adoption is coming from customers. In India, the push is coming from counterparts in USA, UK and other countries.
However, there is a lot of enthusiasm within the industry. There is a small M curve in ITIL adoption because ITIL v2 gained good market pull over the last four years. Then came in ITIL v3, and people decided to wait and watch. Now the enthusiasm is back again.

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