Top 10 books to read for the ITIL Foundation Certification

Top 10 Books to Read for the ITIL Foundation Certification


Published on August 24, 2015


Drawn by the high-paying jobs on offer for ITIL certified professionals? Preparing for the ITIL exam, but not sure where to begin?
This article offers a brief overview of the best books to refer to when preparing for the ITIL exams together with links to purchase the books to help you launch your prep in a big way!
Let’s get started!

For Newbies: So What Is The ITIL, Anyway?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for IT service management (ITSM) that aligns business needs with IT services. The ITIL certification, owned and maintained by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC), is an entry level qualification in IT service management.

Globally-recognized and in-demand, the ITIL certification enables IT professionals to use IT as a powerful tool to facilitate growth and transformation of business.
The ITIL covers 26 processes that are categorized into five main modules:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement

 The ITIL exam is a closed book exam and contains 40 multiple choice questions. A score of 65% or better is required to pass the exam.

ITIL Foundation Training

Top 10 Books & Resources to Refer for the ITIL Exam

Here is a list of important books/resources for the ITIL 2011 Foundation course:

1. ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite

The ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite is offered by the OGC and takes a lifecycle approach. The five ITIL foundation modules are spread over five stages. Beginning with service strategy, the ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite moves through to the continual service improvement stage.

The content of each stage relates to the previous level. All five books discuss service management as a practice. Service strategy discusses strategy principles, organizational culture, and allied considerations. Service design consists of two important sections: The first deals with the activities of service design, and the second covers the design processes.

The transition and operation modules provide in-depth information about the processes involved, such as event management and incident management. Finally, continual service improvement deals with governance and benchmarks.
With a continual feedback system built into each stage, you stay current with changing business needs and aligned IT services. Priced at $445, purchasing the entire suite is a lot more cost-effective than purchasing each module individually. The suite is also available as a PDF.
You can purchase the book from this link.

2. IT Service Management: A Guide for ITIL Foundation Exam Candidates, Second Edition

Before taking the exam, it is important to assess your knowledge level & preparatory readiness. This officially licensed product helps with just that. Designed as a study guide, it is broken down into four sections. The first section is a basic overview of service management. Section two covers each module of the ITIL lifecycle.

While the third section deals with the ITIL processes and functions, the fourth one discusses measurements and metrics. This book is easy to read and helps you pass the exam on your first attempt.

The $26, 200-page volume is authored by Ernest Brewster, Richard Griffiths, Aidan Lawes and John Sansbury, and is published by BCS.
You can purchase the exam guide here.

3. Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam – 2011 Edition

Published by TSO, the official publisher of ITIL, and endorsed by the ITIL Official Accreditor, Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam has been fully updated in line with the 2011 ITIL syllabus and to reflect current exam techniques. As such, it is the ideal companion for students preparing for their ITIL Foundation Exam.
This guide is part of the official Best Management Practice portfolio, and provides a comprehensive overview of the ITIL Foundation syllabus, ideal for developing an understanding of the basic concepts, principles and terminology associated with IT service management. It contains chapters on service management, each of the five lifecycle stages, and service management technology, plus information on the qualification scheme and the exam itself to ensure your preparation for the exam is comprehensive.
You can purchase the book at this link.

4. ITIL Foundation 2011 Exam Reference Book

This book is authored by two of the most accomplished trainers in ITIL: Helen Morris, and Liz Gallacher. Drawing upon their experience, they have reorganized the syllabus into a structure that is helpful for candidates studying on their own. The book clearly explains ITIL lifecycle modules in a manner that is easy to understand, with generous use of charts, graphs, and illustrations. Each chapter ends with a summary.

The content is laid out in a logical sequence. It offers real-life examples as well as providing links to free downloadable study tools, and includes questions at the end of each chapter. You can buy it here, for $31.29.

