How Do You Value IT Service Management Tool Verification Or Certification Schemes?

In response to a number of Forrester client inquiries and as part of the #Back2ITSM activities, before Christmas I polled a number of IT service management tool vendors about their views on IT service management tool verification or certification schemes such as PinkVERIFY and the OGC ITIL Software Scheme (others are available but these are the main two I receive inquiries on). I have still to analyze the vendor responses having given a response deadline of the 16th January 2012 but thought it wise to get the customer point of view on the value of such schemes.

So where do you stand on the worth of such schemes?


  1. Do you know what the PinkVERIFY and the OGC ITIL Software Scheme schemes are?
  2. Do you place little value in a tool being verified by such a scheme?
  3. Is verification helpful but the lack of it is not a concern in a tool purchasing decision?
  4. Do you consider verification a key part of ITSM tool selection?
  5. Would you not even consider an ITSM tool without such an “independent opinion” on tool capabilities?

Please give your response to this single question in the poll to the right (under the photo of the ugly chap).

Hopefully, the possible responses suitably differentiate between the possible opinions a purchaser of a new ITSM tool might have of a prospective tool having or not having a verification or certification. The results of both polls will appear in February.

Finally, as the poll is quite restrictive, feel free to add opinions or comments in the blog facility below.


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A necessary evil IMHO

Great question Stephen!

I have always suggested to clients that are looking at tools to at least start with the Pink Verify list. Is it a definitive list of tools? No, it does however have a broad selection of vendors that have at least invested in a 3rd party tool analysis of their product. Notice the word "invested".

I'll now put my old vendor hat on.
It is marketing spend pure and simple. As a former vendor, my job was to sell software. By going through the process with Pink Elephant to get verified, my company was at the least, in the conversation. At the time it was very expensive but paid off in the long run by leveraging the Pink name and reputation for excellence in ITSM.

Would I do it again? Yes.

What do I hope for?
The business of ITIL and how organisations generate revenue is still based on the theory of the ITIL framework and why you (the business) should leverage it. Until this changes, vendors and purchasers are both going to look for "shortcuts to perceived success". Purchasers are still caught up in the "nobody gets fired for buying IBM syndrome" and vendors want to make sure they are in front of prospective clients.

Wouldn't it be great if one of these organizations (Pink or OGC) started working with the vendors to create a definitive list of tools that deliver "Real Business Value" instead of playing in the bushes with revenue generating consulting fees for verification of a framework. Now that would be really giving back to ITSM!

Imagine a list of products that actually deliver documented value (read ROI) that just happen to be leveraging the ITIL framework. Is this asking too much?

Checkbox exercise

All software accreditation proves is a tool contains the 'must have' requirements for each process as listed in the ITIL books. The scheme does not offer a guarantee that using a certified piece of software will result in a working ITIL process.

I think looking at the number of successful customers actually using a product is a much better indicator of how likely the tool is capable of meeting your unique business requirements.

These 2 white papers tell the interesting story behind PinkVERIFY and OGC ISS.