The IT Service Management world was rocked by the sale of ITIL to Axelos. What does it mean to me? Does it matter? Why I don’t care and you shouldn’t either


A Funny Thing Happened with ITIL on the way to work…

If you missed all the excitement, check out Stephen Mann’s  excellent analysis So Capita Gets ITIL But will People Finally “Get” ITIL? on his blog over at Forrester. But if you want to cut to the chase, let me just say flat out – it doesn’t matter that ITIL has been sold. Why?

Why I Don’t Care

ITIL is not the same as IT Service Management(ITSM). Whether we know it or not, we’re all “doing” ITSM, many of us by adopting guidance from the very popular and broadly understood ITIL framework.

But, as Michael Cardinal recently tweeted:

ITIL is simply a framework of documented best practices, consistent with industry standards (i.e. ISO 20000).

Stuart Rance added:

Service Management has never been about specific frameworks, and it never should be. Far too much damage has been done to the field of Service Management by the “religious” wars of “my framework is better than your framework”.

I welcome the questions the sale if ITIL raises! We should all ask ourselves “why do I care?”

So, why should I care ITIL has been sold?

You shouldn’t. If you’re an IT Professional and are involved with any form of ITSM, your goal is to maximize value to the business. ITIL is a means to that end, not the end. Your customers don’t care, and neither should you.

Queue the bulleted list:

  1. The company who bought ITIL (Axelos) intends to be profitable. Damaging the loyal ITIL customer base will not serve this purpose
  2. Likewise, Axelos can be expected to increase the market for ITIL and related products – increasing the value of your ITIL involvement.
  3. ITIL Certifications still have the same value – they stand as verification of demonstrated capability in the subject matter.
  4. Your organization needs you more than ever to maximize business value of IT.

Deliver value. Satisfy real customer needs. Understand how ITIL and other best-practices can help you achieve these goals, and get it done.

Other Ways to Effective ITSM

CoBIT, ISO 20000, and MOF can all help organizations implement a successful Service Management capability. I’ve been watching with great interest the Universal Service Management effort over at USMBOK. There are many means, but one goal – maximize IT value to the business.

You know your customers better than anyone. Regardless of how good, no framework can replace those relationships,  your knowledge, experience, and critical thinking to deliver value to your customers.

Apply ITIL if and as needed, but never take your eyes off the prize.Your business needs you now more than ever, and is relying on you to help them achieve their goals.

Another great day to be in IT Service Management!