:: In this issue
Message from the Editor
News Flash
» Congratulations to the Newly-Elected Executive Council Members !
» The End of an Era - CEO Aidan Lawes to leave itSMF
» ITIL Refresh & CAR - the Impact on Examinations
itSMF Diary
Article of the Month

Message from the Editor

Lights out, applause... as the curtains fall on the Annual Conference and Exhibition, one can't help but realise the signs of relief and satisfaction on the faces of the organizing committee members. Just weeks before the event, there were frantic scrambles to confirm delegate attendence, sponsorship terms and speaker schedules - the organizers suffered many late and sleepness nights. But all's well that ends well, the months of toil and hard work paid off with another year of record attendence. Kudos to all those who contributed out of sheer grit and passion for the community.

September 2006 also saw the completion of another important milestone for itSMF Singapore. The FY 05/06 service term of the executive council and executive committees came full circle that month. While we welcome the new members in the council we regrettably bid farewell to some founding members who are taking a back seat to focus on other priorities in their careers and in life. As Mr Ng Kim Hung, the out-going president delivered his thoughtful "farewell" speech at the AGM, we were once again reminded that itSMF Singapore would probably not be what we are today if not for the persistence and dedication of founding members like Ms Mei Lim. We wish them well and hope that they will never be too far from itSMF and Singapore.

Most of us will reckon the past 2 years as the founding years of the chapter. The coming new term should herald in a new phase of transformation and growth. Over the next few weeks, the newly elected council will work intensely to plan and deliver another year of activities and value to our members. Take this chance to share your thoughts and suggestions for future activities with us. We encourage you to take a 5 minute survey which will provide invaluable feedback to the new council.

We hope you will enjoy this newsletter. For any feedback or letters to the Editor, please contact us at newsletter@itsmf.org.sg

Thank You.

Yours sincerely,
Ho Eujin, Cindy Ling & Chan Hwee Hiong

Newsletter Editorial Team



October 2006

5 min Members' Survey

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News Flash

Congratulations to the Newly-Elected Executive Council Members !

President - Mr Tay Kheng Tiong

Vice President - Mr Umar Chandran

Secretary - Mr Ho Eu Jin

Assistant Secretary - Mr Peter Robert Edwards

Treasurer - Mr Sushil Chatterji

Ordinary Council Member - Dr Charles Ling

Ordinary Council Member - Mr Venkat Narayanan

Access their profiles here >>

The End of an Era - CEO Aidan Lawes to leave itSMF
After 8 years as Chief Executive Officer, Aidan has decided to step aside and seek new challenges. He will be in office until 31st December but will leave at the end of November.

Phil Ives, UK Chairman, says:

“I’m sure you will support me as I record our immense thanks for the outstanding contribution Aidan has made not only as Chief Executive Officer, but also in a voluntary capacity over many years prior to taking on the CEO role.

During his stewardship, itSMF UK has quadrupled its membership and turnover as well as extending the breadth and quality of the services offered to members. For most of the time he has also discharged the role of CEO for the International community and has helped it grow from 8 to nearly 40 chapters, with a number of others that he is in the process of nurturing towards full acceptance.

In addition, he has been prominent in the ongoing development of both ITIL best practice and the formal ISO/IEC 20000 standard and associated qualification and certification schemes.

He will leave a strong foundation and lasting legacy not only in the UK, but across the many chapters he has helped to establish and grow.”

Aidan commented:

“My time with itSMF (and ITIMF as it was originally) has been both challenging and rewarding. A combination of personal circumstances and the need for the organisation to change to meet the emerging “new world” make the time right for such a move.

Throughout my volunteer and paid involvement, I have been privileged to meet and work with some very talented and dedicated people. My thanks go to all who have worked with me to make the organisation what it is today.

I currently have no plans for the future, though I hope to have some small involvement in the ITSM industry. First, a rest is called for.

As Phil has graciously said, we have built a strong foundation for the future, though I wonder if anyone back in 1991 had any idea just what we were unleashing when the organisation was founded.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Birmingham.”

ITIL Refresh & CAR - the Impact on Examinations
On July 20th 2006, APMG signed a contract with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) to become the new accreditation body for ITIL®. How will the changes impact the qualification and training scheme? Will existing qualifications need to be upgraded to take into account the new material? Find OGC's answers to some of the major questions being asked on the impact of all the current ITIL changes on Qualifications, Training and Examinations below.

