Many of us have no real idea what to expect from it except the crumbs of information provided by the FAQ and the self-congratulating review page. This is in stark contrast to the approach taken by ISACA who ensure that drafts receive a wide audience before publication, a point picked up on by several blogs.
As you would expect Rob England has a few thoughts on the subject, and so does my colleague Stephen Mann from the ITSM Rest of the World Podcasts. Like most of us they have not seen any of the content, so their comments refer mostly to the process around the revision.
It seems like only five minutes ago that v3 was launched with much hoo-hah, but like Stephen I wonder what change it has really brought about at the coal face. Also like Stephen I have still to see what I consider an ITIL v3 implementation in the wild - I think his blog post accurately reflects the reality that many who claim to have moved on to a v3 paradigm are still struggling to effectively deliver in areas that date back to v1.
I can't help feeling cynical about the new edition. However it is being dressed up this new version has been required because there were major mistakes in the way v3.0 was delivered, such as a lack of consistency and accessibility. Hopefully those two issues will largely have been addressed in the new version, and if so it is to be welcomed.
So what are my concerns going forward? I have three major ones:
The first is that ITIL continues to lack a central set of principles and propositions to guide ITSM design and delivery. Until it does so it will remain, as Ian Clayton would put it, Inside-Out rather than Outside-In. If the only answer to "Why should we do it this way?" is "Because ITIL says so" then ITIL remains broken.
Secondly I'm concerned that the ITSM/ITIL industry will hype up the significance of the changes to promote yet more training and ancillary publications of dubious value.
Thirdly I suspect the world portrayed in the ITIL books will continue to be a long way removed from the reality that most of us recognise in our workplaces. When I look back to the v1 books - and I do - I find them grounded in real life as it then was.
In the run up to the launch I intend to cover all three of these points in more detail. You can also expect to hear them, and more, debated on the podcasts.