itSMF show notes: don’t fear ITIL v.3

I have been at the itSMF Fusion conference in Charlotte, NC for the past two days; today is the last day for the vendor exhibits, so I’ll be packing up tomorrow morning to head back to Boston.

It’s been fairly eventful. We announced a new version of our flagship ITSM product yesterday; completed a rigorous verification process of our new functionality against the ITIL standards; and are chugging ahead on a number of other fronts.

One question that I had coming to the show was about the adoption of ITIL v.3. The new version of the IT Infrastructure Library best practices has changed a lot of the way the information is structured and caused a little market confusion, with some companies asking whether they need to restart all their ITIL efforts to recenter around ITIL v.3. Adding to the confusion is the growth in the document set, which has gone from two core books to five, and added a large number of satellite books—a real wall of documentation that can daunt even the most determined prospective adopter.

The answers I have been hearing at the show have been heartening, both from consultants and companies. The basic take on v.3 that seems to be emerging is that there are places where it definitely adds value, but that the core value proposition of v.2 around systemizing IT Service Management is really intact. A number of customers have said to me that they value the additional clarity in v.3 around areas like service request, but they aren’t planning to rethink their entire implementation of incident through change.

The big danger with new versions of standards is that they create barriers to adoption for companies that have already started the process; in this case, those barriers seem to be easily surmountable.