How will the changes impact the qualification and training scheme?
The underlying processes and principles of ITIL are not being changed. They are, however, being re-packaged and some wider considerations (such as the business view) will be covered explicitly.

OGC would not anticipate major changes to the core of the qualification and training scheme as a result of the CAR project, and subsequent awarding of new contracts. However, prior to the launch of this project, there was an identified need to review the current range of qualifications to ensure that it meets user requirements. This work is ongoing and will result in some changes to the current scheme.

It is important to note that OGC recognises the considerable investment made in ITIL by many companies and organisations around the world and is keen to ensure that this investment will not be undermined by changes to the current scheme.

How will the new material be incorporated into the qualification and training scheme?
The qualification scheme will be specifically updated and managed under the new partnership arrangements, and this will include integrating new material into the scheme. An ITIL Qualification Board will take this forward over the next 6 months. The intention is to clarify the qualification and training scheme requirements once the final drafts of the publications are available, early in 2007. A new extended Qualifications Board with wider representation will supersede the current ICMB, though many of the constituent parties will remain as members of the renamed board.

Examination Institutes and Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs) will have access to the refreshed version of ITIL in a timely manner and the marketplace will be given ample advance notification of changes to be implemented.

The ITIL Programme Board has responsibility for supporting the review of qualifications and alignment with standards. Once again, there will be little to report until the new ITIL content is finalised.

Will existing qualifications need to be upgraded to take into account the new material?
Since the core principles of ITIL are not changing, existing qualifications and certificates will remain valid and intact. There will be no change to the current qualifications, and OGC expects that both current and new versions of the qualification scheme will run concurrently for a period (which will be dictated by a range of factors), ensuring that training providers have adequate preparation time for transition to the refreshed ITIL. Training already undertaken will not be undermined by the introduction of new material. There will be opportunities for candidates to upgrade their qualifications, and short conversion or update courses will be provided if appropriate.

What are the plans for development beyond the core books?
It is anticipated that tranches 3 and 4 of the refresh project will address the support needs for the qualification scheme by introducing study aids for the Foundation and other examinations. There will also be a new strategic introduction book for managers, a brochure for the Board, and most importantly, a new core book that provides an official introduction to the new version of ITIL. Scoping of each book will draw from existing ITIL content plus new material. This new version of ITIL will be supported by improved online support.

How will this further development impact the qualification and training scheme?
Since this work is scheduled for later in the refresh project, more will be known about the revised qualification scheme (considering the changes to the core books). Any new study aid will simply be in support of this. It is not anticipated that other book proposals will impact the scheme.

How will the Examination Institutes be accredited under the new contracts?
From 1st January, APMG will be in a position to accredit new examination institutes and to offer exams themselves for the current ITIL scheme. APMG will accredit those Examination Institutes (EIs), which meet the requirements of defined International standards, to operate against both schemes in due course. The Examination Institute will need to demonstrate it has systems appropriate for:

the management of the examination process
the accreditation of training organisations
the accreditation of trainers
EXIN and ISEB will continue to offer current qualifications until at least July 2007 - the timeframe of their current agreement with OGC.

EIs will continue to accredit ATOs and trainers, though there will be a different emphasis on exactly what is accredited.

How will the examination process operate?
EIs, and through them ATOs where appropriate, will continue to offer exams. EIs will mark the papers and APMG will issue certificates.

There will be a multi-national panel of examiners with representatives from Europe, Asia and North America, who will be responsible for the development of the revised scheme and for the ongoing development and maintenance of exam questions and marking guidelines.

For the refreshed ITIL there will be a single database of exam questions for each qualification, available for use by all licensed EIs. Exam questions will also be made available in multiple languages in accordance with market demand.

How difficult will it be for training organisations to become compliant?
If a training organisation is already accredited by one of the existing examination institutes, and they sign a licence with APMG, there will be no change.

Any new training organisation will have to demonstrate that they have:

appropriate management systems
capable trainers (qualified to practitioner or manager level)
suitable training material
It will be a straightforward process for any training company.

itSMF Diary
An overwhelming response for itSMF (Singapore Chapter) 2nd Annual Conference and Exhibition held at the Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre in August 2006.

“Unveil the 4 Dimensions to Business Excellence – People, Partners, Process & Product of ITSM” was revealed as a journey; a destination worth embarking to attain operational excellence.
The complexities of today’s business environment coupled by high technologies enabling business processes, has inevitable brought the realization of the need for industry-standard management of IT operations so as to stay effective and efficient in today’s competitive business world.

