You say tomato, I say tomato (say, that doesn’t work so well in print). A rose by any other name is just as thorny, that much is certain at least, and there are often objections to the term ‘best practice’. Although it is meant to capture practices that are generally accepted by everyone else, and that the ‘man on the Bondi tram’ might adopt if he thought about it, there are some who consider that ‘best practice’ is code for ‘doing what our competitors did five years ago’. And certainly there are some aspects of this – that ‘best practice’ is not necessarily ‘best’, it is just what everyone else is doing.
Still, it’s a good place to start, surely, and if it isn’t a place where competitive advantage can be gained (even unsustainable competitive advantage) for your business, why bother reinventing the wheel?
I note this recent article at NetworkWorld that discusses ITIL and COBIT, and discusses the two of them as being complementary, and in fact that they can result in more returns when coupled together. Certainly the news that 75% of IT Managers in the United States have plans to implement ITIL, or at least are thinking very strongly about it. When you check the fine print, of course, you realise that it isn’t that scientific a study (all those attending a conference on IT Service Management) but it probably provides some interesting flavour of what’s going on in the real world.