the ITIL industry is worth about $2 BILLION to $5 BILLION per year

On a back-of-a-napkin calculation, I reckon the ITIL industry is worth about $2 BILLION to $5 BILLION per year. Can anyone confirm or refute these numbers?

I was triggered in these musings by noticing that LCS, the new Examination Institute, has processed 100,000 exams.
look at finance
What proportion of North Americans are employed in IT? I couldn't find the figures, but I think it would be a conservative estimate that 1/300 Yanks will be trained in ITIL in the next 5-10 years, i.e. a million people. Since LSC have done 100k already on behalf of EXIN (and ASEB have done who knows how many more, say 50k) in a market that is just blossoming, a million people looks pretty real to me.

Now remember that many people do the Foundation exam with no formal training these days (it is easy enough - the training industry's dirty little secret), so that isn't $2k per person. On the other hand a certain proportion of them will go on to do practitioner and diploma training. So assume that all averages out to $2k per head, there's $2 BILLION right there.

Now what proportion of total ITIL costs is training? According to Bruton's 2004 survey "ITIL: has it been worth it?", it is about a sixth of external spend. So that gives us a total estimate for the USA of $12 billion in consulting, tools and training.

The USA is about 1/3 of the world's economy, so that would suggest a worldwide spend of $36 BILLION. Europe has already spent some of that but Asia is only getting started so that balances out.

On these numbers I'm pretty comfortable with my original estimate of $20 billion to $50 billion over ten years, call it $2 billion to $5 billion a year. No wonder the industry is getting commercialised, and even at times corrupt.


Worth or value!


I've not been blogging for a while. Not so sure about the new navigation on your pages. Seems a bit over complicated for a simple chap like me!

Some interesting comments I see on your site and the debate on itSMF is continuing - albeit still with a tinge of unnecessary self destructiveness (is that a word?). I guess that's the nature of blogging though.

However, just in response to your bit on the worth of ITSM. I don't think you are too far from identifying the amount of spend on ITSM globally. It's likely to be more but one of the tasks i've set myself over the next 9 months is to survey the industry, primarily on skills and employment but also to find out the "size" and impact that the industry has. I estimate that there's about 150 - 200k people working in the UK. Which extrapotated, could be as many as 20M worldwide. All engaged in ITSM at one level or another. Plenty of room for everyone I guess.

This is a pretty big industry indeed if what you say and what I say actually and in reality, stacks up. But of course, cost and value are two entirely different things as you know. The value of what we do, far outweighs the cost!!! Doesn't it?

By the way, check out the itSMF International website ( for exciting news on their forthcoming election process too!

Thanks. Keep blogging and keep the faith.

Yours in ITSM!


Forthcoming Election

Exciting news? Did I miss something?

Very funny.

Very funny. I like the comment. In my sad world, any properly structured, democratic open and transparent process is exciting!! Perhaps I ought to get out more? Ho! Ho!

Yours in ITSM!


It wasn't intended to be funny!

Using the terms sad world, properly structured, democratic open and transparent process to describe itSMFi seems a bit bimodal. Continuing on the idea of transparent, will the 200 word board candidate statements be published on the web site?

Out of curiosity, you used the phrase “advanced warning” (with emphasis added) in the announcement for the AGM and elections document. Why is a “warning” necessary?

There ought to be no sacred cows!


"Warning"? I think you are reading too much into the word. Perhaps I should have said notification. That's just my poor command of the English language. We Brits are known for it!

Should we publish the statements? I don't see why not. They'll be in the hands of the Chapter Representatives for discussion within the Chapter Boards and so virtually in the public domain, anyhow.

I don't believe we've ever done that before (i'm new don't forget!), but that doesn't mean we shouldn't. I'll check it out - if you see 'em come up on the website then you'll know the answer. If you don't, simply engage with your local Chapter and ask to see them. If you are a member, then they should let you.

Fair enough?


Yours in ITSM!


Fair enough...

Sacred cows make the best hamburger!

the articles of association for itSMF

Thankyou Keith. Please can you also post

  • the Articles of Association
  • Bylaws
  • Operating Philosophy

for International (and whatever equivalent docs for UK) on the website too and we can all play Guess Which One Applies :-D

I'm on holiday!

Crumbs! Give me a break! I'm on holiday now until the 28th August. The Memorandum & Articles of Association (Mems & Arts) are public domain documents so that's not a problem - anyone can get them from the UK's Companies House anyhow (usually for a small fee).

I'll get the itSMFI and itSMF-UK webmaster to sort this out - Certainly when I get back. Both companies are of course independent of each other.

The Operating Philosophy (Philops) for itSMFI (now called the "Rules") will need to be cleared with the Board for release outside of the Chapters as well as being updated to incorporate recent and older ratified updates. They are itSMFI documents and not public domain. Chapters will have them, but i'll see what I can do.

There is no "official" document entitled Bylaws although there are drafts of such bylaws for itSMFI, but I cannot release these as they remain draft and subject to approval by the Board and ratification at the AGM assuming they are raised for discussion at the meeting.

Hope this is clear.

Good to see Jim Prunty back in circulation.

Yours in ITSM!


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