• United States
Senior Editor

IT management blueprint gaining favor

Sep 15, 20042 mins
Data CenterITIL

* The Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL

If you had a blueprint to deliver IT services and manage those services wouldn’t you use it?

There is such a beast and it is now gaining long overdue attention in the U.S. Known as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), it defines a slew of processes including service-level management, capacity management, contingency planning, availability management, cost management for IT services, configuration management, problem management, change management, help desk, and software control and distribution. ITIL certification programs promise to train IT professionals to adapt ITIL to their networks.

ITIL practices were developed in 1992 and maintained by the U.K.’s Office of Government Commerce, ITIL originally served as a set of standards that service providers had to follow to deliver IT services to the British government. After its inception, public companies realized the benefits and implemented parts of ITIL in their internal IT departments.

The organization overseeing ITIL, the IT Service Management Forum, reports that the number of individual U.S. members in its ranks has almost tripled over the past three years, from 550 to roughly 1,600. Separately, U.K. publisher The Stationery Office, which sells the framework through multiple distribution channels, reports that about one-third of ITIL-related traffic on its Web site comes from the U.S. And industry watchers expect growth to continue: Forrester Research predicts that “2005 will be the year when ITIL goes mainstream.”

Vendors such as BMC Software, IBM and Micromuse also have gone to great lengths in the past year to detail how their management software supports ITIL tenets.

Market research firms also are talking up ITIL. Gartner says fully adopting an IT service management strategy can cut an organization’s cost of IT ownership by about 50%. Forrester says until recently U.S. companies were trying to define for themselves what ITIL was, but with more vendor direction the best practices system is becoming clearer to them.

For a great overview of this topic see: