By Anna Maria Virzi Print this article Print

A new version of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a framework for promoting best practices in I.T. service management, gets released on May 30 with much fanfare. What does the update mean for those who have embraced ITIL?

: A Makeover, But Not Extreme">

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is getting a makeover, but don't call it extreme.

ITIL v3, a framework designed to promote best practices in I.T. service management, is set for release on May 30 by ITIL's owner, the U.K. Office of Government Commerce.

"People are scared that we've deleted things. That's not we were doing. We're taking everything in version 2 and building upon it," says George Spalding, one of 10 service management experts who worked on the update. He is also a consultant from Pink Elephant, a firm based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, that runs conferences and educational programs about best practices in service management.

"We have broadened the scope of what ITIL is to the consumer by adding a number of elements and new concepts," says Sharon Taylor, chief architect of ITIL v3 and a consultant working under contract to the Office of Government Commerce publisher, The Stationery Office of Norwich, England. In that role, she is responsible for working with the team that wrote, reviewed and edited the library. "We still deal with operational issues such as incident, change and configuration management. What's changed? We've added a host of practice areas that were not part of ITIL in the past."

The most obvious change: five books, each between 200 to 250 pages, will replace nine books. The new titles are: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The teams focused on eliminating content now covered by other external practices and standards such as the Capability Maturity Model for software development. Within the original nine, there was some overlap in certain areas and this was also reduced across the core five books.

And, most closely watched: certification or qualification requirements, which are still being hashed out. (More on that later.)

Although the publishers are not releasing advance copies, Baseline interviewed five people working on the library update and identified key changes. In addition to Taylor and Spalding, those interviewed were: David Cannon, co-author of the Service Operations book and a service management practice principal at Hewlett-Packard; Gary Case, a Pink Elephant consultant who co-authored the Continual Service Improvement book with Spalding; and Robert Stroud, a member of the ITIL Advisory Group and I.T. governance evangelist at CA.

For organizations that have adopted ITIL or are considering it, here are four things they need to know about the new version.

Lifecycle over specific processes

This article was originally published on 2007-05-23
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Anna Maria was assistant managing editor Forbes.com. She held the posts of news editor and executive editor at Internet World magazine and was city editor and Washington correspondent for the Connecticut Post, a daily newspaper in Bridgeport. Anna Maria has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.
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