ITIL will be the end of ITIL – Part 2 – The Swell Grows

Posted on 21 January 2011

Earlier this year I suggested a prediction regarding the waning discussion of ITIL and this week I expanded upon that prediction in a post, “ITIL will be the end of ITIL”. The same day I posted my discussion, I received my brochure for the HDI Conference where Malcolm Fry is set to speak on “What’s up with ITIL?”.  The description starts with questions regarding the dying of ITIL, what’s going on, etc.  Defense – first indication that a wave is starting to swell in the market.

I received many great questions and discussion, which still says ITIL is alive and well in the ranks of IT organizations, trainers, consultants, certifying organizations, etc.  I do want to mention again, I do not see the practices and advice dying, going away or becoming replaced, just that the outward facing conversations will and need to stop being about ITIL and need to start being about the business service, value and performance.  ITIL is merely advice on how to manage your internal operations efficiently.

The catalyst in the market is the cloud and the explosive growth of service providers.  They need to have good operational processes in place or they are one outage away from being out of business.  However, the difference is they are not talking about ITIL, they are talking about the benefits to the business and the simplicity of running and subscribing to services in The Cloud.

The business leader has an internal organization  talking about justifying a CMDB project and a cloud provider talking about monthly subscriptions to online purchasing systems at a monthly or usage fee and here is a rate card, use it like a credit card.  Did I just see that leader walk away from the project justification discussion table and walk off into the sunset all googly eyed with the cloud service provider?

Last night I pulled another article from CIO regarding the innovation expectations the business has for its IT organization.  Embrace the development of innovating services and automate the commodity, routine, mundane that merely powers the lights – free yourself to drive growth.

I had a discussion with a very large and mature cloud service provider organization this morning on just the topic of providing the value add transparency on top of their services – the dashboard view that will communicate service performance to their customers.  The providers know that the business wants transparency and the providers want to insure that there isn’t a perception challenge regarding service delivery and the ones that will be most successful are baking it into there infrastructure and services from the beginning.  IT, are you or are you still talking about ITIL?

I’ve digressed, but the example is clear.  Those that sell technology services for a living know how to speak to your business leaders and how to bake proper service monitoring, management, measuring and communication into their services.  Steal a play from their playbook – implement and deliver the communication of service performance and service value into your services and sell your services, not the process of building services.

Are you communicating Service Value by selling the car or are you still selling the parts and directions as to how to build the car?


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  • qpq

    my read of the way the wind blows is that ITIL will be the word you never hear, but if you look close you will recognize implementations around the structure, and the service lifecycle… I guess it is a “word” that means different things to different people, and “they” do not want to scare any more people needlessly with the specters of another Acronym/buzzwords to justify even more re-organization and restructurings. Honestly, is ITIL the fall-guy for other areas of failure, particularly management, and top-down management specifically… and how many out there would find it amusing to survey, not whether or not anyone has been re-orged and restructured and re-aligned in the past three years, but how many times?!?

  • The dead of ITIL… I was wondering how long would it be until we start hearing about this.

    The funny thing is that whenever I talk to, say, Gartner analyst, many do not look very convinced about ITIL, they just say “it is the only thing that there is out there”.

    Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous

      ITIL is an outline of organizing operational processes. Take it for what it is worth and improve your operational efficiencies. It does not describe a solution. Focusing on operational processes to cut costs never helps to grow a business. This is something business just expects, not at the forefront of projects and funding. Funding is being driven by projects that improve the top line and grow revenue. Thanks for participating in the conversation!