ITIL Refresh Provides New Focus on Business Needs

July, 2007

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for managing key processes for IT service management support and delivery. While ITIL is nearly ubiquitous in Europe and in parts of Asia, it has only been since 2005 that ITIL has gained traction in the U.S.

This Research Byte is a summary of our full report, ITIL Adoption Moves into U.S. Mainstream.

The UK Office of Government Commerce governs the ITIL standards. ITIL developers have refined the standards so much since their creation in 1980 that the new ITIL Version 3 (just released in May, 2007) contains only five core volumes, whereas the original version comprised 31. The new release is designed to provide a more cohesive and better-organized description of ITIL standards.
The ITIL Refresh Project to create Version 3 began in 2004 and is truly a massive effort including input from thousands of stakeholders. The ITIL Refresh Program Board held workshops in Europe and North America with businesses that have adopted ITIL, the vendor community, managed service providers, training organizations, consulting firms, and academia.

The ITIL Refresh includes a new focus on specific vertical markets and technological issues. Additionally, this release offers material that will help explain ITIL to non-IT business professionals, with an emphasis on IT and business alignment. This is an important addition, as many business professionals have indicated that they feel ITIL is too technical and somewhat out of step with business needs. A brief description of the five core volumes just released is shown in Figure 1.

ITIL Fig1 - ITIL Refresh Provides New Focus on Business Needs

The full version of this report summarizes the current state of ITIL adoption in the U.S. and highlights the types of organizations that are adopting ITIL most quickly. We also provide recommendations for organizations interested in beginning the process of adopting ITIL best practices.

Every company starting an ITIL implementation should understand that it is a major undertaking that will impact every department in the company. Because of this, management and end-user buy-in are critical to a successful ITIL implementation. Remember, ITIL is nothing more than a set of books on best practices. Successfully deploying ITIL will require a significant amount of time and effort–but the rewards can be significant as well.

June 2007

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