ITIL Adoption Stalls After Surge

August, 2011

Large IT organizations are continuing to embrace the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) initiatives, but at a slower pace than in past years.

In fact, ITIL adoption stalled this year, according to our study, ITIL Adoption and Best Practices. Figure 1 shows that 39% of organizations are utilizing ITIL, about the same as the 40% that were embracing ITIL in 2010. In percentage terms, ITIL adoption increased the most between 2008 and 2009 and then grew another 7% between 2009 and 2010 before flattening out this year.

ITIL RB fig 2 - ITIL Adoption Stalls After Surge

The full study shows that many of the organizations practicing ITIL are not fully implementing the framework. This may well reflect the fact that obstacles to adoption are real, costs are significant, and benefits are sometimes difficult to quantify. Furthermore, the current economic situation is not favorable to investment in long-term service improvement initiatives such as ITIL.

Providing excellent IT service management to help a business achieve its strategic targets is a much debated but seldom achieved goal. ITIL is essentially a discipline for how an IT organization should plan, deliver, and supports IT services to a business. As part of this effort, ITIL imposes disciplines on IT processes in return for what its advocates promise will be improved productivity and responsiveness within the organization.

This study begins with a brief explanation of ITIL’s history and current framework for IT service management. We next study ITIL adoption and practice levels in North America, examining levels of adoption by organization size and sector. The study concludes with best-practice suggestions for successful ITIL implementations.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, ITIL Adoption and Best Practices. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).