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Servicing the business is

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?


Servicing the business is key
In v3, servicing the business gains importance. In contrast, v2 emphasized supporting the information technology organization.

"The focus in this library is about facilitating and measuring business outcomes," Taylor says, stressing that "I.T. performance is definitely a component" in this process. For example, asset lifecycle management and return on investment are concepts-not dealt with in-depth in the earlier versions of ITIL-that are now addressed. That's because those concepts are more prevalent today in service management than in past years, she says.

In another example of how the updated library is intended to better address business needs: it makes a distinction between collecting metrics to measure the performance of a service, in addition to the performance of a particular technology. Take e-mail-as a service and technology. Let's say an e-mail server is running, but the network connection is down and interrupts the delivery of e-mail. A technology metric would show 100% uptime for the e-mail server. Yet, the services metric for e-mail would show the outage. "We're calling out to you to measure the end-to-end experience. Oftentimes, I.T. has not done that," says Case, co-author of the Continual Service book.

Next Page: New practice areas, new roles

This article was originally published on 2007-05-23
Executive Editor
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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