The digital transformation is impacting every part of the IT professional’s world, including ITIL. ITIL, which stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of best practices that improve the way teams interact and manage the IT infrastructure within an organization. And as technology evolves, so must the best practices, which means the newest version of ITIL, ITIL 4, has just been released.

To help you understand the significance of ITIL 4 and how it will impact the role of IT professionals, Simplilearn hosted a webinar with Manuel W. Lloyd. Lloyd is a disruptive, innovative and entrepreneurial CIO who uses his self-created and revolutionary formula for Operational Efficiency (OEn = Hx:Vy) to help highly regulated organizations successfully align regulatory compliance, information governance and cybersecurity. 

You can view the complete webinar here, or read a summary of it below. 

At its core, ITIL is a popular framework of best practices for delivering IT services. The ITIL 4 overhaul will be the first major update since 2007. Below in this webinar wrap-up, you’ll find what you need to know about this update, what's changing from ITIL 3 to ITIL 4, and how to understand the ITIL 4 journey and your place in it as an IT professional. 

What is ITIL? 

Before delving into the ITIL update, let’s first consider where we’re coming from, starting with, what is ITIL? ITIL is set of best-practice publications for IT service management, and it is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL gives guidance on the provision of quality IT services and the processes, functions and other capabilities needed to support them. ITIL helps organizations use IT to realize business change, transformation and growth. 

The ITIL framework is based on a service lifecycle and consists of five lifecycle stages, each of which has its own supporting publication:

  1. Service strategy
  2. Service design
  3. Service transition
  4. Service operation 
  5. Continual service improvement

There is also a set of complementary ITIL publications providing guidance specific to industry sectors, organization types, operating models and technology architectures.

What’s going on in the marketplace?

It’s important to understand the context around the ITIL overhaul. Infrastructure is moving from CAPEX, meaning capital expenditures such as owning the data center and servers, to OPEX, meaning operational expenditures cloud-based solutions. ITIL will be at the forefront of both. However, IT is more OPEX than ever before and continuing in that stead. Data lines are faster and getting even faster so more computing power can be used. Mobile technologies are becoming the primary devices on which to do business transactions and they must perform at much higher levels than ever. Then there’s cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a key factor, but really it’s cyber resilience because it’s not a matter of if but when a cyber attack will happen.

What does this mean for ITIL professionals? 

These changes in the marketplace, the switch to operating expenditures and the growing need for cyber resilience, play a role in the evolution of ITIL. What does this mean for ITIL professionals? It means ITIL professionals need continuous training, learning, and upkeep. It also means the ITIL community requires and expects their framework of choice to remain aligned with modernized technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Despite all the change brought about by digital transformation, ITIL has been and will continue to act as our bodies do, which is as one with its environment with autonomous movement. ITIL will remain the framework of the future for all things digital for hardware, software, facilities, data lines, serves, databases, desktops (zero clients), mobile devices, network equipment and security appliances. 

What’s changing from ITIL 3 to ITIL 4?

The new updated ITIL guidance will be called ITIL 4, reflecting the role ITIL 4 will play in supporting individuals and organizations as they navigate what some call the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or All Things Digital.
Compared to version 3, ITIL 4 will be more agile and modernized to provide organizations with comprehensive guidance for the management of information technology in the modern service economy. It will provide an end-to-end IT / Digital Operating Model, covering the full delivery of tech-enabled products and services, and guiding how IT interfaces with—and even leads—the wider business strategy.

A deep dive into the ITIL 4 certification scheme

But what does all of this mean for the ITIL professional who wants to stay current in their certifications? Below is a breakdown. ITIL 4 retains many of the core elements of ITIL 3, and much of the existing guidance will be recognizable in parts of ITIL 4. There are no direct like-for-like modules between the two certification schemes.

  • ITIL 4 Foundation was released on February 28, 2019. It is the entry-level certification offering end learners a general awareness of key elements, concepts, and terminology used in ITIL 4. The purpose of the ITIL 4 Foundation is to introduce candidates to modern IT-enabled service management.
  • ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) targets IT practitioners working within technology and digital teams across the business. After achieving the ITIL Managing Professional designation, if you are interested in pursuing the ITIL Strategic Leader stream, you only need to complete the ITIL Strategic Leader module. 
  • ITIL Strategic Leader recognizes the value of ITIL, not just for IT operations, but for all digitally enabled services. Becoming an ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy. The ITIL Leader Digital & IT Strategy module requires 3 years of managerial experience as a prerequisite along with the completion of the ITIL 4 Foundation. 

What’s the best approach for you? 

To know which certification path to follow as you transition from ITIL 3 to ITIL 4, see the diagram below. 

If you’ve taken ITIL 3 Foundation, then the recommended approach is to take the ITIL 4 Foundation in order to be able to transition to the new certification scheme. 

Those holding a low number of credits beyond Foundation have two recommended options to transition to ITIL 4 depending on what you want to achieve.

  • Option 1: Floyd suggests you take ITIL 4 Foundation and another module in your preferred area of interest, becoming an ITIL Specialist, Strategist or Leader.*
  • Option 2: Floyd suggests you achieve 17 credits from ITIL 3 to become eligible to take the ITIL Managing Professional transition module.
  • Seek out your certification

Whichever path is right for you and your career goals as an IT professional, Simplilearn offers 14 different certifications in the ITIL category, including ITIL 4

For a more in-depth understanding of the changes brought about by the ITIL 4 overhaul, watch the complete webinar.  

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