Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is ITIL losing its momentum?

Has this topic been in the blogosphere lately!

I put this as my next topic of discussion on my last blog Feb 9th, and it seems like tons of folks have had the same thoughts:  Here are just a few

But is this really new?

Let's face it, ITIL has had a tough battle for popularity since it's inception.  There has been a constant skirmish between the two camps of "this is so complex and overwhelming" and "this is too common sense and doesn't go deep enough".

And the soapbox orations continue - just search for ITIL on LinkedIN and then watch your bandwidth disappear...

So here is my take on this topic.
ITIL consideration and adoption is right where it needs to be.  

The market as a whole has seen some funky trends, and if you choose to isolate ITIL on it's own, you could certainly come to the conclusion that there was a hype explosion and then a lag.

However, you have to take a step back and evaluate the focus of IT Executives and the layers of that focus.

2005 – A major push for innovation occurs on the heels of the Dot.Bomb. IT Executives have to find ways to break traditional waterfall methodologies and to create IT Services.  SOA, ITSM, BSM emerge as hot topics.

2006 - A major increase in development spending introduces more frequent changes into production environments with new architectures being built around this "SOA" thing.   Change control and management highlight weaknesses in the organization, causing a major focus and push on compliance and process.  BSM is all the rage, and people are touting the need for a CMDB for BSM to work well. ITIL V2 falls short in delivering this .  
HYPE PEAK?  Yes, certainly ITIL is over-played in the market at this point and lots of consultants jump on the bandwagon.

2007 – A major focus on governance and PMO emerges as IT projects continue to fall short of business expectations.  
IT Management projects like BSM, ITIL, CMDB get heat because they are not revenue-focused and are being viewed as “Pet” projects.

2008 - The impact of US natural disasters starts to take the toll on Insurance companies and on Real Estate market trends.  IT Executives are told to prioritize projects and to find cost cutting opportunities.  More pressure is applied to these "Pet" projects and the spin of "ITIL doesn't work" and "CMDB is impossible" starts to permeate as folks work to save jobs.

2009 - The economy is in the toilet and no one is spending on training or consulting for projects that they now want to distance themselves from.  Software licenses also take a hit, and so does advertising and promotion.  At this point ITIL really starts to fall off the radar.

2010 - So here we are.  What does 2010 hold in store for ITIL?  
I believe that we are going to see major pushes in the consolidation of frameworks and a big push for open-source solutions.  I predict a large increase in training for IT Service Management, but not just for ITIL per se.   IT executives want ITSM to be an inherent part of their culture.  We will do more to get our people thinking about services, and will look for ways to automate processes.  ITIL will play an important part in that execution.  With the foundation of ITIL V3 in place to allow a more open body of knowledge and input, it looks like good timing for a convergence with other frameworks like ISO 20000 and Cobit.

But Matt, what about all those Google Trends people keep referring to?

Great question.  I'm going to use my analytics background to help paint a picture for you.
2007 was a pretty good year for a lot of ITIL consulting and training shops.  Yet Google shows the news volumes down.


Here is one possibility - V3...  The peak coincides nicely with the announcement of the new ITIL V3 framework.  It would only be natural that this kind of breaking news would cause a spike.  

One thing you need to do is to learn how to read these Google Trend reports.

The Top Line is the search indexes.  
The bottom line is for News References (Frankly I ignore this as I am pretty sure it's bogus; there isn't anything I searched on that didn't show 2007 flatten and raise in 2008 - Here is an example)

So let's take a look at Search Volume Index for some other comparative benchmarks.

ITSM Focus

Change Management

When you look at these key indicators and backbone components of ITIL, Compliance, ITSM, Change Management, you can see that they are also trending down.  I would not say that ITIL, in and of itself, has lost focus.  Rather I would attribute the reduction of focus on IT discipline improvement, in general, to the push to relinquish IT services to outsourcers.

Look at it this way:  Service Improvement managers for 10 companies make 10 searches;  whereas the Service Improvement manager for the outsourcer, who supports those 10 companies, makes only 1 search.

IT Outsourcing has clearly become a norm in the enterprise.

My belief is that ITIL still has a lot of value to bring to the IT Services organizations that are committed to improvement projects and to driving customer satisfaction.  So while it is certain that less hype is being seen (and for the better), I believe ITIL is far from a passing fad. It is still something in which I plan to invest.

Next blog topic:  Since Outsourcing is playing a big part in ITSM, let's talk about how to maximize outsourcers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the biggest bunch of garbage I have ever read. Your analysis is totally off and you write like a monkey.

By the way, dad want's his drill back.