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ITIL Gets Practical

ITIL V3 seeks to integrate, rather than simply align, business objectives with IT service strategy, implementation and operations. It provides a lifecycle approach for the holistic development, deployment and improvement of services by optimizing the relationships among people, processes, technology, knowledge and governance around an improved value-based, business-focused model.

The ITIL V3 refresh has been an international effort—with heavy involvement from vendors; professional agencies; and councils such as ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), ISO SC7 (Sub-committee 7), TSO (The Stationery Office), OGC, and APM Group. Other stakeholders include business customers representing major industry sectors, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. In addition, the OGC allowed people not represented in the OCG to serve as quality reviewers of the lifecycle structure and content.

The thorough planning, depth of expertise and methodical development of V3 will undoubtedly bring improvements to ITIL. While V2 certifications remain valid, the curriculum and basis for the certification will phase out over the next couple years as a new schema is introduced, providing a modular path toward a new ITIL diploma.

In the world of IT service management, the IT Infrastructure Library is the de facto king of best practices. Problem is, ITIL v2, released in 1999, took a one-size-fits-all approach. Version 3, adopted in May by the Office of Government Commerce, seeks to be more flexible and adaptable, addressing differences among IT organizations with practical services solutions tailored to specific industries, organizational scales, and regulatory and standards landscapes, and taking into account emerging technologies. IT organizations that embrace ITIL v3 will benefit from this more customized approach to integrating business objectives and IT services.

Sounds good, but there's a big potential pitfall: Because v2 will be phased out over the course of a year, OGC will support both versions concurrently. This could present complications to companies looking to implement ITIL as the support community makes the transition. And, because many U.S. companies are just now getting hip to v2, convincing management to hold out—or expend the resources to upgrade—may be tough.

Guiding Light

Originally established by an agency of the British government, ITIL defines the relationships and structures organizations should have in place to run an IT group and handle IT-related activities.

Application Performance Optimization Immersion Center

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