ITIL Certification – Aligning Business Essentials with IT Service Management

    ITIL Certification – Aligning Business Essentials with IT Service Management
    • ITIL certification qualifies people by measuring their Competency Levels, General Ability and Personal Performance in information systems
    • At its core, ITIL covers a SERVICE CYCLE comprising of Strategy, Design, Transition, Operation and Improvement
    • ITIL v3 is the most updated version used for certifying people in their core IT and Business competencies
    Information Technology, by its very nature, is a subject that most of us think of as practically incomprehensible. We believe that it needs a different set of terminologies and thought processes to understand it completely and this is generally the case.

    It therefore comes as a big surprise when it is spoken of, in the same breath as business services. Called ITIL, it aligns IT with a company’s business needs.

    A widely adopted approach in IT service management, ITIL is nothing but a framework that identifies, plans, delivers and supports information technology services to a business.

    Every business needs IT services at some point of time or the other. ITIL provides a way to adopt different IT models to different sets of business needs. It helps align core business processes with IT and also functions as a guidance tool for organisations, enabling them to use IT to facilitate growth and transformation.

    A service is generally a ‘value add’ to customers, particularly when these are directly consumed by them it is called a ‘business service’. Payroll for example, is a business service that has a common applicability across different industries. This IT service helps in consolidating information, calculating compensation, dealing pay cheques and is also widely used across various businesses in conjunction with other IT services.

    ITIL, in its abbreviated form, stands for IT Infrastructure Library. It is accredited by the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB), which offers the ITIL foundation certification in IT service management.

    Being a universally recognised certification, ITIL provides qualifications that measures ones
    • competency level
    • general ability and
    • personal performance in different areas of information systems
    This is done with the aim of raising overall industry standards, aiding in career development and providing employers with a competitive edge.

    Providing a more holistic approach to handle business services rather than a mechanical approach, ITIL adopts a very flexible model and can be used with other industry practices, some of which include;
    • Six Sigma- a quality methodology
    • COBIT- an IT governance and Controls framework
    • ISO 27000- IT security
    • TOGAF- IT architectural framework
    ITIL in a nutshell, is all about a SERVICE LIFECYCLE, which includes;
    • Service Strategy- Identifying the end customers, service offerings, IT capabilities and resources
    • Service Design- This phase ensures that existing and new services are designed to meet customer expectations
    • Service Transition- This phase involves building, testing and production of the design to enable customer achieve value from it
    • Service Operation- This involves delivering on-going service and overseeing its overall health day on day.
    • Service Improvement or CSI- This is a mechanism to measure and improve service levels for an IT organisation.
    When an organisation adopts ITIL, it can expect;
    • Enhanced IT services
    • Enhanced productivity
    • Reduction in costs
    • Enhanced use of experience and skills
    • Enhanced delivery of third party services
    • Greater customer satisfaction due to professional service delivery approach
    ITIL has been adopted by various renowned organisations across the globe, such as NASA, HSBC Bank, UK’s NHS and even Disney.

    A certification in ITIL is all about learning and being trained in best practice methodology for IT service and lifestyle management.

    Having been formulated in the 1980’s by the UK Government’s CCTA, ITIL was initially a library of books that discussed IT service management best practices. Its first version or V1 comprised of 30 volumes and more (1986 to 1996).

    The ITIL version 2 was next consolidated in 2000/2001, into eight sets of books, grouping process guidelines for different IT aspects, including applications, services and management.

    The OGC, Office of Government Commerce, a merger of CCTA, came out with ITIL Version 3 in 2007. This consisted of 26 processes and functions which contained the five arms of the Service Lifestyle.

    Year 2011 saw the upgrading of ITIL again, in which formal processes were defined, various errors were corrected and inconsistencies were streamlined. This was done by the cabinet office and is currently owned by the HM Government.

    As per the January 31st, 2012 guidelines, ITIL certification exams are entirely focussed on the ITIL 2011 syllabus (ITIL Service Management core principles and not on the ITIL 2007 Edition).
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