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Dashboard: Governance Gauge: There's No 'I' In ITIL

ITIL is in the midst of an update.

Well OK, there is. In fact, there are two. But the key benefit that companies implementing ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library, a set of IT best practices owned and overseen by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce) are receiving is better teamwork--less duplication of effort and better communication through the training of all IT staff on a common set of practices and terms.

ITIL is in the midst of an update, with version 3 expected sometime during the second half of 2006. To get a sense of how companies are doing with ITIL implementations and the direction of the rewrite, we spoke with David Cannon, author of the ITIL Service Operations book and HP's IT Service Management Practice Principal.

Why does ITIL need refreshing? Because its tenets are subject to change with technology trends and as companies learn better methods, Cannon says. For instance, the current ITIL books don't address outsourcing. "Everything in ITIL today is about how you manage the relationship between an internal IT department and its internal users and customers," Cannon says. "That all changes when you have an outsource company doing a lot of work for you. For instance, who should be responsible for managing service level agreements?"

Version 3 ITIL books will also address releasing and managing Web services and will offer an up-to-date look at maintaining system availability.