Last week I had an interesting discussion during the ITSMF e-Symposium on Service Automation. In the America Session the question was asked if the IT industry is not too young to have a best practice framework like ITIL. You could argue that there hasn’t been enough experience within the IT community to have best (or good) practices defined as such. Although I can understand the perspective, in comparison to for instance Finance the IT industry is quite young, I do not agree with the conclusion: As long as there is a constant study on the best practices in IT there is a place for IT Industry Standards. After a while these Standards will stabilize and become more common knowledge. The recent addition to the ITIL set of Continual Service Improvement is exactly what you need to establish these Industry Standards.
What is needed is an Academic forum for the studies of IT Service Management where the IT Industry Standards can be further developed. At the moment there is this ongoing discussion on all kind of platforms between Vendors and Users on what is the best standard. And with this discussion acquisitions of bias are always close: vendors want to sell their products and services and users want simple and cheap solutions in a box. A more independent platform is needed and Universities can play an important role here. There are already some Universities that are getting involved, hopefully the number will increase.