Sexy it isn't but ITIL gains clout

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) isn't exactly the sexiest of technology topics but local interest has been running hot making Australia a leader in global adoption.

In the next two years Australia will overtake European nations in ITIL adoption but the Meta Group is warning local organizations they need a firm understanding of the framework to ensure implementation is successful.

Like the CMM (Capabilities Maturity Model) for application development, ITIL is a set of best practices and standard methodologies for core IT operational processes and a best-practice template that can be applied across most IT environments.

Jeff Scotland, software and consulting director at Itilics, said ITIL is about business processes not just meeting governance and compliance issues.

"But sometimes that message is difficult to get across because ITIL is not very sexy - it is a set of commonsense practices which can be difficult to sell internally sometimes," Scotland said.

Scotland said ITIL is generating so much interest is because it can reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

"Service providers see it as a competitive advantage to say they are ITIL compliant but organizations it is a way to deliver standardized services more efficiently and effectively," he said.

"ITIL standards makes managing multiple suppliers in a commercial environment an easier task and has the potential for a 'plug and play' business model for suppliers, distribution outlets and retailers alike.

"It isn't easy managing eight suppliers if they all do business differently so ITIL provides a common framework. A plug and play model also puts pressure on suppliers for valued added services and gives you economies of scale."

Oxygen Business Solutions began implementing ITIL principals in 2001 and has invested heavily in staff training and promoting a strong ITIL culture within the organization.

The company's general manager for systems optimization Craig Bunyan believes ITIL is the leading best practice methodology for managing IT businesses and boasts that Oxygen now has more than 100 staff certified at the level one ITIL foundation course.

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