It has been seven years since the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) that develops the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specification updated the IT service management guide – a situation that finally will change when an upgrade becomes over the next few days.

Version 3 of ITIL is scheduled to be published on Wednesday by the UK government procurement agency and sets out methodologies for managing an IT organisation and processes such as helpdesk operations, as well as procedures for change management. The update covers some new areas that have emerged over the past seven years as major IT concerns, particularly outsourcing and security.

Michael Cardinal, a US-based business analyst at State Farm Insurance, has yet to see ITIL Version 3. But Cardinal, who is also on the board of directors of the IT Service Management Forum (ITSMf) in the US, said that he isn't expecting copies of the new release to fly off the shelves in the US because companies here have been relatively slow to adopt ITIL compared with companies in Europe.

Cardinal added that a company's level of interest in Version 3 may well depend on how from of service management, will be the first to work with the latest release of the specification, he predicted. But for most user companies, "I think it's going to take a little while for it to settle in," Cardinal said.

The ITSMf, an international professional association is an ITIL Certification Management Board member. It also is working with the OGC and two other organisations to hold a series of ITIL Version 3 roadshows and the launch event taking place in London next Tuesday.

Stephen Hoadley, who heads his local US chapter of the ITSMF in Idaho said he is looking forward to the new version because he expects it to improve the ability of ITIL to integrate with other technology standards. "That's kind of what I'm hoping for," said Hoadley, who works as a service-level manager at Albertsons, a grocery store chain.

One of the standards that ITIL Version 3 is supposed to be more tightly integrated with is Cobit, formally known as the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. Cobit is a framework for governing IT and evaluating internal system controls and it is increasingly used to help companies with their Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance procedures.