ITIL v3 is slowly being adopted, but there is still confusion in the marketplace, according to research undertaken by IT services firm Parity.

Many IT professionals have not yet undertaken the training and are confused about what ITIL v3 can offer, said the research.

The survey of delegates at the recent itSMF conference in Brighton found that 16 percent of respondents admitted to being confused about the difference between version 2 and version 3 and 26 percent saying they had not yet been through the training.

The survey revealed 31 percent of respondents are currently using ITIL v3 within their organisation. Nearly 40 percent believe that it offers a more strategic approach, with only 4 pecent deciding against it.

Reasons as to why ITIL v3 had not been adopted included: "Books are not as good as they should be", "certification/examination is dreadful", "unproven and unrealistic to all in market place", and "just not sure".

"The problem is ITIL v3 books and training for certification tells you the 'what' but not necessarily the 'how'," said Rick Firth, managing director of Parity. The IT services firm has launched new services such as Learning Plus and Parity e-books to completely overhaul their learning portfolio to include IT governance, management and professional skills.

ITIL v3 "still has a long way to go in getting widespread commitment from the IT service community", according to Firth, "but the signs are looking positive."

Firth added: "The problem is many people are happy with what version 2 has delivered. We're almost looking at a different market for version 3, where understanding the lifecycle is a key part of the approach, but when we asked respondents about this it hardly registered as a reason to use it."

Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said they liked the life cycle approach, yet 21 percent said they considered better alignment to the business a key benefit.

The survey shows a more optimistic view of ITIL v3 than an earlier survey carried out by the ILX Group. The results, revealed last month, showed that only one percent of IT managers had any immediate plans to roll out ITIL v3.