Chokey the Chimp hates crap factoids

The IT Skeptic's Crap Factoid Early Warning Service brings you this warning of extreme crap factoid danger.

There have been recent reports of Crap Factoids (pure B.S. that almost sound like a fact, and will be presented so often that everyone will think it true). Due to another sighting, Chokey the Chimp is raising today's Crap Factoid Danger Alert to EXTREME.

A new Crap Factoid has been seen travelling through the internet at moderate velocity. This Crap factoid purports that "an overwhelming majority of organizations (87 percent) now follow the ITIL guidelines". Readers should note that "follow the ITIL guidelines" is a completely meaningless phrase which should not be approached under any circumstances.

There have been multiple sightings amongst the credulous and indiscriminate content aggregators. It appears to have originated from Axios Systems and has spread too far now to be extinguished.

The original press release contains so many crap factoids that the IT Skeptic considers this release may have been deliberate.

Readers should exercise extreme caution when reading anything on the internet. Pay particular attention to anything of analyst or vendor origin. Warning signs include precise numbers or phrases such as:

"...% of Fortune 500 companies reported that..."

"...% of CIOs confirm that their decision to adopt..."

"...with an estimated average annual saving of $..."

If wind levels rise any higher, readers should stay outdoors until the danger passes.

Original "Smokey" sign ©2003 Signs of Life, Inc


Just doesn't add up

It's amazing what you can do with statistics!! So, when looking at organisations:
87% "follow the ITIL guidelines"
33% "... one in three organisations intending to adopt ITIL ..." and
36% "...considering it." [adopting ITIL]

= 156% ?!?!

Oh and right at the bottom: "255 IT professionals from global organisations were surveyed by Axios at a series of service management events ..."

You would hope that if you were attending a service management event it was because your organisation was at the very least "considering ITIL"!

Love the cartoon btw!!

Axios ought to be ashamed

This is a recurring theme on this blog; crap "research".

  • The sample is self-selecting, not random. "at a series of service management events "
  • There are no controls
  • There are no blinds, double or otherwise
  • measures are subjective. "How clever were you..."
  • Slimy weasel words everywhere. "follow the ...guidelines" "intending to adopt"
  • loose statistics

This is hype crap of the worst kind and Axios ought to be ashamed of trying to drum up the market in such a crass fashion. Chokey the Chimp hates this stuff - he chokes on it!

IT Problem

I don't think this is isolated to ITIL. While it happens in many industries, it appears to be endemic to IT. Objective measures for BPM and Six Sigma, for example, show less and less industry interest. But if all you listened to was the chorus of analysts and vendors, you'd think adoption was occurring exponentially.

Disgraceful behavior

I would like to hope that some vendors are honest and would commission research which is controlled, compelling and correct. Perhaps I am being too optimistic, and as an ex-employee of an ITSM vendor, perhaps I should know better. But in this case it was without doubt a deliberate attempt to capture web coverage and column inches with blatant lies (and dreadful maths). I agree Axios ought to be ashamed - but they have a long history of disreputable claims in their PR. Which is a shame, as unethical behavior such as this throws a shadow over all the vendors, and the industry in general.

mixing in bad company

At the risk of defending Axios, I've accused Gartner, Forrester and EMA of the same thing in the past :-D Slightly more subtle perhaps but qualitively no different.

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