Cost reduction closely tied to solid IT service management strategy

* IDC/HP research shows many IT organizations implement ITSM to cut costs

Most IT organizations are working to put the days of firefighting and ad hoc processes behind them by adopting some type of IT service management strategy. And recent news around the economy could accelerate companies' adoption of best practices around IT service delivery, research shows.

Recently IDC conducted a survey of some 600 IT organizations at companies with 1,000 employees or more worldwide to learn more about the issues surrounding adopting formal IT service management processes, such as those that are laid out in the best practice framework ITIL Version 3. HP sponsored the study which found that a majority of those polled see reduced IT costs as a potential outcome of implementing ITIL.

When asked to select from a list of expected business benefits, 46.9% of respondents in the Americas selected "lower IT asset costs." "Improved business unit capabilities" and "lower IT operational costs" tied with 45.8% of those respondents expecting to achieve those outcomes after standardizing on the best practice framework. According to the IDC/HP research, more than one-quarter of organizations in the Americas surveyed are already implementing ITIL and over 60% indicated they plan to bring the best practices in house within the next one to six months.

ITIL plans center around a few key areas for IT organizations in the Americas, IDC says. To start, IT executives and managers in the Americas identified their main challenge in 2008 as "aligning IT with the business." Yet those plans are closely tied with "cost and budget concerns," the IDC research paper reads. While Europe had fewer ITIL adoption plans, that region was also focused on addressing cost and budget concerns as well as end-user service and support. In Asia/Pacific, the IDC/HP survey found that cost and budget concerns were the top priority for IT organizations.

"ITIL adoption may be stronger in the Americans and Asia/Pacific than in Europe because IT managers feel that without the strong tires forced by ITIL between the business unit and IT, IT becomes less relevant and therefore easier to eliminate through layoffs," the research report reads.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.