Fourth anniversary of the IT Skeptic

Four years ago this blog started out by saying

In the ITIL world it is still spring or summer. This blog seeks to balance that with an icy blast of winter through the techniques of the skeptic – consider the observable facts and question the underlying assumptions – as well as applying that other great Litmus test: common sense

In the intervening four years I've branched out to other topics that appealed to me ("oooh shiny!") but spent most of the time plugging away at ITIL: ITIL's content; Castle ITIL - the establishment industry; ITIL as a cult; and crass ITIL commercialism. I doubt this blog has made a great deal of direct difference, but certainly my views are more mainstream now than when I started out: much of the world is skeptical of ITIL. This is probably a function of the Gartner Hype Curve, which ITIL must be about to bottom-out of. If so, in future things will be rosier in the ITIL world as the movement rises back to a more centred position, hopefully not reaching the peaks of hype of old. Of course the engineers amongst you know that Gartner only describe one system behaviour: a system can equally be unstable and continue to oscillate wildly, with two possible outcomes. More of that in a blog post I may one day finish.

In the four years the site has been to Google Page Rank 5, dropped back to 4 in the Great Google Recalibration, and recently got our PR5 back again. That's pretty good for a niche blog that doesn't present a sunny you-too-can-do-it easy-answers-to-ITIL message. It is interesting to note that some of the heaviest hit pages are those that advise how to pass the ITIL Foundation and/or offer free resources.

The other group of pages that get heavily hit talk about CMDB. There is a huge audience that doesn't give a toss about that process crap but can't get enough on technology. I despair for our industry sometimes: I feel the same way I do when I see "The Bachelor" or "Worlds Dumbest...". IT is about technology like interior decorating is about paintbrushes. Right now the painters are still in control ("What to put on the chapel ceiling? A bit of blue would be nice. Can I use yer dunny?").

Of late, the blog has actually started to reward me, with work coming in on the basis of it. But not enough to pay the bills.

There was a little acclaim last year when the blog was runner-up in its category in the ComputerWeekly blog awards without me having to write to you all individually or go naked. And so far 25 LinkedIn members Like the blog

Coming up expect more about COBIT, professionalism, culture, and governance... and of course ITSM and ITIL.

I'm not tired of blogging yet (sorry Castle ITIL). It's good fun. The need to carry the candle has gone - lots of others have joined in to shed some light. I'll try to stay out in front and I hope you'll reward me by reading and enjoying, and by telling others. A blog is all about traffic and this one could use more, if only to cover its hosting costs.

It'll never pay me for the thousands of hours gone into it, nor should it. It's a hobby, and a buzz. Thank-you so much for being part of it for a few years more.


Castle ITIL is Falling

Hello Rob,

We used to converse a little, back in the days before you came out of the ITIL criticism closet. It's been a while since I've commented/posted on your site but I just wanted to say that I've always been a fan and am very glad that sites like yours exist.

My beliefs about ITIL, have always been along the same lines as yours, which is that IT is bigger than the picture that ITIL paints and that the terminology, processes and concepts of ITIL foster silo-like behavior, turning IT into more of a cost center than a true value-add partner to the businesses that IT serves.

I thought you'd like to know that over the last few years in engaging IT leaders in the US, I've found that belief in ITIL is not only waning but that "ITIL" is also becoming a bad word. It implies big, fat, slow and expensive IT to many leaders who are looking to go in a leaner and faster direction because they're becoming more and more accountable to their businesses, especially in this lean world economy. One of the biggest things many leaders don't like about ITIL is that it's considered to be conventional wisdom that was locked up in the tower of the British Agency for Commerce, controlled by a small community of stakeholders that targeted a small area of IT (starting from the tail end), that requires you to purchase what is considered to be industry conventional wisdom, and that publishes updates on a very infrequent and limited basis.

Anyhow, like with you, ITIL has inspired many of to look for better answers and some of us to build better answers. Keep doing what you're doing. It's appreciated more than you think.

My Best,

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)

relatively new

Hey Skep

Thanks for blogging.

I'm relatively new to ITSM, ITIL (and the IT Skepic) but have taken a real interest. Of all the blogs I've stumbled upon I currently rank yours at the top. I find it entertaining, informative and, above all, sensible. I've also enjoyed the debates with your commenters (so thanks to you guys, too) and I've been tempted to step in once or twice (like with the BSC/TSC discussion - I agree with Skep). Maybe I will sometime soon.

Anyway, please keep up the good work.


PS. If you can recommend any other good ITSM/ITIL blogs, please do!

other good blogs

Thank you everybody for those kind words.

For other good blogs, you can start with my links though it overlooks many

Servicesphere podcasts

The one blog I would currently add to Rob's list is Servicesphere's somewhat oddball ITSM Weekly podcast

Which Rob himself has been known to guest on.



It's not there??!? Fixing

I'm sorry I missed the

first two years, nearly. As I wrote on Twitter: "I just realized that ITIL 4 exists. All the good practices and advice can be found from the discussions on #theitskeptic . But hard to read."

So thanks Rob and also thanks to all the commentators.


V2, 3 or 4?


When are we seeing the release of the ITIL skeptic v4? What governance will you be putting in place to ensure entrenched commercial self interest and academic hot air are equally protected? When will we see the first release of a RealITSM validated tool?

Seriously, keep up the good work.



Sorry I missed it, but congratulations!

  @ @ @ @  

Love the blog

Have gained some real insights during my time reading. Nice to know I am not the only person who doesnt blindly accept everything at face value.

Good luck in the future and here's to many more years of the IT Skeptic!


Dear Skeptic
Congratulations on all your achievements so far. We very much appreciate all your comments (both positive AND negative!) on the industry -- and also this same objectivity applied to our own products. For me anyway it helps keep our feet on the ground -- and your sense of humour is always welcome! 'Call of a crow' is one of my favourites!

To better times - cheers

Happy skepday. We have traveled some amazing roads together over these past four years, many in the public glare of your website and almost as many behind the scenes trying to fathom out how best to help folks we know, and ourselves, asking and commenting on questions, assumptions, and assumed facts.

Good as they are - they'll get better. I know there have been times when you have thought of folding a tent or two - don't. We need you. You need you - after all - you are a brand - the ITSKEPTIC!

Happy birthday. Here's to many, many more and much better (financial) times.

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