Getting Started With ITIL – The 30-Minute Version

Time is valuable, so many of us are cash rich and time poor these days. We value simplicity and loathe the complex. Things need to be done yesterday, if not before. 

I can only see this getting worse as we are pressured to deliver the proverbial "more with less."

To elaborate, and it's a little tongue in cheek, Flash only had 14 hours to save earth. Twitter only allows us 140 characters to express ourselves. Shorter industry analyst pieces seem to be in vogue and, thankfully, in demand. BUT trying to tell someone how to get started with ITIL in 30 minutes is a bit of a challenge.

Well I'm up for it, and here is my starter for 10 …

To begin:

  • It’s about adopting not implementing ITIL
  • Take an adopt-and-adapt approach. Use what you need rather than everything. It’s a framework not a standard
  • It should be people then process then technology


  • Do not underestimate the importance of people and their behaviors to ITIL success
  • ITIL is culture-based. A way of thinking as well as a way of working … IT delivered as a service (ITIL v2) … the Service Lifecycle (ITIL v3)
    • Too many organizations adopt ITIL without subscribing to its concepts
    • Many organizations stick with the common/core processes, never moving from these reactive processes to the more value-adding proactive processes
    • Many organizations say that they “do” ITIL v3 when all they “do” is a subset of the ITIL v2 processes and have bought Service Catalog technology and/or sent staff on an ITIL v3 course
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Enterprise Data Management Is Not The Holy Grail

From my first days as a baby architect, I was spoon-fed the idea that enterprise data management (EDM) was the solution to our data woes. Some call it enterprise information management or other names that mean a holistic approach to managing data that is business led and centered on stewardship and governance. The DMBOK provides a picture that describes this concept very well — check it out.

Here’s the problem: Most firms are not able to internalize this notion and act accordingly. There are myriad reasons why this is so, and we can all list off a bunch of them if we put our minds to it. Top of my list is that the lure of optimizing for next quarter often outweighs next year’s potential benefits.

Here’s another problem: Most EAs cannot do much about this. We are long-term, strategic people who can clearly see the benefits of EDM, which may lead us to spend a lot of time promoting the virtues of this approach. As a result, we get bloody bruises on our heads and waste time that could be spent doing more-productive things.

I do think that taking a long-term, holistic approach is the best thing to do; in my recently published report "Big Opportunities In Big Data," I encourage readers to maintain this attitude when considering data at extreme scale. We need to pursue short-term fixes as well. Let me go a step further and say that making short-term progress on nagging data management issues with solutions that take months not years is more important to our firms than being the EDM town crier. Hopefully my rationale is clear: We can be more effective this way as long as our recommendations keep the strategic in mind.

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Support IT Service Management Tool Vendors That Support The ITSM Community

On a recent recording of the IT Service Management Weekly Podcast Rest of the World Edition (#ITSMWPROW on Twitter), one of my co-hosts - James Finister, an ITSM consultant at TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) - proposed an interesting new selection criteria for ITSM tool selection; this being the vendor's level of ITSM community support. To me it made a lot of sense: the US likes to buy American, France likes to buy French, and the UK likes to buy British (if the wind is blowing in the right direction in the latter’s case). So why shouldn't ITSM tool vendors be rewarded for the role they play in supporting the ITSM community? After all, ITIL adoption is allegedly a journey rather than a time-boxed technology implementation project. IMHO, selling technology and one-time professional services just isn’t enough when it comes to ITSM.

To put this in context, I’ve visited a fair few UK-located ITSM events in the last couple of years and I will always gauge who is and isn't there from the ITSM tool vendor-world perspective. To me, the non-attendance of high-profile ITSM tool vendors (both Big 4 and pure-play) at events such as the itSMFUK annual conference or the Service Desk and IT Support Show shows a disregard to their existing and potential customer base (in this instance in the UK and Europe), as well as a lack of understanding of the existing and growing sense of community within the ITSM ecosystem. In many respects, customers of ITSM tools are starting to bite back, so why should the ITSM tool selection process be any different?

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How Consumerization Drives Innovation

Forrester has been analyzing the impact of consumerization of IT on business since this seminal 2008 report. And we've collected data to measure the phenomemon since 2009. Did you know that 35% of information workers use personal technology for work? And we published a Harvard Business Review Press book, Empowered, on why companies must empower their employees: it's so they can serve the needs of empowered customers.

And now we can directly link consumerization with business outcomes that IT and every other part of a business cares about: innovation, advocacy, and leadership. We've done this with a Q1 2011 survey of 5,102 information workers in North America and Europe, our Workforce Forrsights data.

The report, "How Consumerization Drives Innovation," is chock full of data available to Forrester customers. This post is an excerpt to introduce the outcomes and impact to everybody. We'll use three charts to make the point.

