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ITIL®—IT Infrastructure Library®—and IT Service Management

ITIL® is a best-practice methodology for IT service management (ITSM), which focuses on the end user rather than technology. It is the most widely adopted approach for ITSM in the world and is used by organizations including Disney, NASA, HSBC, HP, and the IRS.

Read on for an introduction to ITIL and the ITIL books, tools, qualifications, and training options available. You can buy the ITIL 2011 Lifecycle Publication Suite from IT Governance’s ITIL store, which contains North America's largest range of ITIL publications.

On this page:

What is ITIL?
The benefits of adopting ITIL
ITIL, ITSM, and ISO20000 registration
ITIL resources
ITIL and ITSM toolkits
ITIL training and qualifications

What is ITIL?

Developed AXELOS®, ITIL is a best-practice methodology that provides a clear framework for the identification, planning, delivery, and support of IT services.

ITIL’s core principle is that IT services must be aligned with the requirements of the organization and underpin all processes, and that IT services should be a business driver, facilitating change, growth, and meeting business goals.

There are five core books in the ITIL 2011 Lifecycle Publication Suite that map the entire Service Lifecycle:

You can buy the ITIL 2011 Lifecycle Publication Suite from IT Governance’s ITIL store in softcover or PDF format.

The benefits of adopting ITIL

ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations around the world, including NASA, HSBC, and Disney, and is supported by a wide range of service providers, including IBM, Telefonica, HP, and BT.

The main benefits of adopting ITIL are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased staff retention
  • Increased ROI in terms of IT
  • Improved staff morale
  • A more transparent approach towards IT costs and assets
  • Improved delivery of third-party services.

ITIL provides guidance on how to manage IT infrastructure to streamline IT services in line with business expectations. It is a best-practice framework, presenting the consolidated experience of organizations worldwide on how best to manage IT services to meet business needs.

Although organizations cannot achieve registration against ITIL, it is widely used as a method of preparation for achieving ISO20000 registration. Read about ITIL, ITSM, and ISO 20000 below.

Individuals can, however, achieve ITIL certification. Read about ITIL qualifications below.

ITIL, ITSM, and ISO20000 registration

ITIL is widely used as a method of preparation for achieving ISO/IEC 20000 certification. There practical relationship between the various books and guides to ITIL, IT Service Management, and ISO 20000 is shown below:


Relationship between books and tools


Although they are integrated, ITIL and the ISO 20000 series serve different purposes. The ISO 20000 series primarily provides an independent best-practice standard that is suitable for independent third-party certification audits.

The purpose of ITIL is to provide advice on best practices in IT service management. It includes options that may be adopted and adapted by organizations according to business need, local circumstances and the maturity of the service provider. ISO 20000 sets the standards that service management processes should aim for.

You can order the ISO 20000 standard itself, as well as ISO/IEC 20000 – A Pocket Guide from IT Governance’s comprehensive ISO 20000 bookstore.

ITIL resources

Ensure you use only genuine ITIL books, courses, and tools. Unofficial publications, websites and toolkits are not guaranteed to align with best practice.


As an official distributor for TSO (ITIL's official publisher), IT Governance distributes the full range of AXELOS ITIL publications across the US. The core ITIL library comprises five books, all of which are included in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite, which you can order now for immediate shipping.

There are also several additional books that will act as useful guides to help you understand ITIL:

The most useful ITIL resources are the ITIL books themselves. However, there are several additional books that will act as useful guides to help you understand ITIL:

View all of our ITIL books >>


ITIL and ITSM toolkits

Adopting IT service management best practice can be a difficult task. At IT Governance, we have a range of toolkits to simplify your adoption of the framework:

The ITSM, ITIL & ISO 20000 Documentation Toolkit
Adopt ITIL and achieve ISO 20000 registration quickly, easily, and cost-effectively with the most up-to-date toolkit on the market.

ISO 20000 Documentation Toolkit
This toolkit contains a set of policies, procedures, and templates to assist any organization implementing key elements of an ISO 20000 service management system.

View all of our ITIL toolkits >>


ITIL training and qualifications

IT service management professionals can demonstrate their ITIL and ITSM management competency with ITIL qualifications. The syllabuses for the qualifications are all based on the books in the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite.

There are currently four levels of ITIL certification:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • Master

IT Governance provides a wide range of ITIL instructor-led virtual courses, which combine the best elements of eLearning and public training courses to offer the structured approach of a classroom-based course delivered in the comfort of your own home.

To support your ITIL certification studies, it is always wise to invest in a range of materials that will guide your learning process and give you the best possible chance of passing the exams you have chosen to take. IT Governance offers a leading range of study guides for both ITIL Foundation and Intermediate studies, including:

  • ITIL Foundation Online Training
    This online eLearning course is accredited by the OGC and will help you pass your Foundation Exam.
  • Passing Your ITIL Intermediate Exams
    This book offers details about the Intermediate exams, how to prepare, and how to achieve the target competencies needed in order to pass the exams.
  • ITIL Key Element Guide Suite
    Each of these pocket guides supports a particular one of the core ITIL books, providing a handy quick reference no-nonsense guide to the key information.

View all ITIL training and resources >>