The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts developed by the UK government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) to standardize IT management practices. Initially published in 1989, it has gone through a few iterations, namely ITIL v1, ITIL v2 and ITIL v3, its most recent version released in 2007. The current version is comprised of five volumes that focus on Service Management.
As with any type of guidelines, there are proponents and opponents who constantly argue about ITIL. The proponents argue that ITIL offers many cost saving measures, which in the current context of the recession makes enormous economic sense. It also helps to organize and manage IT departments. The biggest factor in its favor is that ITIL has been implemented in various parts of the world and has been proved to work.
However, there are many disadvantages to these guidelines as well. One problem is the perception that it is the “be-all and end-all” of IT solutions. This is worrying as ITIL is not yet fully comprehensive. It is also stuck to rigidly by IT managers where it has been implemented. This has caused dissention among lower ranked IT employees who are of the view that certain rules should be bent and that other techniques should be given a chance to have an optimum management system in place. The fact that the ITIL’s lack of in-depth coverage in all areas related to IT is also a cause for complaints.
Nevertheless, even with all these disadvantages, ITIL remains an excellent management tool. The regular updates, worldwide acceptance and the sheer longevity of the concept are enough to outweigh all its disadvantages.