Think ITIL will reduce cost? You're wrong

Panacea for some, pitfall for others.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework cannot cut costs, free resources, or speed up processes.

Instead, it will do the opposite, claims an analyst from IDC.

IDC's Chris Murray said IT struggles to get business to sign off on ITIL because they lack the skills of persuasion and discourse.

"There is no monetary benefit in [ITIL]. It actually costs more, requires more staff and a lot of long hours," Murray said.

"CEOs look at a project and want ROI, they want to use less labour and they want things done more quickly.

"ITIL and its counterparts [such as PRINCE2 and COBIT ] doesn't offer these things, so you can see how a CEO wouldn't like it."

ITIL and IT Service Management (ITSM) frameworks will significantly improve structure and quality across areas including application development and testing, Murray said.

The ITIL framework is a series of 10 stripped-down, best practice IT frameworks which apply to all organizations, regardless of size, scale or business. Version 3 was released in May last year by the ITIL Certification Management Board and has refocused the structure on maintenance and creation of IT and business processes.

Businesses with ingrained legacy environments can have a hard time with ITIL, but Murray said the process is well worth the pain because it will eradicate blockades to innovation and complexity in the sourcing landscape.

"The IT imperative is always to keep it up, safe and cheap, but now everything needs to be effective," he said. "Focus on managing business processes rather than assets."

Russel McCarren, IT service manager for Perth-based St John of God Health Care, was one of the first people in Australia to roll-out ITIL v3.

"You need to find your own methodologies that are relevant to your business," McCarren said. "You will throw your money out the window if you don't outline what changes you need and how you are going to measure them, because there is a lot of misuse of ITIL."

McCarren said the attraction of ITIL three is its detail in integrating existing ITIL processes, noting that other ITSM frameworks would also suffice.

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