True Best Practices?

The clearest indicator that change is afoot is CRN's annual certification research"the results of which will be published next month. For some time now, and this year is no different, the survey respondents have pointed to a need for more vendor-neutral certifications.



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In fact, these types of credentials dominated the list of those certifications that were the fastest growing in importance. One of them, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), showed up on this year's top 15 most important ranking. Incidentally, it was also easier to randomly find respondents to rate this certification. (For more, you'll have to wait for the Aug. 30 issue.)

For a little bit of a reality check, I chewed over these findings with Martin Bean, COO of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. I also wanted his thoughts on a topic about which I'm hearing increasingly more of lately: ITIL, or IT Infrastructure Library.

In short, ITIL is basically a set of IT services management best practices that grew up in the United Kingdom out of a government mandate. The documentation covers service delivery, planning, application and infrastructure management, and security processes, among other things, and it arose from the mainframe world.

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What, you may ask, does something in England have to do with me? I bring all this up simply because I'm hearing the ITIL acronym dropped more frequently on this side of the pond. That, coupled with the continued push toward vendor-neutral credentials, tells me that the certification world continues to head for an overhaul. If you want to get really radical about it, Bean believes that the industry faces a future in which these types of credentials, based on skills and discipline and not on any particular product, will be regulated by law.

I'm not sure if it'll come to that. But one thing's for certain: The days in which you could fuel your business via a diploma declaring you an expert in a single vendor's product are behind us. The race to measure and recognize real-world best practices is on.

What are your thoughts on certification? HEATHER CLANCY, Editor at CRN, welcomes your comments at [email protected].