5. ITIL V3 Foundation Guide

by Taruu

The ITIL V3 foundation guide is a free ebook offered by Taruu, an IT service management firm from Indiana. This 45-page handy resource covers all the concepts of the ITIL foundation course, and includes infographics where necessary. The great thing about this book is that it is concise, and does a decent job of explaining the essentials. It can act as a handy cheat sheet for IT professionals controlling & monitoring IT processes.

However, it does not offer an in-depth treatment of the subject. People who have basic knowledge of IT processes can quickly prepare for the exam. For beginners, it can serve as an introductory book that has to be augmented with additional resources. This free ebook may be downloaded here.

6. ITIL V3 Foundation Complete Certification Kit - 2009 Edition: Study Guide Book and Online Course

This ITIL V3 foundation complete certification kit is offered by The Art of Service, a premier IT service framework company. This kit contains study material and offers an online course as well. With flash slideshows and voiceovers, it helps you understand ITIL concepts quickly.

It is easy and quick to install the application. While the study material is not up to the mark, the online course is great. It comes with quizzes and a standard 40-question mock exam at the end. Authored by Tim Malone, the book is available for $21.22. Get it here.

7. ITIL Foundation Essentials: The Exam Facts You Need

ITIL Foundation Essentials is another useful ITIL resource written by Claire Agutter, an ITIL principal lecturer since 2007. This 150-page book takes a direct approach to the bare essentials of ITIL in a well-organized layout, is simple to read and gets straight to the point.

However, the diagrams are small and not particularly attractive. People who expect an in-depth study on ITIL would be disappointed with this book. But for beginners, this is a pretty handy ready-reckoner that can be purchased at an affordable price of $14.95. You can buy the book here.

8. ITIL For Beginners: The Complete Beginner's Guide To ITIL

As the name suggests, ITIL For Beginners is a comprehensive guide to the ITIL Foundation certification, and is offered by ClydeBank Technology. This 98-page book contains proven strategies and steps to help beginners quickly and easily understand ITIL lifecycle modules.

IT service management is explained in simple terms while covering the entire subject. Every concept is broken down into smaller chunks for easy understanding of IT principles. This condensed version of ITIL lifecycle modules is a good option for beginners. Get this book for $11.48 from here.

9. ITIL Foundation Complete Certification Kit - Study Book and eLearning Program - 4th edition

The ITIL Foundation Complete Certification Kit is a comprehensive guide to the ITIL certification. This book offers a detailed explanation of ITIL lifecycle modules, from strategy to continual service improvement. The concepts are well explained, and procedures are easy to understand.

It provides graphical illustrations and tables where applicable. One of the most-comprehensive books on this list, this guide can serve as a single, all-in-one reference when preparing for the ITIL Foundation exam. However, the software comes with an expiration date. This 392-page tome costs $99.97, and may be purchased here.

10. ITIL Lifecycle Suite, 2011 Edition (5 Volume Set)

The ITIL Lifecycle Suite is a comprehensive, five-volume ITIL resource. Each volume is specific to one lifecycle framework module. The content flows in a logical order and walks you through each framework. The first edition contained a few inconsistencies, which were remedied in the latest edition. All five books are easy to read and understand.

This suite contains graphical illustrations, quizzes and sample questions. Like the Certification Kit, this comprehensive suite, by itself, is sufficient to pass the ITIL certification exam. Authored by Randy A Steinberg, this mammoth 1959-page guide is priced at $436. Get it here.
We hope you enjoyed the list: don’t forget to bookmark this page as you prepare! And if you liked the article, you will love our free guide to the ITIL certifications: download your copy today! 
For more such articles and resources, feel free to drop by our resources library here!

Preparing for ITIL? Take this test to know where you stand!


About the Author

Priyadharshini is a knowledge analyst at Simplilearn, specializing in Project Management, IT, Six Sigma, and e-Learning. With a penchant for writing and a passion for professional education & development, she is adept at penning educative articles. She was previously associated with Oxford University Press and Pearson Education, India.


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