ITIL has been the IT service management (ITSM) best, or good, practice “frontrunner” since the 1990s despite the birth, or evolution, of other approaches. And there’s no doubting that it has helped tens of thousands of organizations. However, the latest version of ITIL was released over six years ago and, despite the release of ITIL Practitioner Guidance and ancillary papers from AXELOS (such as ITIL and DevOps), the ITSM community needs more current, joined-up, ITSM guidance.
Six years has seemed a long time in the ITSM world – as so much has changed. Not only have we seen the growth in cloud adoption, there has also been the rise of DevOps and the realization that the “consumerization effect” applies to so much more than the use of personal devices, apps, and cloud services in the workplace.
ITSM is now, in so many ways, a different beast to when ITIL 2011 was written (and then reviewed and published). Of course, much of ITIL 2011 is still very relevant, but how does your average ITSM practitioner know which bits these are? Plus, where do they easily get guidance on the things that weren’t included in ITIL 2011?
Considering the Relevancy of Current ITSM Best Practice
A recent ITSM.tools “future of ITSM” survey revealed that:
And the delay in refreshing, or reimagining, ITIL 2011 has opened up a gap for other providers of good/best practice to exploit – either as an ITIL replacement or as something that can be used in conjunction with ITIL.
Plus, there’s the continued elephant in the room – with many organizations only ever adopting a small subset, circa a third, of the best practice contained within ITIL 2011.
There is, of course, already a wealth of other available ITSM approaches, including:
- COBIT – a good-practice framework for IT management and governance
- ISO/IEC 20000 – the international standard for ITSM
- Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)
- IT4IT – a reference architecture that provides prescriptive guidance for the implementation of IT management capabilities
Thinking About ITSM Practitioner Needs in 2017 and Beyond
Based on industry talk and the above-mentioned survey results, we’re seeing a disconnect – or at least gaps – between ITIL 2011’s best practice and modern IT service delivery and support needs.
Advice is out there though, but you need to look for it. Whether it be in the other approaches, discrete advisory papers, or articles/blogs. Taking the requirements of managing cloud services as an example, many – including SysAid’s Joe the IT Guy, Rafi Rainshtein, and Sarah Lahav – have already written helpful, cloud-focused blogs targeted at ITSM practitioners such as:
- The Top 5 Things ITSMers Get Wrong about Cloud Migration
- ITIL-as-a-Service? 7 Cloud-Integrated ITSM Processes
- 5 Ways Cloud Changes ITIL Capacity Management
- 5 Cloud Service Practices for “ITSM as Code”
- The Emerging Cloud Service Delivery Manager Role
Then when considering how DevOps affects certain ITIL and ITSM good practices – Joe and colleagues have again blogged to help fill some of the obvious good practice gaps:
- 15 Hacks Required to Align ITIL and DevOps
- DevOps: From Threat to ITSM Friend
- Where Is the IT Service Desk in a DevOps World?
- 3 Steps to a Practical, Real-World On-Ramp to DevOps
- DevOps Success via the Service Desk
However, questions about the continued suitability of ITIL 2011, in 2017 and beyond, don’t stop with the inclusion of more recent good/best practice – there are also “gaps” related to ITSM elements that organizations should be getting right but are unfortunately still struggling with.
For example, getting self-service, knowledge management, reporting, and continual service improvement (CSI) right, with the relative success of the first two then impacting the adoption of the increasingly popular shift-left strategy.
Considering the Ongoing Dominance of ITIL
The above examples of cloud, DevOps, and areas where ITSM practitioners continue to struggle are just a handful of areas where ITIL can be considered to be “out of step” with the needs of ITSM in a modern business and IT environment; with related guidance not catered for in the ITIL 2011 best practice books (but some is included in the more recent ITIL Practitioner Guidance).
And while much of ITIL 2011 is relevant to today’s IT service providers, it still opens the door for something new, which of course includes a new version of ITIL.
Meanwhile, though, the latest approach through that door, and the newest kid on the ITSM good/best practice block, is called VeriSM™.
So How Does VeriSM Fit In?
With a tagline of “Service management for the digital age,” the VeriSM marketing to date states that it:
- “Is a Service Management approach, specifically tailored to support organizations to help them succeed in the world of digital services.”
- “Supports how to use all organizational capabilities, from IT to marketing, finance to customer service, to deliver value.”
- “Shows organizations how they can adopt a range of management practices in a flexible way to deliver the right product or service at the right time to their users.”
More information can be found here – a blog that explains that VeriSM describes a service management approach which is:
But the name hides a secret in plain sight as, after a quick Google, one learns that:
“Verism is the artistic preference of contemporary everyday subject matter instead of the heroic or legendary in art and literature; it is a form of realism.” (Wikipedia)
The name can’t be a coincidence, and it gives a sense of a pragmatism that might be missing from some of the other good/best practice content. In fact, a blog by Rob England, the IT Skeptic, tells of his contribution of his Basic Service Management book as a starter to help guide the approach’s creation.
What to Expect from VeriSM
Since the 12 October, there has been a considerable marketing effort on social media and a small amount of “teaser” information is available at verism.global but the key dates for getting the full details of VeriSM are:
- 11 December 2017 – the launch of the official VeriSM publication
- 1 January 2018 – the first VeriSM exam
With various international ITSM conferences, between now and then, being used to publicize the forthcoming publication and exams.
As to what VeriSM will ultimately contain (content wise), its suitability and quality, and how it will help beyond existing approaches, we will have to wait and see. In my opinion, it’s an exciting time for ITSM and the possibility of a two-horse race (for ITSM good/best practice) can only be good for those wanting advice and help with their IT service delivery and support capabilities.
Disclaimer: I wrote the first drafts for three sections of the forthcoming VeriSM publication. Other author information can be found at https://www.ifdc.global/contributors/.