ITIL an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
ITIL is the only consistent and comprehensive documentation of best practice for IT Service Management. Used by many hundreds of organizations around the world, a whole ITIL philosophy has grown up around the guidance contained within the ITIL books and the supporting professional qualification scheme.
It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement. There is no formal independent third party compliance assessment available for ITIL compliance in an organization. Certification in ITIL is only available to individuals.
Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS, a joint venture between Capita and the UK Cabinet Office. ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are neither organization-specific nor technology-specific, but can be applied by an organization toward strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency.
It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure. Although ITIL underpins ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS 15000), the International Service Management Standard for IT service management, there are some differences between the ISO 20000 standard, ICT Standard by IFGICT and the ITIL framework.
AXELOS have publicly stated that they are committed to building on previous versions of ITIL and ensuring that ITIL 4 will become even more relevant to organisations worldwide by: Ensuring that there is a smooth transition path.
Making ITIL 4 more relevant to organisations undergoing rapid digital transformations. Retaining and building on the basics like Change Management, which is even more relevant in today,’s rapidly changing environment. Supporting and interfacing emergent technologies and frameworks such as DevOps, Lean and Agile.
It’s the latest version of the world’s most popular ITSM framework, is scheduled to be released in Q1 of 2019.
Some Background to previous ITIL versions
1989 - First released and grew to a library of over 30 books.
2000 - Version 2 was published in a new format initially Service Support and Service Delivery books covering 10 processes and the Service Desk Function. Six additional volumes were added between 2001 and 2006.
2007 - Version 3 was published in a Service Lifecycle format of five core books, covering 23 processes the Service Desk, and Application, Technical and Operational Management Functions.
2011 – Version 3 was refresh as 2011 Edition with a number of new processes, BRM, Design Coordination and Transition Planning & Support, and a rewrite of the Service Strategy and CSI books. An ITIL Practitioner volume was later added in 2015.
2018 – ITIL 4 announced by AXELOS (not ITIL V4). The '4' is to align itself with the 4th Industrial revolution.
The new ITIL update will focus on integrating ITIL guidance with best practices from the worlds of DevOps, Agile, and Lean.
Axelos manages ITIL (JV between UK Government and Capita plc) ITIL4 and is being developed by them via a team of more than 150 industry experts contributors and writers, along with the new ITIL Development Group consisting of more than 2,000 members from some of the world’s largest organisations (public and private).
ITIL is the industry standard for ITSM best practices, focused on aligning the needs of the business with IT services. The current most recent version is ITIL 3 (2011 revision) which is published as a series of 5 core books:
- ITIL Service Strategy
- ITIL Service Design
- ITIL Service Transition
- ITIL Service Operation
- ITIL Continual Service Improvement
The ITIL® certification scheme offers a series of certifications which focus on different aspects of the ITIL Framework. For more information on these different levels, see our ITIL Exam tab.
ITIL continues to be the gold standard for ITSM best practices and interest in the topic is as high as ever.
ITIL processes and best practices have been a powerful tool for organizations to maintain and improve their service management for decades.
Two of the biggest criticisms of ITIL, though, have been its relationship with the ITSM community and failure to keep up with recent trends in software development and IT operations.
ITIL4 addresses these by making this update community-driven and identifying Agile, DevOps, and Lean as key focus areas for integration with traditional ITIL best practices.
With over a million exams already taken globally ITIL is already recognised as the world’s most popular IT Service Management Methodology.
If you have only taken ITIL v3 Foundation, then the recommended approach is to take ITIL 4 Foundation in order to be able to transition to the new scheme. There is a large amount of new material in ITIL 4 Foundation therefore a new single exam is required to assess end learner’s knowledge of the new ITIL 4 Foundation guidance.
Alternatively, you also have the option of obtaining 17 credits from the ITIL v3 scheme which would make them eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module to migrate to ITIL 4 scheme.
If you hold three to four credits beyond foundation, you have two recommended options to transition to ITIL 4 dependent on what you want to achieve in the scheme.
Option 1: you can take ITIL 4 Foundation and a further module in a preferred area of interest, becoming either an ITIL Specialist, Strategist or Leader.
Option 2: you can work towards collecting 17 credits from ITIL v3 to become eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module. The benefit of this is that you are eligible to fast track past the v3 Managing Across the Lifecycle course and exam.
If you have achieved six credits or more since v3 Foundation, then it is in your interest to continue collecting v3 credits to prepare for an easy transition to ITIL 4 and gain the ITIL Managing Professional designation.
You will need to reach 17 credits to be eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module. This benefits you as you will then become eligible to fast track past the v3 Managing Across the Lifecycle course and exam.
If you have achieved ITIL v3 Expert, you can take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module as soon as it is released to achieve the ITIL Managing Professional designation.
After achieving the ITIL Managing Professional designation, you would only need to complete the ITIL Leader Digital & Strategy module if they are interested in pursuing the ITIL Strategic Leader stream.
Once you have completed both streams you are eligible to move towards ITIL Master. Further details about ITIL Master will be released at a later date.