Resource Document

What is ITIL? A Quick Guide to the IT Infrastructure Library

binary

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a best practice framework that guides organizations in the management of their IT services.

The framework focuses on people, process, and technology with the main goal of improving IT efficiency in order to deliver and support IT services. ITIL is the most widely applied, non-proprietary IT service management best practice framework that has cultivated an industry, including training, certification, consulting, and software tools.

A Brief History Lesson

ITIL began in response to the UK government’s need for standardized IT management practices in the early 1980s. Private and public-sector organizations and experts collaborated to produce a collection of books. ITIL Version 1 was made up of over 30 volumes, each focusing on a specific IT service management practice.

As the best practice framework gained popularity, revisions made ITIL easier to consume and apply. ITIL Version 2 was released in 2001 and the most recent version, ITIL 2011, was released in 2011. Axelos, a joint venture set up by the UK government took over the management of ITIL in 2014. ITIL, in its current form, consists of 5 publications.

  1. Service Strategy – Collects information about business needs and plans IT services to meet these needs.
  2. Service Design – Designs services and processes to meet the needs of the business.
  3. Service Transition – Ensures that services meet the expectations of the business.
  4. Service Operation – Manages and executes on the delivery of IT services
  5. Continual Service Improvement – Improves and enhances IT service delivery through customer feedback, analyzing performance, keeping up to date on technology trends, reviewing processes, correcting inefficiencies, and training.

ITIL Processes

ITIL does not have a steadfast process adoption requirement. In fact, the framework is flexible in that it enables organizations to explore and adopt processes that meet their specific needs. Each ITIL publication is made up of specific processes:
Each process is covered in the ITIL books, but applying the methodology requires more than simply reading. Understanding ITIL concepts, gaining leadership and peer buy-in, clearly defining processes, and choosing an ITIL-verified tool will help in your journey.

1. Service Strategy

  1. Strategy management for IT services
  2. Service portfolio management
  3. Financial Management for IT services
  4. Demand management
  5. Business relationship management
2. Service Design

  1. Design coordination
  2. Service catalog management
  3. Service level management
  4. Availability management
  5. Capacity management
  6. IT service continuity management
  7. Information security management
  8. Supplier management
3. Service Transition

  1. Transition planning
  2. Change management
  3. Service asset and configuration management
  4. Release and deployment management
  5. Service validation and testing
  6. Change evaluation
  7. Knowledge management
4. Service Operation

  1. Event management
  2. Incident management
  3. Request fulfilment
  4. Problem management
  5. Access management
5. Continual Service Improvement

  1. Plan
  2. Do
  3. Check
  4. Act

Benefits of ITIL

Many organizations, SMB and enterprise and across all verticals, experience the tangible and intangible benefits from ITIL. Proper planning, education, involving the right people, and leadership support will position your organization for success.

  • Improved IT alignment with the business.
  • Boosted customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced service disruption and downtime.
  • Improved competitive positioning.

Many organizations, SMB and enterprise and across all verticals, experience the tangible and intangible benefits from ITIL. Proper planning, education, involving the right people, and leadership support will position your organization for success.

 

ITIL Certifications

Many organizations, SMB and enterprise and across all verticals, experience the tangible and intangible benefits from ITIL. Proper planning, education, involving the right people, and leadership support will position your organization for success.

Individual ITIL training and certification:

ITIL certification is provided based on the depth, detail, and interests of the individual. The tiers of ITIL certification include foundation, practitioner, intermediate, expert, and master levels. The most common certification is at the foundation level which provides a general overview of the elements, concepts, and terminology that make up the ITIL framework. Axelos, the organization charged with managing the ITIL framework, accredits training providers around the world.

Software tool verification:

Pink Elephant, a global training, consulting, and conference service provider, has established the PinkVERIFY™ tool assessment service that identifies software tools that support the ITIL best practice framework. The tool review involves an objective assessment against ITIL terminology, functionality, integration, and workflow.

ITIL Criticism and Recent Trends:

ITIL is not without criticism. Some of the most common objections are around complexity, lack of clear instruction, and rigidity. Before taking the ITIL journey, keep in mind that ITIL is simply a best practice framework. It does not provide prescriptive advisement on how to apply processes in each unique environment. This criticism along with the need to adapt to today’s customer has led industry practitioners to look for alternative approaches. Some of the most recent trends are focused on relationships between ITIL and other frameworks, such as DevOps, Agile, and Lean. Since all of them focus on collaboration and communication, an integrated approach enables organizations to realize benefits by blending the most valuable elements of each framework.

Business must move faster than ever before in order to respond to the ever-changing demands of today’s customer. Customers expect to get what they want, when they want, and how they want. To meet these expectations, agility, speed, collaboration, and customer experience must be top priorities for CIO’s. If collaboration and communication are key to business growth, then improving the partnership between IT service management, business operations, and development is a no-brainer.