Is ITIL still delivering the value? What the data tells us

In November 2011, APMG released a White Paper on the recent ITIL® studies authored by Rob England (aka the ITSkeptic). Rob gathered together the results of the multiple industry surveys and reviews and then provided industry oversight on the outcomes leveraging input from industry luminaries such as myself.


Some of the outcomes that I derived from the report included:



  • Many organizations, as high as 60%, use ITIL

  • 10% of organizations implement ITIL strictly

  • ITIL adoption and training and is still growing (approximately 20% compound annually)

Benefits of ITIL include:



  • Customer satisfaction

  • Cost control

  • Faster response and resolution

As part of the commentary process that Rob collated, some of my observations included:


“A mean adoption of 57% is certainly believable and is consistent with my experience, as are the trends towards the growing adoption of ITIL and ITIL V3.


The burning question is the scope of adoption. Is ITIL being adopted for only support processes or is it being more widely used?”


One of observations in the field I have noticed is that although ITIL is acknowledged by many in IT, many organizations simply use it for the restoration of service leveraging a Service Desk, Incident Management, Request Management, some Change Management with a little CMDB and configuration management thrown in for good measure. The challenge is that much of this is reactive and not proactive and doesn’t really support the rapid, agile, and nimble approach that the business now mandates.


As I identified in my comments, the surveys on ITIL adoption are skewed to the early adopter countries of ITIL, such as the UK, South Africa, Australia and the U.S. and biased to the practitioner population such as those attending an itSMF event.


Additionally the document also discussed the use of the Service Management standard, ISO/IEC 20000 (20K). The adoption and reported conformance with 20K remains very low in my opinion despite the significant hype surrounding the standard. I suspect that its use in emerging economies will only increase as enterprises look to ensure quality and predictability in their IT delivery, but it is unclear at this time if this will spread to other geographies.


If you are considering or implementing service management processes, I would encourage you to take a look at the document and share your thoughts.


The white paper on the state of ITIL, “Review of recent ITIL® studies,” has been published on the best practice management website – click here to download.

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Robert Stroud

Vice President Strategy & Innovation IT Business Management at CA Technologies
Robert Stroud is vice president of innovation and strategy for IT Business Management at CA Technologies. Rob is dedicated to the development of industry trends, strategy and communication of industry best practices. Rob is a strong advocate for the governance, security, risk and assurance communities working closely with the community to author, develop and communicate standards and best practices. Rob also advises organizations on their implementations to ensure they drive maximum business value from their investments in IT-enabled business governance. Following a four-year term as an ISACA International vice president, Rob served on the ISACA Strategic Advisory Council, and is currently serving as ISACA ISO Liaison sub-committee. Earlier, Rob served on the itSMF International Board as Treasurer and Director Audit, Standards and Compliance, the itSMF ISO liaisons to multiple working groups and spent multiple years on the board of the itSMF USA. An accomplished author and blogger, Rob is widely recognized for perspectives on industry trends. He also has contributed to multiple standards publications including COBIT 4.0, 4.1 and COBIT 5, Guidance for Basel II and several ISO standards. Rob served as an active member of the ITIL Update Project Board for ITIL 2011 and in various roles in the development of ITIL v3 including the Advisory Group, mentor and reviewer. Prior to joining CA Technologies, Rob spent more than 15 years in the finance industry successfully managing multiple initiatives in both IT and retail banking sectors related to security, service management and process governance. Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertEStroud

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