It's Not A Best-Seller, But Better Read It Anyway - InformationWeek
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1/26/2007
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Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
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It's Not A Best-Seller, But Better Read It Anyway

It's not going to make it onto the New York Times best-seller list, but the IT Infrastructure Library just might save your job. If you've ever seen things go disastrously wrong, then come to the understanding it was going to happen again--that's the time to read the ITIL titles.

It's not going to make it onto the New York Times best-seller list, but the IT Infrastructure Library just might save your job. If you've ever seen things go disastrously wrong, then come to the understanding it was going to happen again--that's the time to read the ITIL titles.After you've gained a few years experience in your job, you realize how some mistakes have a propensity to recur. It takes a lot of the joy out of being an IT fire-putter-outer. You get one fire out, but in the back of your mind, you know that green staffer just hired for operations is generating another. As likely as not, it will smolder until somewhere down the line it calls you out of bed at night.

The IT Infrastructure Library combats the firefighting approach to data center management. It's the Smokey Bear of data center operations: "Only you can prevent wildfires."

David Cannon educates Hewlett-Packard consultants and field service staff on ITIL (rhymes with "idle") best practices at HP. Carefully implementing the guidelines represented in the IT Infrastructure Library can save an IT organization in annual maintenance costs.

"We've seen a retail firm that experienced a 25% improvement in the up time in critical processes -- its point of sale systems. We've seen a banking organization that reduced operating expenses 5% a year each year for four years," he notes.

Much of it is common-sense stuff, such as creating and documenting a repeatable process, then getting IT staffers to follow it. So how does Cannon know so much about guidelines, published under Crown Copyright by the U.K.'s Office of Government Commerce? Cannon is co-author of one of the books, Service Operation, coming in April in what will be the third edition of the library.

For more information on ITIL, see InformationWeek's ITIL feature.

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