ITILv3 proving popular in Australia: survey

Poll at event across the Tasman shows new framework gaining ground

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) platform version 3 will be in full operation in half of Australia's IT departments by 2010, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted by Compuware at the IT Service Management Forum Australia National Conference and Expo in August, collected 145 responses from IT professionals responsible for service delivery in SMEs on their opinion of the ITIL framework.

According to the survey, 50% of respondents will implement all ITIL 3 components, while a further 19% will implement the Service Strategy element and an additional 3% will deploy the Continual Service Improvement framework.

IT helpdesk service management processes were used by 92% of respondents, while 73% have installed change management processes and 52% have put in place formal service level management processes.

However, the cost of poor service was only quantified by 11% of respondents, despite claims by 79% that they measure performance levels by the price of infrastructure services, human resources and individual budgets.

Nearly a quarter (21%) of organisations do not monitor service improvement projects and about two thirds (64%) analyse service delivery data manually. Automated analysis methods were used by less than a quarter (20%) of responding organisations, while the Six Sigma methodology was employed by only 9%.

Most respondents used formal SLA management (52%) across an average of three deliverables including performance, user and business impact.

According to the survey, facets such as performance targets for end user experience, problem management, service performance and IT service availability will increase by an average of 31% over the next three years.

Perth-based Saint John Of God Health Care IT service manager Russel McCarren, who has implemented the ITIL 3 framework, says it should be deployed based on individual business requirements.

"Find your own methodologies that are relevant to your business — we did not implement financial processes because we had a strong system in place, but we will need to hook it in with expenditure and services to meet version three," he says.

McCarren says ITIL's 10 processes are a stripped-down, best practice framework which apply to all IT organisations.

The SJOG ITIL rollout was driven by a lack of understanding between IT and the business which frustrated users and created an inefficient IT shop, and poor visibility into trends such as process changes, technology adoption and anomalies, McCarren says.

Paul Broderick, CEO for the Victorian State Revenue Office, says the organisation saved A$2 million (NZ$2.65 million) by implementing the ITIL framework in 2002.

He says it also helped the office retain its 45 staff because it adds to IT experience.

"We have found that many IT professionals want to work for an organisation that has ITIL certification, as it is great to have on a resume," Broderick says.

"This assumption seems to be borne out as our staff turnover in IT is very low."

Compuware Asia Pacific vice president of operations Craig Little attributes the popularity of ITIL 3 to the continual service improvement module.

"Having started with the service desk, organisations are now moving up the maturity model with new formal processes," Little says.

"Organisations are acting on the realisation that just tracking service desk, incident and change management does not guarantee they are providing a good service to the business.

"The danger is that organisations are making decisions about applying scarce IT resources to service improvement projects based on an incomplete understanding of service delivery or a gut feeling.

"They are prioritising competing projects wrongly [and] they may miss the opportunity to improve services with the highest business impact."

- Additional reporting by Howard Dahdah

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