The new ITIL qualification scheme looked Awesome to all involved in the ‘Value chain’ ( er… ‘Value network’ – to be more ITIL V3 ‘compliant’ – Yes I am getting used to the word ITIL ‘compliant’, trying to use it with vengeance wherever I can – post the OGC direction of making tools ITIL ‘compliant’;  No, I am not getting into the same topic again – have written about it already here…) – and ‘Aweful’ to the the others!

EIs and training organizations were ‘reportedly’ running their tongue over  lips in anticipation to the increased opportunities in business and revenue brought in by the new, expanded, ( should I say ‘exploded’?) qualification scheme.

While I belonged to the same category, I personally felt the top level of the qualification scheme should be called some ‘life time achievement’ or some thing –  it looked as if it might take the whole life time for most people , to reach there ( No, I am not talking about the people who are obsessed with certifications, or who bet their career on the domain – like me!). 

Expectations were high – about closing credits like ‘and then they lived happily ever after’  to roll up on the screen.

But , as they say in history and stories – ‘And then the recession struck!’

What are the possible impact on ITIL trainings and certifications due to the recession that has struck?

While there is a definite impact, the exact details might be difficult to assess at this point of time. How ever, here are some observations from my experience:

  • While foundation level trainings and certifications are least (or at least ‘not considerably’ in the region) impacted, the next level of trainings are definitely showing the impact. Majority is still unaware about the huge change in qualification scheme and continue to talk about ‘Practitioner’ and ‘Service manager’ levels. For those levels, there is a notable reduction in people being sponsored by organizations – or organizations conducting that at a corporate training mode.
  • Organizations are strictly scrutinizing any training requirements – even at foundation training level. Two examples of the driving forces towards this aspect will make the point clear:
    • A couple of organizations I dealt with in the past, have moved into ‘ internal training ‘ mode. Their internal employees who are already certified in ITIL are coaxed, bribed, forced or ‘encouraged’ to take internal trainings – thus a) cutting down the expenses on external trainings b) improving utilization of internal employees and c) getting an ROI and VOI from the investments already made! – A genuine approach in such economic situations – as long as it is handled effectively.
    • Another couple of clients (well known names in the industry) took quotes for training, had multiple rounds of discussions, negotiations and client reference-checks with us. After some time, the whole communication stopped. On probing them further got the following responses: “We have parked the requirement for the time being – as other priorities have come up” and “we have decided to let the employees study themselves and appear for certifications”

While the driving factors are obvious in all those cases, there are inherent issues which are not understood or ignored:

  • The quality of the training imparted. While cost being the deciding factor, there is a marked difference in the quality of the programs and the knowledge being transferred. The people who double up as trainers need to be verified for adequate understanding of the subject and training skills. I always with the age-old saying of ‘no-information is better than wrong information’.
  • Many organizations do not look at the accreditation requirements and copyright issues of ITIL documentations seriously, while making their ‘internal’ training programs and course-wares.
  • And of course,  creating huge dents on the business of traning organizations 🙂

I am not sure if APMG, OGC  and other stake holders have assessed the impact of the current economic situation on the qualification structure, cost of trainings, certification, accreditation etc.

I hope they did and that we can see some ‘recession-friendly’ approaches from their end. Such a focused and collective effort might save this great framework from eroding on adoption and acceptance.

Any thoughts on the same?