ITIL in Asia

The IT Skeptic is writing for ITSMWatch now. A recent discussion in that forum led to the IT Skeptic expressing opinions on ITIL in Asia:

On the topic of Asia, I too was in Korea, in 2003, talking to Samsung among others. Small world, innit? I too am Southern hemisphere based, and have a number of colleagues who have been into Asia more often than I. My general impression from them is that the region is less advanced than UK, Europe, Australasia or the USA. Being involved in itSMF I can use the maturity of their itSMF chapters as another metric for the region's advancement. On the basis of those measures, I stand by my assertion that the jury is still out on ITIL in Asia.

I lived, worked and travelled in Asia for several years in the 90s, and have a pretty good understanding of the Cantonese, Han, Singaporean, Indian (north and south), Thai, Karen, Burmese, Filipino and Indonesian cultures. The IT Skeptic is sceptical about whether ITIL will succeed in some of those cultures due to its fornal nature, and its emphasis on accountability, ownership and management by measurement - all of which are anathema to many Asian cultures. Like other Western systems I think it will appear to be implemented on the surface while an entirely different system is in actual effect under the covers, whose existence will only become clear when he results are not as expected.

Of course generalisations such as these don't hold true across the whole region, nor across all companies in a country, nor across all individuals within a company. There are extremely formal and process-centric companies such as Shell who operate very successfully across the region. The Japanese and Koreans have often led not followed in terms of process, at least in some manufacturing industries, automotive being the obvious example.

But broadly, I think ITIL will only be a general success in Asia [only] as a highly modified, localised version ... if at all.

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