by C.G. Lynch

Management Report – Most Companies Adopting ITIL Practices

Mar 01, 20062 mins
Business IT Alignment

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a set of best practices in IT management, is helping companies align IT with their larger business objectives, according to a recent survey by consultancy Evergreen Systems.

Of 167 CIOs and other senior IT executives who participated in the survey, 95 percent said they had budgeted for or approved ITIL projects during 2005, and 85 percent said their ITIL plans included business goals as well as technical priorities. In addition, 87 percent said that their companies have a CIO or senior VP committed to these projects.

ITIL adoption is rising as involvement of IT executives increases, says Don Casson, CEO of Evergreen Systems. This isn’t a surprise, he says, because “ITIL is about processes, so you’d [expect] the first people to grab hold of it would be IT executives.” He says successful implementations occur only when the CIO is involved from day one.

First developed in the late 1980s by the British government, ITIL is a seven-volume catalog of best IT practices. It covers major aspects of IT operations, including service support, delivery and management; security, infrastructure and application management; and business alignment. (For more about how CIOs are implementing ITIL, read “ITIL Power,”

European companies have widely embraced all of the practice areas. But in the United States, organizations are most interested in service support and delivery. The survey found that 46 percent of respondents, a plurality, said they are using ITIL for reengineering IT services and delivery. Thirty-one percent are adopting every aspect of ITIL, while 19 percent are focused on improving management of services such as the help desk.

Although it’s critical that a CIO get involved at the beginning of an ITIL implementation, Casson says companies should proceed with it at their own pace. Close to 70 percent of respondents said they set strategic goals and ROI targets for each phase of adoption.

“This is a large, multiyear enterprise change,” says Casson. “That’s a terrific risk. [But] one of the benefits of it is that it can be done in a serial fashion. You can capture value from reasonably short phases.”