Forum focuses on IT's strategic value

The ninth annual IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) starts in Sydney next week under the theme of Unlocking the Strategic Value of IT Service Management.

Peter Cross, chairman of itSMF Australia said the 2006 conference has been designed around the relationship between IT service management and IT governance to highlight the importance of aligning IT service delivery with business objectives.

Cross said this alignment is why frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology) are experiencing a strong uptake globally.

"If you talk to senior IT executives, the sentiment is unanimous that IT-enabled business investments when managed well within an effective service management and governance framework, provide organizations with significant opportunities to create and increase business value," Cross said.

"The standard ISO/IEC 20000 is about developing and implementing processes to improve IT service and it is driven by the need for a much stronger focus on aligning IT services with business plans and objectives.

"When you integrate this with IT governance best practice processes, such as those defined in the COBIT framework, you end up with a powerful management and governance engine."

The ISO/IEC 20000 standard relates to IT service management and is based on elements of ITIL; COBIT has elements of the Australian IT security standard, AS7799.

Max Shanahan, member of COBIT's international steering committee, said the combination of ITIL and COBIT provides a best practice framework for IT service management.

"ITIL covers IT service management in more detail than COBIT and together the COBIT and ITIL frameworks provide a hierarchy of complementary and supportive guidance materials," Shanahan said.

"When COBIT and ITIL are used together in this way, they provide a powerful IT governance, control and best-practice framework in IT service management."

The forum runs August 28 to 30 at the Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour. For more information go to www.itsmf.org.au/conference2006.asp

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