ITIL 3 puts focus on business value

Version 3 of the IT Infrastructure Library framework can help IT departments achieve the cultural change needed to realise the business benefits of IT service management, but there is still a long way to go regarding ITIL implementation, an analyst group has said.

Version 3 of the IT Infrastructure Library framework can help IT departments achieve the cultural change needed to realise the business benefits of IT service management, but there is still a long way to go regarding ITIL implementation, an analyst group has said.

Howard Kendal, principal analyst at the Service Futures Group, said, "Businesses are not really seeing the value of ITIL and IT service management. And people running IT services are not really understanding where the business is going."

"But ITIL version 3 talks more about how IT links to the business. It is too early to gauge the exact impact, but just by existing it draws attention to the fact that this is an important area."

Managers are "cherry picking" the parts of the programme that they want to implement, and few measure ITIL's business benefits, research by training company Parity, and the Service Futures Group found.

Parity questioned 100 IT managers and found only 20% are measuring the return on investment in ITIL. The Service Futures Group sampled just under 100 managers and found that although 44% want to take IT service management further, 17% have not been able to because it requires too much cultural change.

At a recent seminar, Parity training director Allan Pettman said, "It is important to make sure the board realises that IT has far more to offer than being a support and delivery function."

But he added that attitudes are starting to change. "Progressive companies are just starting to realise that IT is a business enabler. People in IT have to start thinking in users' shoes and this requires a cultural change."

Frank Pretty, a senior commercial manager at Accenture who recommends ITIL to clients, said, "IT managers have always had a problem getting the message across because of jargon and suspicion. I am hoping ITIL version 3 will help to break that barrier down."

He added, "Previously, ITIL has always been a simple IT process, but I am interested in version 3 because it looks more towards the business.

"IT managers who focus on IT without looking at what it delivers are leaving themselves open to be outsourced."

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