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ITIL framework and IT outsourcing a formidable duo

I haven’t tackled IT Infrastructure Library as a topic in the forefront of any stories of late, but that changed this week as I researched my piece on IT infrastructure outsourcing and how a strong ITIL framework can advance vendor selection, particularly when a company is multisourcing.

I couldn’t fit everything I learned into this story. For instance, a Forrester Research Inc. phone survey last year asked 56 global infrastructure outsourcing clients for their opinion about their sourcing deal’s implementation, account management implementation and service delivery quality, and about their general satisfaction. The survey found that “a key differentiator for global IT infrastructure service providers is the ability to consistently implement technical and business change in a complex outsourcing deal.” This was especially true, clients said, in a recessionary environment.

And although they were generally satisfied, especially with their service providers’ technical delivery capabilities, the clients interviewed said they were less satisfied with their providers’ account and relationship management practices.

In my story, Daryl Goetz, Procter & Gamble Co.’s global IT Service Management (ITSM)/ITIL manager, pointed out that one reason his company chose to go with Hewlett-Packard Co. in its initial large-scale IT outsourcing deal in 2003 was that they both were ITIL-aligned shops at similar levels of maturity — meaning that they already operated with many of the same IT processes in place, long before they became business partners. Clearly, that was key to the early success of this outsourcing deal.

If I’d delved deeper (and I still might), I would have asked Goetz how he determined that Procter & Gamble and HP had achieved equivalent levels of ITIL maturity. Does that mean they used exactly the same process methodologies? How do you create and assess your ITIL “culture”? Beyond the benefits it provides to an IT infrastructure outsourcing relationship, how does an ITIL framework help organizations increase efficiencies and save money without cutting corners?

I’m on the hunt for good ITIL-related questions (and answers!) such as these as I learn more about this topic. Leave a comment below, e-mail me or direct-message me on Twitter at @rlebeaux if you have suggestions.

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