Publicity and promotional materials about ITIL v2 and ITIL v3 Foundation Certification are all over the Internet and in trade magazines everywhere. These provide information, but do not always give a clear picture of any favorable or negative impressions. The two versions differ in emphasis and perceptions can be shaped by the distinction. EXIN International Examination Institute for Information Science conducted a market exploring survey in February 2009 to better understand where the future of ITIL v2 is heading and the results provided a fairly good perception of the demand for this training and its perceived benefits as compared to ITIL v3.
The survey was initially designed so as to determine if there would be a sunset for ITIL v2 and greater demand for ITIL v3. That wasn’t the case. While respondents are moving to ITIL v3 because it is the latest version of ITIL, large numbers of the respondents were quite content to have ITIL v2 and ITIL v3 coexist side by side into the future. The survey suggests there is little interest in ITIL v2 cease being offered and it appears ITIL v2 training will continue to be offered well into the foreseeable future.
Other views have been expressed and the greatest criticism of ITIL v2 centers on the observation that it is a process model which does efficiently resolves technical problems, but to be more effective ITIL v2 ought to be more closely tied to helping achieve business goals and objectives. ITIL v3, by moving from processes to services and thinking more along the lines of life cycles, allows for better coordination with business. ITIL v3 organizes those ITIL v2 processes. It has been argued that while what ITIL v2 has to offer is important, it is not optimized unless they are viewed in the context of developing delivering and supporting services. ITIL v3 enables that to happen.
Though it may appear there is a rivalry and two different schools of thought, there really shouldn’t be any form of competition between the two. ITIL v3 builds on a base formed by ITIL v2 and there is bridge training to help move easily from ITIL v2 to ITIL v3. If anything, the latter version ought to be thought of as the next logical step in the evolution of a company IT services management function, permitting the benefits of ITIL v2 to be fully enjoyed. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a dramatic improvement over what was there before, and its reputation will grow as more companies adopt it. The content of both v2 and v3 are both invaluable for the growth of this new approach to Information Technology Services Management (ITSM) and as the EXIN survey suggests, the two should exist side by side as the evolution of ITSM continues.