Asia makes headway in IT standards push

Thailand is expected to launch a chapter under the IT Service Management Forum later this year, says CEO of global body itSMF.

Thailand will soon join the ranks of Hong Kong, Singapore and India to establish a chapter under the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) in a bid to drive IT service management standards and best practices.

Speaking at an IT service management conference organized by IBM last week, Aidan Lawes, CEO of itSMF, announced he would be meeting up with the committee driving the new chapter in Thailand to discuss the way forward. The itSMF is an independent non-profit organization with 33 chapters worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Australia. The last Asian chapter was established October 2005 in India.

The steering committee in Thailand has since moved beyond the "talking" stage, and is now proceeding with "the establishment of the legal entity and finalizing the formalities to become an approved chapter", Lawes told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail Tuesday. The chapter is expected to be launched "later this year", he said.

He added that there is substantial interest in setting up similar chapters in Malaysia and Taiwan, but the "sheer lack of resources" is delaying these initiatives.

Other chapters in the region are developing well though, Lawes noted. In particular, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, "have been experiencing good growth in membership and attendance at events" of around 20 percent to 40 percent, he noted.

Lawes said: "Many initial participants were from [the] vendor community, but [the] take up [rate] among the user community has been accelerating." He added that this has helped drive interaction between users, allowing more real "war stories" to be shared rather than those based on "consultants' theory".

"There is a concerted effort to link the Asian chapters together to leverage off each other," he said. "The [committees driving the] chapters are also starting to explore new services and products that they can offer their members, as well as contribute to the global activities."