In GCN's March 5 issue, we extolled the virtues of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a British best-practices framework now starting to be adopted in government (GCN.com/768). Now, Version 3.0 of ITIL is about to be released.
'For those worried about a brand-new ITIL, instead of thinking of it as a big bang, think more of it being another step on an evolutionary pathway designed to help you better deliver what you are already trying to do,' said Martin Atherton, principal analyst at consulting firm Freeform Dynamics.
So what's new? The core of ITIL will stay much the same. Atherton said the new version will introduce the Service Management Knowledge System. This addresses the incorporation of certain knowledge management principles into ITIL. The new version is also more customizable so it can meet an individual organization's needs more effectively. Although most of the processes in Version 2 continue to exist, this ITIL refresh is designed to be less difficult to comprehend. This should make it easier to sell to senior management.
'V2 is more about linear process flow from business to infrastructure, where V3 is a hub-and-spoke structure that adds flexibility and addresses the unique challenges of the Web,' said Ron Potter, best practices manager at TeamQuest.
So what should agencies that are in the midst of an ITIL V2 project do? Potter recommends staying the course with in-flight ITIL implementations, as they already have senior management buy-in.
Once ITIL is in place, the project team should have a follow-up task to review the differences between the two versions, see if there's anything that brings additional value to the organization and only then commission work to tweak the processes.