The state of ITIL
Some time ago I did some research for APMG on the state of ITIL. Now the resulting white paper has been published. What I actually did was a meta-analysis - a review of existing studies to consolidate the results. You can read the paper for yourselves, but I want to pick out a couple of points that especially interested me as I wrote it.
- Similar analyses of topics of academic interest frequently synthesise the results of hundreds of studies. I found 23 useful academic studies of ITIL and I looked pretty hard. "We found 12 studies that had some estimate of the adoption of ITIL". As I have always maintained, the true "scientific" evidence about ITIL is thin on the ground.
- "Using" ITIL or - worse - "doing" ITIL are ill-defined terms. They can mean anything. You can adopt ITIL by declaring "I hereby adopt ITIL". Done. "[Estimates of the adoption of ITIL] varied widely from 28% to 77%". Clearly "adoption" is a poorly defined metric.
- ITIL is still rocking. For all the anti-ITIL whining and nay-saying and downright hysteria from certain sectors (looking at you, DevOps), ITIL uptake shows little sign of slowing down. The numbers suggest more than 20% year-on-year growth in training (APMG official stats have grown compound annual 30% over the last ten years) and in organisations "using" ITIL (3 studies: 13%, 21% and 26%).
- ITIL still has room to grow. See the paper for the convoluted reasoning but "we would estimate that the actual level of adoption of ITIL is less than 57% (the mean) but more than 28%, the lowest result reported" ... i.e. once you allow for sampling biases, somewhere between 30% and 60% of organizations use ITIL. "Two studies suggest that only 10% of organizations surveyed strictly or thoroughly use ITIL". I believe that sounds about right.
- I can't resist: "One study suggests fully-fledged, accurate and updated CMDBs or CMSs are not common, occurring in perhaps 10% of organizations … or less, depending again on what population you consider." Yes, the 5-Percent Club, as predicted here.
Thank-you APMG for giving me the opportunity to do this work. it was fun and interesting - I hope you feel the same about the resulting white paper.