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ITIL | IT Service Management - IT Governance USA

The IT Infrastructure Library® for IT Service Management (ITSM)

What is ITIL?

ITIL® is the most widely adopted ITSM (IT service management) framework in the world.

The newest iteration of ITIL – ITIL 4 – was launched in January 2019, with the release of a new edition of the ITIL Foundation manual and the ITIL 4 Foundation certification level

ITIL 4 vs ITIL v3 (2011)

ITIL 4 builds on previous versions of the framework by introducing a new end-to-end digital operating model.

It has been designed to help IT teams develop, deploy, and manage technical services that match their company's goals.

This model is called the ‘service value system’, or ‘SVS’.

The ITIL 4 service value system

The SVS has five core components:

  1. The ITIL service value chain
  2. The 7 ITIL guiding principles
  3. The 34 ITIL practices
  4. Governance
  5. Continual improvement

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ITIL, now at version 4, is the most widely adopted ITSM (IT service management) framework in the world. This free paper provides a practical introduction for those new to ITIL.

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1. The ITIL service value chain

At the heart of the SVS lies the service value chain, which comprises six activities:

  1. Plan
  2. Improve
  3. Engage
  4. Design and transition
  5. Obtain/build
  6. Deliver and support

These activities can be combined in many different sequences, which ITIL 4 calls ‘value streams’.

One such value stream is the ITIL v3 service lifecycle:

  • Service strategy involves understanding customers and how to develop and successfully execute IT services to meet their needs.
  • Service design ensures that the service is designed efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Service transition sees the design built and tested.
  • Service operation delivers and manages the service.
  • Continual service improvement provides a mechanism for improving the service, and the technology and processes used in its management.

Learn more about the ITIL v3 lifecycle with the ITIL 2011 Lifecycle Publication Suite >>

2. The 7 ITIL guiding principles

The SVS is supported by seven guiding principles, which have evolved from ITIL v3’s nine guiding principles for practitioners and reflect those found in Agile, DevOps and Lean methodologies:

  1. Focus on value
  2. Start where you are
  3. Progress iteratively with feedback
  4. Collaborate and promote visibility
  5. Think and work holistically
  6. Keep it simple and practical
  7. Optimize and automate

They aim to support decisions and actions and ensure stakeholders’ needs are met efficiently.

3. The 34 ITIL practices

ITIL 4 consists of 34 management practices divided into three categories: general, service, and technical.

General management practices

  • Architecture management
  • Continual improvement
  • Information security management
  • Knowledge management
  • Measurement and reporting
  • Organizational change management
  • Portfolio management
  • Project management
  • Relationship management
  • Risk management
  • Service financial management
  • Strategy management
  • Supplier management
  • Workforce and talent management

Technical management practices

  • Deployment management
  • Infrastructure and platform management
  • Software development and management

Service management practices

  • Availability management
  • Business analysis
  • Capacity and performance management
  • Change control
  • Incident management
  • IT asset management
  • Monitoring and event management
  • Problem management
  • Release management
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service configuration management
  • Service continuity management
  • Service design
  • Service desk
  • Service level management
  • Service request management
  • Service validation and testing

4. Governance

The SVS incorporates the concept of governance so that organizations can maintain a holistic approach to service value chains, encouraging organizational agility, and ensuring management activities are aligned with corporate objectives.

5. Continual improvement

The ITIL 4 continual improvement model can be used for all improvement efforts, helping to keep the progress going. Its six steps are:

  1. Business vision, mission, goals, and objectives
  2. Perform baseline assessments
  3. Define measurable tags
  4. Define the improvement plan
  5. Execute improvement actions
  6. Evaluate metrics and KPIs

Four dimensions

ITIL 4 also incorporates four dimensions, similar to ITIL v3’s four Ps (people, products, partners and processes):

  1. Organisation and people
  2. Information and technology
  3. Partners and suppliers
  4. Value streams and processes

ITIL 4 certification scheme

ITIL 4 has four certification levels, which replace the five levels from previous versions:

  • Foundation
  • MP (Managing Professional)
  • SL (Strategic Leader)
  • Master

ITIL 4 Foundation was launched in February 2019. MP, SL and Master will be released later in 2019.

Book your place on the new ITIL 4 Foundation training course today >>

ITIL, ITSM and ISO 20000

Although they have much in common, ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 serve different purposes.

ISO 20000 is the standard for service management processes. Organisations can attain independently audited certification to the Standard to demonstrate that they are following ITSM best practice.

ITIL gives guidance on the best way to manage IT services. Organizations can use ITIL’s recommendations to suit their specific needs, resources, and expertise.

Find out more about ISO 20000 >>

ITIL benefits

ITIL is acknowledged as best practice for ITSM in organizations of all sizes and types. It has been adopted by thousands of organisations, including Shell, Hewlett Packard, IBM, NASA, British Airways, Disney, and Microsoft.

The main benefits of adopting ITIL are:

Alignment of IT solutions with business needs

Realistic service levels

Consistent, repeatable processes

Efficient service delivery

Improved services and processes

Transparent costs and improved ROI

Discover our range of ITIL solutions to support your ITSM project

ITIL toolkits

Implementing IT service management best practices can be tough, but a documentation toolkit will help streamline the process and reduce costs.

  • ITSM, ITIL & ISO/IEC 20000 Implementation Toolkit - Deploy ITSM best practice quickly and cost-effectively with expert guidance and document templates. This AXELOS®-accredited toolkit includes customizable documents that can be downloaded and are supported for 12 months.
  • ISO 20000 Documentation Toolkit This toolkit helps organizations of all types and sizes implement an ISO 20000-compliant IT service management system.

ITIL books

IT Governance Publishing publishes and distributes the world’s best selection of ITIL and ITSM books.

Our ITIL library includes all the official titles, course books and study guides, as well as the latest practical advice from experienced ITSM practitioners, including the new ITIL Foundation ITIL 4 Edition.

Discover our range of bestselling ITIL books >>

ITIL training

The ITIL certification scheme allows service management professionals to gain recognition of their level of ITIL and service management competency.

IT Governance has a range of ITIL training courses and study guides to support your ITIL certification studies.

Book your place on the new ITIL 4 Foundation training course today >>

ITIL consultancy

At IT Governance, we recognize the importance of delivering IT services that are business-led, rather than shaped by IT. Our expert consultants can transfer the knowledge that you need to achieve your ITSM, ITIL, and ISO 20000 goals.

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