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I Don’t Want to Hear about ITIL!

Why do some CIOs slam and lock their doors when someone approaches them about ITIL? Using a personal experience, David Moskowitz recounts a time when a friend who was a CIO told him not to mention ITIL during a discussion about IT being responsive to users as well as a LinkedIn discussion where ITIL was removed as an option by a CIO. So what’s the deal? Moskowitz believes it has to do with how most people don’t necessarily understand what ITIL is about. He brings the definition of ITIL to this: a framework that describes IT best practice in ITSM. This is contrary to what most people think about ITIL; they see it as a process or a system. People “do ITIL”, they don’t apply its best practices. Moskowitz also explains how, despite the dislike that people express, they are probably utilizing ITIL anyway: Want to know a not so secret secret: Every organization probably does many of the things described in ITIL v3, regardless of the names/labels applied to what they’re doing. Don’t make ITIL any more or less than it is. Anyone who starts with, “ITIL doesn’t work,” probably has (or had) a misconception about what ITIL is. ITIL misunderstood leads to a lot of things. If an organization is trying to use the five ITIL books as an implementation guide, the result is often dogma (or ITIL as Holy Writ). Another aspect of this view is represented in the organization that is trying to figure out how to fix something. In this case, the sheer size and the apparent connections described in the ITIL books can be intimidating (as in, “Do we have to do all of this?”). ITIL isn’t the goal of ITIL. IT Service Management is the goal of ITIL, and ITIL can be made-to-fit as far as what best practices a IT organization wishes to apply. Also keep in mind that utilizing ITIL isn’t about immediate change: it’s a growing process that requires organizations to crawl before they can run.


Comment 1
Comment ID: 1428
Comment Date: 2012-09-18 08:58:45
Comment Author: Joe
Author Email: joseph.collins@mcw.usmc.mil
Author Url:
Author IP: 192.156.28.34
Comment Text:
I have noticed that this article, as well as most others, do not define acronyms for their reader. I understand that this is a industry blog and I could ‘google’ the acronym if I don’t know it however, from my perspective, this is information that should either be provided for me within the text or in the margin of the article. If I have to ‘Google’ ITIL to remind me what it means, there is about a 80% chance that my interest will be peeked by the ‘Google’ results and a 99% chance that if this occurs, I will not return to your article to finish reading. This decreases your readership and lowers your click through rate for advertisers on your site. In short – do the work for me or lose me.


Comment 2
Comment ID: 1429
Comment Date: 2012-09-18 09:05:06
Comment Author: Matthew Kabik
Author Email: matthew_kabik@compaid.com
Author Url:
Author IP: 199.26.230.102
Comment Text:
Hi Joe, Thanks for the comment and for visiting! To your point: You’re right that this is a very specific site and that ITIL is a term that most of the target readership knows by heart – and you’re just as right that we should be doing a better job at spelling out acronyms regardless. There is nothing quite as frustrating as coming across something on the web that uses an unknown acronym, so we apologize for that. Thanks for the comment and for the suggestion! -Matt

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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