Thursday, August 02, 2007

ITIL and commonsense

I have watched the developments of such practises as ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
and COBIT and find it all a little amusing that we even needed these products.
Maybe with COBIT I am a bit harsh.
Firstly I am an outsider looking in as I have never been a part of any ITIL implementation. I have seen elements of it being examined for implementation. I have worked with organisations that wished to implement it. I have mostly seen that organisations just don't get it. ITIL is common-sense, so why are we spending large some of money for consulting services to implement common-sense in our IT environments.
Well speaking from someone who has been at the hands of management in a lot of environments, it would seem a lot of common-sense went out the window one way or the other, in the interest of cost savings we did it all a lot faster, but we forgot a lot of stuff along the way. I talk to old timers, those that were fortunate enough to have worked in the days of systems where sysops where king and you couldn't do anything on those systems without change control. Those systems had a number of documented processes and still do as it ws just to painful to end up with the inevitable mess we got with out it.
Clearly identifying a need within there own space the CCTA a part of the UK government and now part of OGC they built a set of manuals to apply this sort of discipline across IT within the UK government.
I look now and it seems when we rapidly moved away from central IT in the 80's a lot of good practise was discarded in the rush to break the hold of centralised IT, who always made us do stuff we didn't want to do like fill out change control requests.

How did this come about? It would seem that it was as a result of the concept of its all easy with some software products that came to market. You didn't need all that much skill to install and operate them, they probably in reality needed far more skills than the vendor felt appropriate to say. However in the interests of good marketing they found that it was possible to sell their wares to unsuspecting middle managers who now had IT budgets and had no idea of technology , we are talking about the time of decentralizing IT distributed processing and the end of the central processing and centralized IT. Now when these unsuspecting managers bought these systems they then employed people that had none of those disciplines, which wasn't their own fault just no one taught them. Many because they had an interest in PC's however had no formal education in computing just didn't know any better and and no idea where to find help. They went off and got vendor training in some cases in many it was just a thing they learned as they went. If that person had the interest to better themselves holistically then they might just have stumbled upon some of these requirements. Many were too busy just trying to get their heads around the product and that sort of thing such as management was the farthest from their minds.
As these organisations grew so did their problems due to the fact that they had no one that really knew how to manage this, it just all sort of fell together.
Parts of the UK government realised this and started to do something about it and along came ITIL.

Why did we lose what we knew in the first place, Information Technology is after all an engineering discipline so why did it take this long for people to realise you need some engineering discipline to mange it properly.

I don't think these products/ideas are a waste, I do see it as ironic that in our haste to save a buck and shake off the shackles of centralized IT, the baby was thrown out with the bath water, leaving us with the mess that ITIL and others help to resolve.

So look at ITIL and other like ideas as the common-sense approach and use that thinking in how you implement them, you might find you can do it without a consultant, on the other hand we got into this mess, so I will leave it up to you

See ya round


Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: