What is ITIL?

Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) is a series of practices in IT Service Management (ITSM) for aligning operations and services.

ITIL® contains procedures, tasks, processes, and checklists that are not necessarily specific to an organization or technology, but are still applicable toward organizational strategies by delivering value and maintaining competency.

ITIL, owned by AXELOS Limited, provides recommendations and a framework that, while not an industry standard, is widely adopted by thousands of organizations that are reaping the benefits of a standardized approach. The ITIL framework improves the quality of service management, outcomes, and operations for organizations that choose to commit to the ITIL framework.

The ITIL framework contains proven methodologies for how organizations can optimize their ITSM for growth and change. ITIL is about adopting and adapting, not the blanket application of one fixed set of activities.

Business Benefits of ITIL include:

  • Helps IT organizations become centered on addressing business issues rather than just IT issues.
  • Reduces IT operations costs.
  • Improves IT productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Establishes cost-effective practices.
  • Builds a stable environment that allows for growth, scale, and change.
  • Assists with managing risk, disruption, and failure.
  • Strengthen customer relationships by delivering efficient services that meet their needs.
Graphic showing the different aspects of ITIL.

ITIL 4 is the latest version of the information technology infrastructure library, released in 2019—this version is, so far, the most agile, customizable, and flexible. ITIL 4 offers a systematic approach to ITSM with more stable IT environments, reduced expenses, better awareness of risk, and enhanced customer support. The methodologies focus more on automated processes, the integration and expansion of service management beyond IT, and the improvement of collaboration and communication across the entire organization.

Organizations are assisted in creating a stable IT environment and service operations that improves customer support, limits threats, and reduces costs.

There have been important updates between ITIL 3 and ITIL 4.

Integration

The latest version of ITIL integrates with ITSM methods and standards like Lean, DevOps, and Agile.

Customers

Customers are treated as a crucial part of the value of the organization.

The service value system (SVS)

The idea that different parts of an organization work in tandem to create tangible value. In the SVS equation, demand and opportunity are considered the most important inputs, while the most important output is IT-powered products and services that deliver value. Guiding principles, SVC, continual improvement, practices, and governance lie in between these two points.

Flexibility

SVS acknowledges different elements that make up the SVS system can be combined in different ways depending on the individual situation or changing business needs.

Communication

ITIL 4 encourages thorough communication to eliminate silos and separated thinking. SVS provides as much value as possible when ITIL practitioners apply it across an entire organization.

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operations
  5. Continual Service Improvements

What is the ITIL Foundation?

AXELOS calls its training program “ITIL Foundation”, which is a certification program that uses a modular approach to the framework. It is made up of different aspects of IT best practices and the necessary qualifications.

ITIL 4 in 10 minutes

If you don’t have much time to read the ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4 Edition, ServiceNow has an ebook available that addresses:

  • How ITIL works
  • The difference between ITIL 3 and ITIL 4
  • Five elements of the ITIL service value system
  • Size activities with the ITIL service chain

As previously stated, ITIL is a best-practice framework for ITSM. While ITSM describes how organizations can manage information systems and deliver value to customers by clearly defining IT-related roles and responsibilities of employees, teams, and departments, ITIL supplements ITSM, and helps ensure success.

Commonly, organizations rely on ITIL within ITSM to optimize change, problem, and incident management. However, more and more businesses are expanding ITIL practices to implement improved self-service and service-catalog solutions.

As an integrated, process-based framework, ITIL allows IT organizations to track, manage, and deliver technical services within a company. When handled effectively, ITIL helps promote improved productivity, while also helping ensure increased employee satisfaction.

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