ITIL Framework – Choosing best practices for excellence in IT Service Management
Introduction to ITIL
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a technique that is widely used in IT industry and is set of practice to manage IT project. In other words, it is a book that gives guidance on provision of quality IT service for the support. However, for beginners, ITIL is new and have no idea how it is useful and why is being used?
Below is the guide on answer the questions regarding ITIL.
What really is ITIL?
Information Technology Infrastructure Library, known widely as ITIL, is one of the most trending terms among IT professionals and other related fields. ITIL certification is one of the most sought after eligibilities today. NASA and Disney are making use of ITIL to improve overall service experience, develop long lasting customer relations and to strategize service modules. ITIL is also the core of service management operations in some international banks, like HDFC to name one, and this particular concept is supported by renowned brands like IBM, HP and British Telecom etc. All this hype can make a person to think of nothing but one question, “What really is ITIL?”
ITIL is a framework formed from a bunch of best practices that helped many companies to achieve excellence in IT Service Management. The root of ITIL goes down to the late 80s, when the British government wanted to regulate the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of their IT related services, and came up with a set of guidelines. From then, many versions of ITIL have been released as the service standards, requirements and tools, and the whole IT environment have seen evolutionary changes over time. Now, ITIL is owned by the British Government, and an organization’s IT service management should be based on ITIL in order to apply for ISO/IEC 20000, the first and most acclaimed International Standard for IT service management.
The latest version of ITIL was released in 2011 with minor updates on ITILv3, and it has some added functions like response to feedback, inconsistence removal and improvisation of clarity and structure of service management.
Being ITIL Certified for progress
The “Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)” by W. Edwards Deming was often considered the source around which this proven framework of ITIL was built. Comprised of concepts similar to what W. Edwards Deming had, ITIL is still considered to be one of the best ways to improve and increase the overall service quality and return on investment, in a stable, systematic and gradual manner. People may wish to know how they can use their acquired skills to improve third party service delivery standard, by applying ITIL concepts. And there may be people, from organizations that adopted ITIL framework, who are in a need to understand the ITIL concepts. Both types of persons would be having the same question in their minds now, “Where to get ITIL certified?”
One must be completely aware of three things before knowing the procedure to receive any or all of Foundation, Practitioner, ITIL Service Manager, ITIL Expert and ITIL Master Certifications.
- AXELOS: The Accrediting authority of ITIL is ALEXOS, who produces the training course for all types of ITIL certifications.
- Licensed Examination Institutes: There are nine ALEXOS licensed Examination Institutes (EI) that are permitted to devise and conduct ITIL examinations, and to offer professional qualifications based on relevant exams.
- Accredited Training Organizations: The training for any ITIL certification should be given only by an Accredited Training Organization (ATO), which is licensed to conduct the training by one of the nine Examination Institutes. These organizations may have affiliates that train people for ITIL certification and such affiliates also should use only the official AXELOS training course material.
Only ATOs and their affiliates are eligible to train candidates for ITIL certifications. So, it is strongly advised to check with the official website of ITIL and see if an ATO is accredited by any one of the nine Licensed Examination Institutes. An ATO could be the best place to get guidance about the ITIL certification that is the best fit for a person’s professional requirement.
ITIL Module Certification - Which is the best?
IT Service Management (ITSM) professionals who wish to be ITIL certified can choose an ITIL module easily, as his/her organization would probably prescribe the module that is most required. But for those who wish to improve their overall ITSM skills, there may be some problems in choosing the right module. This is the hardest part of pursuing ITIL certification and this is when most people would want to ask “Which ITIL module certification is the best?”
Before trying to know the answer for the above question, one should know about the two different types of ITIL modules, the Service Lifecycle modules and the Service Capability modules.
There are five different types of Service Cycle Modules:
- Service Strategy: A module that concentrates on long-term improvement of an organization by clarifying and prioritizing the investments of a service provider.
- Service Design: A module about the tools processes and services based on Information Technology.
- Service Transition: A module that defines how to transform a service in plan into a service in action.
- Service Operation: A module that explains how the agreed service levels can be achieved by making use of best practices.
- Continual Service Improvement: A module about improving the services, tools and processes in respect to the changing requirements and market.
These are modules designed for professional who require knowledge on the whole gamut of operations, tools, techniques and sectors, which work together to provide the desired level of service experience in both directions.
For those who wish to gain expertise in any particular part of the whole IT Service Management process, there are four Service Capability modules available:
- Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)
- Release, Control and Validation (RCV)
- Operational Support and Analysis
- Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)
There are various stages of ITIL certification Foundation, Intermediate, Managing across the Lifecycle and Expert. A credit system is employed in deciding the scores of each certification and to decide the eligibility of a professional for next level certifications. If a candidate obtains 22 credits by getting certified on many or all of Service Cycle and Service Capability modules, and could prove his/her skills in using the ITIL framework for ‘Managing Across Lifecycle’ of services, he would be eligible to obtain an ITIL Expert certification, which is the top level in ITIL.
To answer the third question, it depends on the desired skill level for a job and a particular skill set that a candidate wishes to acquire.
The Need of ITIL Certification
There are a lot of things to analyze, plan, materialize and avoid in ITSM-related factors such as ROI on IT, staff retention, training costs, IT costs/assets analysis, expected level of customer satisfaction, alignment of services and products, measurement of performance in reference to benchmark provided etc. ITIL has prescriptions for the best practices, tools and processes that should be or could be followed to achieve the desired result in any or all of the above factors. Before going on a pursuit of an ITIL certification, there would be so many questions that he/she would have. But, the only question sensible question among all of them that can lead someone towards the right type of ITIL certification would be ‘Why an ITIL Certification is required?’
The answer lies within all the information provided above and it is up to the person who is reading this to find the right answer.
ITIL is a best practice followed by both public and private sectors today. On the whole, it describes how an IT company can work in an organized manner. Moreover, it helps in better functioning of IT Service Management (ITSM).
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