It doesn’t take but a few hours of searching the web to find that there are quite a few players in the world of certification and IT Operations Frameworks. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) developed in the UK in 1989 by CCTA which now resides under the ownership of the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC) was one of the first attempts at documenting the concepts, policies, and best practices for managing information technology (IT) infrastructure. Over the past few decades IT departments have seen the development of websites, blogs, certification processes, revision changes of ITIL strategies, and teams of consultants grow at staggering rates. A lot of this could be contributed to many economic factors but I believe the biggest changes are contributed to IT alignment with business units. As IT services becomes more measurable in conjunction with business unit profitability, company executives can better see the bottom line revenue potential of investing in their IT department processes, training, and service management; not just the hardware and software assets. With this shift in visibility IT departments go from black boxes which few executives understood to glass boxes that play an immediate role in productivity, revenue generation, and customer satisfaction visible to everyone. And with this visibility comes money and as companies start spending more of it the private sector reacts providing an increasing number of services and solutions to help fill the needs.
Since its inception both formally and informally the playing field has changed and grown springing up new players such as ITSMF International, ITSMPA.org, ISACA, COBIT, ISO 20000, and Microsoft Operations Framework just to name a few. These companies coupled with mandated compliances such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA, and SOX have made IT operations a huge growth area for companies of all types who want to provide their touch, insight, and experience to this unquestionably fast moving and high growth business segment.
But with all of these new players and the push by companies like Microsoft into the market defining new terms and best practices which organizations and sectors of this model will be the industry leaders moving forward. The direction of operations is changing, in the past few years we have seen the process driven ITIL version 2.0 replaced with a business aligned version 3.0. And now Microsoft is providing their version of operations framework which is similar to ITIL but has its own unique twists. So who is going to jump into the mix next? One thing is for sure competition sparks productivity, new ideas, and new ways of approaching problems. All though I would like to see continued alignment in terminology I like the idea of new companies pushing the incumbents, if nothing else it gives me something to blog about!