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Let the Turtles Die! – What is happening to ITIL training?

ITIL Training - are we letting the turtles die?

I used to watch a TV series, a few  years ago, called The Naked Truth, with the lovely Tea Leone. She played Nora, who after being divorced from her very powerful and very very rich husband, decides to go back to her career as a photojournalist instead of accepting the US$ 1.8 million offered by her ex. Although Nora was a nominated Pulitzer photographer, the only place that would give her a job was a low-category tabloid in Hollywood. It was very funny to see her struggling, being divided between her ethics and doing a “good” job.

In one of the episodes, her boss Camilla, the wonderful Holland Taylor, is trying to bring Nora to her senses about her ethics, explaining that when little turtles get out of their eggs and try to make it to the sea, not all of them will make it. Some will be picked off by predators, some will simply not survive the journey from nest to sea, and the rest will successfully reach the ocean – the natural balance will be kept. This is simply nature following its course. Therefore, we should not interfere but let the turtles die! That phrase was used many times during the episode, every time Nora was trying to change the nature of the tabloid business.

Earlier today I was reading the comments on the Axelos post about Examination Institutes (EIs), confirming they will not perform the role of an EI themselves, and it took me directly to that episode.

I have been working in the business related to ITIL® since 2004. I started being the sales person for a service desk software, FootPrints, at that time still owned by UniPress, and that was when I first heard of ITIL, because FootPrints was ‘compliant’ with it. Around this time, the itSMF Brasil chapter was starting to operate, and I got involved with that organization. Since then, I’ve worked for FrontRange, then EXIN, BCS and now I am working with PEOPLECERT. So, I have been  very closely involved with the EI business for the last 7 years.

I witnessed EIs go from being 2 to 10! I also witnessed the price war started by one of these EIs, that ended up bringing the foundation price to unimaginably low levels. I heard significant players in this industry declare “we are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs” many times, and yet nothing was done about it, until we had this bid that took ITIL and all the Best Management Practices portfolio to Axelos. And aren’t they having such a good start?

This RFP idea for the Examination Institutes was absolutely brilliant. Axelos asked the EIs to provide them a business plan! Like the one that Axelos had to provide to the Cabinet Office for their bid. We all had to do business plans either for our own business or as an employee.

It seems to me that Axelos might select the ones that provide a business proposition that will bring growth, with innovation and quality, under a sensible and feasible perspective. Price, we hope, shall be a component well balanced among the others.

For the first time in years, we have an openly business-like approach to the ITIL industry, and believe me, this is not a bad thing! On the contrary, if we want anything to succeed, it has to have a strong business proposition, where parts have to be profitable in order to provide more products/services to the market and the community. And there is no shame in being successful and making money out of it. As my husband once said – and it keeps being repeated a lot by different people, including me – “we have to make money to do things, not just do things to make money”.

I believe Axelos has started to show that they understand this concept very well, and it makes me full of hope that this industry will revive the “good old days”, when we were all happy because we were all making money doing what we loved with the people that loved it too.

So, let some of the turtles die, the ones that won’t be able to get to the water; then they won’t be in the way of the ones that will thrive in this new phase.


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