Is ITIL still dead in the water?

Two years ago I asked "Is ITIL dead in the water?". One year ago, itsm_stephen asked me for an update. I did mean to respond, but to my shame I note today I never did. So, Stephen, here it is... a year late.

The thrust of that first post was that ISO20000 would capture the high ground from ITIL. ITIL V3 was "on its way" but was "too little too late". The coup de grace would come if/when someone released a set of guidance similar to ITIL but based on and compliant with ISO20000. Most likely someone with the deep pockets to do it, and I raised the ugly spectre of "MOF/20k".

So how does the landscape look two years on? I stand by my statements in that article.

ISO20000 is finally gaining some traction as contracts start to ask for it in some parts of the world. So I still think "In five [three] years time most organisations will consider ISO/IEC 20000 certification as a normal part of operating: a minimum benchmark".

ITIL V3 is not ISO/IEC 20000-compliant, though closer than I expected. I still think V3 is "too little". You are all thinking "Au contraire! it is a big beast" (or something shorter and more Anglo-Saxon). ITIL V3 is too little in addressing the threat to ITIL from non-compliance with other frameworks, ISO20000 in particular.

With practical experience, the world will come to realise that doing ITIL might help get you to ISO20000 certification but only if you vigorously steer it that way - it doesn't come by default - and the reverse is not true: ISO20000 certification says very little about your ITIL state. it could be ITIL, it could be something else.

The possibility still exists for someone to do "The ISO20000 Red Book" and then it's all over, Rover. IBM and Mickeysoft both remain remote from ITIL. Both have the loot to do it. One April 1st I suggested they had, together! Not a pretty thought.

The IT Swami forsaw one of ITIL's fates being kicked into irrelvance by one of the frameworks that ITIL aloofly ignored. ["aloofly"??? I doubt that is a word, but work with me here]

I believe Castle ITIL (the ITIL "inner circle") will come to regret snubbing ISO20000 in the ITIL V3 process (and COBIT and ASL and ...). They should have produced a compliant correlated document with ongoing compliance baked in. They didn't, and maybe one day someone else will.

[Updated: ITIL's days are numbered. But it is a large number. ITIL isn't going away any time soon. However I hate to see a premature end when the BOK could go on and grow indefinitely.]


Holiday castles

There are a lot of residents of castle ITIL who also spend time in fortress ISO 20000, and don't see the two as being in competition with each other. They are also doing a lot to develop an expanded ISO 20000 at the moment. Had v3 been too explicit in supporting the current version of the standard it would be overtaken by events in the next couple of years.

we have to do it at the coalface

Yes I've heard that argument. So instead of OGC and ISO doing the work to keep the two coupled, we have to do it at the coalface. i don't buy that. this is a dynamic world. The coupling could be loose but it needs to be there. if I am ISO20000 certified what does that mean for my ITIL compliance? if I spend a million bucks on ITIL will that or will it not mean I can get ISO20000 certification?

if ISO20000 has a refresh coming that brings it into alignment, the books should say that, and describe where the gaps are that need to be addressed. Ignoring ISO20000 was not the solution

Distance from the coalface

Looking at it from an ISO perspective, ISO standards aren't supposed to refer to non-ISO matrial, although there has been a bit of give and take on both the OGC and ISO side. Also there is a copyright issue on both sides. I'm not sure that the the ISO 20000 refresh is about bringing it in to alignment with v3, from what I've seen so far it is also about addressing new areas.

My gut feel is that ISO 20000 will bear less and less resemblance to "ITIL turned into a standard" amd more into a quality system that covers specific IT service managmentr issues

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