  • First is the consumerization data. Just how many information workers in North America and Europe do something with technology outside of IT control -- either bring their own smartphone or tablet for work, use unsanctioned Web sites for work, or download applications to a work computer? It's one in three!
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HP Versus Oracle -- From Ugly To Uglier As HP Takes To The Courts

On June 15, HP announced that it had filed suit against Oracle, saying in a statement:

“HP is seeking the court’s assistance to compel Oracle to:

  • Reverse its decision to discontinue all software development on the Itanium platform

  • Reaffirm its commitment to offer its product suite on HP platforms, including Itanium;

  • Immediately reset the Itanium core processor licensing factor consistent with the model prior to December 1, 2010 for RISC/EPIC systems

 HP also seeks:

  • Injunctive relief, including an order prohibiting Oracle from making false and misleading statements regarding the Itanium microprocessor or HP’s Itanium-based servers and remedying the harm caused by Oracle’s conduct.

  • Damages and fees and other standard remedies available in cases of this nature.”

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The New Power Of Sourcing And Vendor Management -- Reflected At Forrester's IT Forum

After two weeks at Forrester’s IT Forums (in Las Vegas and Barcelona) the Sourcing and Vendor Management research team came back more energized than ever. Why? We were able to spend a week interacting with our clients, who all face diverse challenges, yet remain very optimistic about the strategic value they can provide to their IT and business counterparts. While it's an exhausting week for all of our analysts, we love this week (second only to our own team's Sourcing and Vendor Management Forum in November) because of the chance to interact with all of you.  

 Coming back from this conference, I realized a few key themes had dominated my conversations with clients:

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Forget About Security's Impact On Business -- What About Business' Impact On Security?

These days, it’s not just modern-day Willie Suttons behind cyber-attacks. While financial motivations still drive the mindset of most hackers, we’re seeing a renaissance of high profile attacks perpetrated for political and ideological purposes. Hactivism isn’t new, but combined with the rising likelihood of success and the greater damage
from successful attacks, we should expect to see it more often.

What it means:

Just as security decisions have a business impact, we are now seeing business decisions have a security impact. Some organizations will always be a target: governments, banks, and as we’ve recently seen NGOs like the IMF. But other organizations step into the line of fire: Anonymous attacked PayPal, MasterCard, and others because of their actions against WikiLeaks and Assange, while Sony’s legal actions against George Hotz (for jailbreaking the PS3) led to the spate of LulzSec attacks against it.

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Forrester's Best Practice Framework For Customer Service

How do you know how well your customer service offering compares with best practices? How do you know what to do to differentiate yourself from your competitors? To answer this question, I put together a Best Practices Framework that you can use to assess your current capabilities. There’s an associated tool in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows you to evaluate yourself against 150 best practices, organized in eight different categories grouped into the four dimensions of strategy, process, technology, and people. Here’s a quick synopsis of the eight categories:


  • Customer service strategy. What is your customer service strategy across all the communication channels you use to interact with your customers and how does that strategy incorporate the voice of the customer (VoC)?
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Watch Out For A Potential Glut Of “Dark Cloud” IaaS

Back during the boom years, existing telcos and dozens of new network operators, especially in western Europe and North America, laid vast amounts of fiber optic networks in anticipation of rapidly rising Internet usage and traffic. When the expected volumes of Internet usage failed to materialize, they did not turn on or “light up” most (some estimate 80% and even 90% on many routes) of this fiber network capacity. This unused capacity was called “dark fiber,” and it has only been in recent years that this dark fiber has been put to use.

I am seeing early signs of something similar in the build-out of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud offerings. Of course, the data centers of servers, storage devices, and networks that IaaS vendors need can scale up in a more linear fashion (add another rack of blade servers as needed to support an new client) than the all-or-nothing build-out of fiber optic networks, so the magnitude of “dark cloud” will never reach the magnitude of “dark fiber.” Nonetheless, if current trends continue and accelerate, there is a real potential for IaaS wannabes creating a glut of “dark cloud” capacity that exceeds actual demand, with resulting downward pressure on prices and shakeouts of unsuccessful IaaS providers.

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Participating In Markets For Portable Identities In The Cloud: What’s The Coin Of Your Realm?

Many IT security pros are moving toward disruptive new authentication and authorization practices to integrate securely with cloud apps at scale. If you’re considering such a move yourself, check out my new report, The “Venn” of Federated Identity. It describes the potential cost, risk, efficiency, and agility benefits when users can travel around to different apps, reusing the same identity for login.

Aggregate sources of identities are large enough now to attract significant relying-party application “customers” – but the common currency for identity data exchange varies depending on whether the source is an enterprise representing its (current or even former) workforce, a large Web player representing millions of users, or other types of identity providers. These days, the SAML, OAuth, and OpenID technologies are the hard currencies you’ll need to use when you participate in these identity markets. You can use this report to start matching what’s out there to your business scenarios, so you can get going with confidence.