ITIL facelift on the way

IT Managers will be eager to get their hands on version 3 of ITIL, which is due next month. This will be the first new release since 2000, and a lot of things in IT have changed since Version 2 became available.

Security processes, which users say are lacking in the current ITIL version, will get more attention in the new release. According to Sharon Taylor, ITIL’s chief architect, Version 3 will also cover an area that has exploded as a major IT management concern since 2000: outsourcing.

One of the things most difficult to do with the current version of ITIL is develop a solid business case for return on investment. From a CIO perspective, the biggest benefit that this new version of ITIL brings is that there is added guidance that allows senior executives to be able to demonstrate, measure and produce a return on investment for supporting a unified best-practice framework for service management. It helps them to demonstrate why investing in good service practices gives them a solid return on investment.

Version 3 will provide guidance on the issue of knowledge transfer. In a data centre relocation, for example, knowledge transfer means ensuring that new employees or outsourcers know how to run the systems.

Roman Albrecht, an IT manager at DHL Worldwide Network SA/NV’s data center in Prague, said he wishes he had had ITIL guidelines for knowledge transfer in 2003 when, as part of a wider facilities consolidation, the company moved its London data centre to Prague. “There wasn’t any existing process that you could take and [use] – you had to develop it yourself,” he said.

DHL is growing partly by acquisitions, so ITIL helps the company ensure that its global IT operations follow one set of IT processes. “Without defined, measured processes, you can’t optimize. This is a key thing,” said Albrecht.

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