Is ITIL Living Up To Its Billing?

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Many data centers are implementing the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and many more are considering it. Is ITIL proving effective in managing data centers? Network World looks at a survey of ITIL users finding that the framework “isn’t always seen as the panacea adopters expected.” Any analysis that uses the term “panacea” as a starting point is bound to be tough-minded. But the story had some interesting data on ITIL adoption and user experience.

The poll of more than 300 IT professionals by consulting firm BT-INS found that 69 percent of ITIL adopters say the best-practice framework is meeting their expectations, but just 32 percent of those using ITIL today said it is very critical to the success of their goals, compared to 45 percent in 2003 and 43 percent last year.

ITIL is a framework for planning, provisioning and supporting IT services. Originally developed by the British government in the 1980s, it encapsulates best practice recommendations for delivering IT services more efficiently and effectively. Version 3 of ITIL was published in May.


A survey earlier this year from Symantec found strong interest in ITIL implementation by data center managers, while research from Aperture confirmed high levels of interest but also slower adoption.

The BT survey suggests that ITIL adoption has dropped off since an uptick between 2004 and 2006, and said the development of ITIL version 3 was likely a factor. Implementation of a product or service tends to slow as new versions approach, with adopters waiting for updated features before committing. “Perhaps [ITIL] is starting to hit a saturation point, or maybe the recent introduction of ITILv3 will drive new adoption in the year ahead,” the report says.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.