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Info-Tech defines “best practice” as a process or procedure that consistently produces superior results. Benchmarking against peers and referencing a gold standard such as ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) are proven methods to identify possible points of change. However, just because something is widely adopted does not mean it is the “best practice” for a specific situation.

Best versus Common Practices

“Best practice” does not mean “best” for every organization. Instead of careful benchmarking against peers to isolate the strengths and weaknesses for a given process or practice, frequently what passes as the pursuit of best practice today is identifying only what is commonly adopted. On this basis, referencing common adoption as the acceptable criteria could mean that driving gas-guzzling SUVs is a “best practice.” And remember what your mother told you, “If Jimmy jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge too?” Of course these examples are a bit far afield, but it is a useful jumping off point for IT leaders to consider the following real examples of Best Practice versus Common Practice.

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