This event brought together 310 attendees compromising experts, practitioners, enthusiasts and novices; created a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences. International practitioners of ITIL shared their experiences in the service management space. Corporations adopted ITIL were also present to share their experiences in reaping the fruits of ITIL. This format has benefited members with access to a network of industry experts and exposure to invaluable learning.

Sponsors and Exhibitors for this event encompassed leading IT players in IT Service Management industry:

» Co-Platinum Sponsors: Cisco Systems / Data Craft
» Gold Sponsors: BMC Software Asia Pacific, HP, IBM
» Silver Sponsor: Computer Associates
» Exhibitors: Itilics, Managed Object Solutions, Mercury Interactive Corporation, Pink Elephant, Professional Development Associates and Quint Wellington Redwood.

Adopting ITIL is a journey and itSMF is the only internationally recognized and independent organization dedicated to IT Service Management. The itSMF has a major influence and contributes to industry Best Practices and Standards worldwide. For further information, please email itSMF's Event and Conference Committee or access the Post-Event Communications Pack

Some members of the event organizing team and helpers

Article of the Month

Aligning IT to business goals with ITIL

Eujin Ho

For many years now, we have been hearing the buzz that “IT is Business”. However, how many people actually understand what is meant by that phrase, and how does it relate to an IT department?

More often than not, we hear about how businesses are being restricted by slow-moving, technology-centric IT departments.

IT departments have always been viewed as a place for techies and geeks, who are not always sensitive to the needs of the business.

Ironically, organisations are demanding a lot from their IT departments to help them move up the value chain or to maintain a competitive edge.

Today, IT departments are beginning to evolve to align themselves to business objectives. Business concerns are IT concerns. In today’s world, one cannot run a business without IT. And IT is not about managing systems but managing services.
How does IT work together with the business? How do we ensure that IT is focused on the customer, not on technology? ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is the answer. ITIL is the de-facto standard for IT Service Management (ITSM).

ITSM is the way – or how – people do things in IT.

What then is ITIL? ITIL is a framework outlining worldwide accepted best practices for IT service management.

The concepts within ITIL support IT service providers in the planning of consistent, documented, and repeatable processes that improve service delivery to the business.

It was first developed in the late 1980s by the CCTA (Central Communications and Telecom Agency) of the UK government. Since then, it has evolved to be the globally recognised standard for IT Service Management.

What are the business benefits of ITIL? In my opinion, there are three major business drivers:

1) Business adaptability. With the adoption of ITIL, businesses can adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Back in the old IT days, we often heard about how long it would take to transform an IT system. With the adoption of ITIL, a business can transform itself in near real time to cash in on opportunities without sacrificing the manageability and control of IT systems.

2) Problem resolution. IT systems are managed from a business perspective and issues and problems are resolved based on business criticality. ITIL helps IT to discover root causes of problems faster and earlier in the process, and not wait for the business to shout before reacting.

3) Customer first. ITIL is focused on customers and not on IT. ITIL brings in concepts like availability management and service level management. Such processes help to put customers first and IT second, hence ensuring customers’ requirements are the primary focus.

While aligning IT to business is the primary driver for the adoption of ITIL and ITSM, increasingly, stiffer regulations and widespread vendor adoption are also pushing ITIL to greater levels of adoption.

When regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley were introduced, together with stiff penalties for non-compliance, IT had to transform itself to meet those demands to ensure efficiency, traceability and audibility.

Regulatory requirements usually revolve around traceability, and ITIL is all about controlling your processes and ensuring that there is accountability at each step.

It is clear that IT issues are no longer just purely IT concerns. Business objectives cannot be achieved without efficient IT operations. In fact, I believe that without IT, there can be no success in business.

People are beginning to see the beauty and benefits of adopting ITIL. ITIL helps to align and tie IT to business goals and it points the way forward, turning the buzz about “IT is Business” into a reality.

- Eujin Ho is a member of the itSMF Singapore chapter council, and has been an active contributor to the ITSM community since 2000 with his background in project management and ITSM implementation.

Newsletter Editorial Team: Cindy Ling, Ho Eujin, Chan Hwee Hiong

© 2006 itSMF Singapore Chapter Inc. All rights reserved. Contents of this newsletter may not be republished in whole or in part without prior written permission from itSMF Singapore Chapter.