Let’s be clear: ITIL is important. Around two million people have been trained in it, and as the closest thing to an industry standard for IT management that currently exists, it has global reach. Lots of people read the ITIL volumes as guidance to their IT organizations. Throughout all its versions, ITIL has been framed as a complete approach to managing the IT function, with the specific exceptions of project methodology and systems architecture. Plus, it’s worth noting that ITIL also informs the product directions of vendors selling IT management tools; in fact, they often market their IT service management tools as “supporting” the ITIL processes.
Also (despite some common misperceptions), ITIL is not explicitly opposed to Agile and DevOps. The Service Design volume supports iterative and incremental design, and mentions Agile and XP. And Service Strategy, with its strong grounding in current management theory, mentions the need for continual feedback between the ITIL service lifecycle stages (Strategy, Design, Transition, Operations, Improvement). And finally, I agree with my friend Jeff Sussna, who says that ITIL has made an indelible contribution in promoting service-centric, outside-in, customer-focused thinking as an alternative to overly technical and piecemeal approaches to supporting the customer.