When I last blogged about the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in October, I noted that many observers were predicting a year of accelerated adoption for ITIL in 2008, especially in North America.
Lots of CIOs in the U.S. believe ITIL can help them improve IT operations and offer a potential link between IT and the business, according to a recent survey by Dimension Data, a services provider. As Network World reports, 85 percent of American respondents say ITIL and other IT service management best practices offer the actual or potential ability to help optimize existing best practices.
Forty percent of them also say ITIL enables innovation by streamlining the management of day-to-day tasks, and 25 percent express appreciation for ITIL's emphasis on providing common technology for business and IT departments.
As IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson wrote back in May, ITIL also may ease the challenges of implementing service-oriented architecture, because it stresses three areas of utmost importance in SOA adoption: governance, quality and management. This could add to the ranks of ITIL fans, since IDC is predicting a strong increase in SOA adoption this year and next.
Dimension Data's numbers on U.S. adoption of ITIL are higher than those offered by two research firms, the Aberdeen Group and Computer Economics, in my October blog. According to Dimension Data, nearly 60 percent of U.S. CIOs say they are working with ITIL, not far behind its 66 percent figure for the rest of the world. However, less than 10 percent of the Americans consider themselves "true practitioners" of ITIL, vs. 17 percent of CIOs elsewhere.
ITIL is the most popular best practices framework in the U.S., according to the survey, followed by Six Sigma, practiced by 46 percent of American companies; Microsoft Operation Framework (38 percent); ISO standards (33 percent); and Total Quality Management (30 percent).
Citing results from the same survey, silicon.com notes that the bigger the company, the greater the chances it uses ITIL. Eighty-seven percent of companies with 10,000-plus employees use some form of ITIL, though few companies with less than 100 employees have adopted it. Yet ITIL can offer benefits to SMBs too, as I blogged in January.
Need more convincing? According to this brief case study from IT Week, British law firm Shoosmiths improved its first call resolution from 60 percent to 76 percent and overall service level from 80 percent to 88 percent following its implementation of ITIL. The company also has merged two help desks into one and reduced the time needed to change a manual process to two hours. Says the firm's information services director:
We now have a common language to work with common incident management and knowledge of how to manage a problem through to success.